• What are the minimum requirements or the prerequisites for implementation of the Advanced Process Control system in downstream complex refinery, consisting of units such as Hydrocracking unit, Vacuum Distillation Unit and Reforming Unit?



  • Jake Gotham, InSite Technical Services, jake.gotham@insitetechnical.com

    Firstly, there is no point implementing advanced process control if the basic control isn’t well set up. Controllers need to be well tuned, in auto/cascade, control valves in a reasonable operating range (30-70% open) and transmitters within range.

    Implementing advanced control will require specialised skills. Most refineries bring in external consultants to help with this, but it is essential to have refinery staff embedded in this team so that knowledge is retained on-site when the consultant has demobilised.

    APC systems need continuous attention and support. If they are commissioned and then left to the operations team while the APC team focuses its attention on building an application for another process unit, the system will soon fall into disuse. The system will need continuous updating to account for changes in economics, operating modes, new constraints, fouling, flooding, catalyst deactivation/replacement, minor projects etc, etc. This ongoing support should come primarily from the refinery control team, which should be made up of process engineers, control engineers and former panel operators. They should be intimately involved in building and commissioning the APC system alongside the consultant, and then intimately involved in its ongoing performance alongside the panel operators and process engineer.



  • Radu Iscovici, Iscovici Radu PFA, radu@iscovici-radu-pfa.com

    1: Good understanding of the processes.

    2: Good regulatory controls system.

    3: Review of loop tuning.

    4: A verified MPVC technology licensor with an excellent support record.



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