Real-time Refinery Optimization through Opportunity Cost Visualization
After accounting for unexpected operational problems even well run refineries can have more than $1/Barrel in unaccounted for loss from not meeting the planners forecast. The Plan vs Actual GAP is a measure of sub-optimality of the refinery operation with respect to the off-line economic optimization of the planner. As such, the GAP can be considered as the profit potential for real-time refinery-wide optimization. In most refineries the economic GAP is an accounting measurement not an operational performance measurement. [RPM]™ introduces a new capbility in real-time refinery optimization by adding a real-time measure of the GAP and a collaborative business process that enables economic decision making to close it by all of the manufacturing team including planning, scheduling, control, process engineering, maintenance, and operations.
[RPM]™ on-line calculates the current market value of intermediate streams flowing into the product pools and the value of the financial GAP for all product pools and intermediate streams of product pools. By providing a forecast of month-end Actual.vs.Plan it gives planners real-time feedback that helps them develop better plans, and the scheduler and manufacturing team the information necessary to make daily or more frequent moves to meet or beat plan, even in the face of unplanned outtages. These market based intermediate stream prices can also be used instead of Shadow prices to drive unit real-time optimizations to more profitable solutions.
[RPM]™ displays past, present and future GAP data to support an added business process that enables collaboration between members of the manufacturing team(i.e. planning & scheduling, control, operations, process engineering and maintenace) to make refinery-wide, optimizing decisions on a daily or more frequent basis. It is a standalone software application that allows users to identify the sources of the GAP and take action to correct the most valuable GAPs. [RPM]™ is not a planning, scheduling, process control or a dashboard application. It monetizes the GAP between planned and actual operation in real-time and adds a business process to enable collaborative, operational decision making among the manufacturing team. [RPM]™ calculates the opportunity cost of not meeting planning and scheduling targets. The mismatches between “the plan” and the “plant” are displayed graphically on an overall profit and profit component basis, as well as on a process unit by process unit basis. In the hands of skilled refinery engineers [RPM]™ is being used to conduct a form of open-loop refinery-wide optimization.
The "Profit Engineer" is a part time role of an experienced Chemical Engineer. [RPM]™ is the Profit Engineer’s interface to application mismatches that limit profit. Every morning the Profit Engineer reviews the [RPM]™ output and identifies any opportunities that can be addressed with corrective action. The manufacturing team at the daily operating meeting can then use the results to prioritize opportunity and decide on action required to correct the loss. When operated without the closed loop [RMO]™ optimization, corrective action involves a mix of automated and manually integrated work processes of the manufacturing team and the goal is to meet the targeted profitability of planning and scheduling. When operated with [RMO]™ in closed loop the work processes are more automated and the goal of [RMO]™ is to exceed the scheduled profitability whenever possible, subject to constraints.
[RPM]™ is a user configured, data driven application requiring no custom code. It is designed by conducting a refinery-wide optimization scope definition. The scope definition identifies the variables and relationships (Degrees of Freedom) that represent a refinery-wide economic optimization and the benefit opportunity from refinery-wide optimization. Any deficiencies in the Planning and Scheduling model and the plant controls that might limit the opportunity capture are identified and these can be corrected with resulting benefit in addition to that from implementation of our software. [RPM]™ can communicate with most commercial data historians and planning and scheduling softwares currently in the market.
[RPM]™ can reduce the GAP in profitability by 25-50%. In addition, implementation of [RMO]™ online with automation of integrating work processes can generate an additional 50% reduction in the profit GAP.