Home > Emerson Process Management enhances blend solution to help refiners optimise in-line blending units

Emerson Process Management enhances blend solution to help refiners optimise in-line blending units

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article image Process control of continuous in-line blenders enhanced by using Emerson's SmartProcess Blend package

Emerson Process Management announces a new release of the SmartProcess Blend software package featuring a new Blend Order Management System as well as an enhanced on-line and off-line optimiser for control of continuous in-line blenders.

Emerson’s SmartProcess Blend package is a complete, integrated suite of applications native to the standard DeltaV distributed control system (DCS), and offers simplified implementation and ease-of-use as major benefits.

Marcelo Carugo, global refining industry lead for Emerson explains that blending is critical to refinery profitability with planners trying to maximise the most valuable blends from available components. However, when these components fall below expectations, the planned recipe will produce off-spec products, requiring adjustments to be made on-line during the blending process. This can lead to equipment downtime and potential human error during re-blending, further derailing the production schedule and increasing costs.

According to Mr Carugo, though schedulers provide some margin for unplanned events, blending is often too complex to determine the optimal corrective action manually. When correcting an off-spec blend, operators tend to play safe and overcompensate, creating quality giveaways and suboptimal blends utilising more of the expensive blend stocks.

The new SmartProcess Blend Order Management application provides a multi-language, web-based user interface to link the refinery’s blend schedulers to the blend operators; allows planners and operators to view a blend order, test it with current data and run the off-line optimiser from the Order Management tool; and enables operators to review approved orders, select one for execution and automatically run that blend using closed-loop optimiser control, in the DeltaV DCS environment.

The new SmartProcess Blend optimiser applies closed-loop optimisation to the blend control process. Using non-linear blend models combined with on-line analysers, an optimiser continuously calculates the optimum ratios that make the batch on-spec at the lowest possible cost or as defined by user-defined penalty functions. Penalties can be set based on component cost, deviation from planned recipes, and/or deviation from target qualities.

Emerson’s SmartProcess Blend package manages the lifecycle of a blend, from planning and scheduling, to optimisation and on-line control of the final blend properties. The system is designed as a set of generic templates that are configured to meet the specific refinery’s complex blending requirements such as those required for reformulated gasoline as well as for simple, recipe-based ratio blending such as asphalt with fewer components and quality specifications.

SmartProcess Blend can be combined with Emerson’s expert blending consultancy to provide a turnkey solution that ensures optimal use of available components and tank rationalisation, maximising profit for both greenfield or existing refinery blending units. Emerson’s turnkey capabilities include design, construction, and installation of fully instrumented, skid-mounted in-line blenders, analyser houses and sample systems.

Emerson’s flow meters, vibration, temperature and pressure transmitters, radar level gauges, and valves complement the SmartProcess system to provide an easy standardised path to integrated turnkey blending solutions.

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