Monday, October 19, 2015

Information and industrial automation technologies for oil refineries!

Yokogawa Solution Service Corporation - the company’s control business in Japan - and Cisco Systems G.K. are to provide a new solution for oil refineries that makes use of their respective information and industrial automation technologies. This platform integrates production, quality, progress control, and other information technologies with the control systems that are used to monitor and control production processes in real time, ensuring that facilities can be efficiently rebuilt and modified. It also improves the efficiency of corporate management by making it easier for information to be accessed by information management systems.

Background
As a result of a review of Japanese national energy policy, a new law known as the Sophisticated Methods of Energy Supply Structures Act was passed that requires the oil industry to make more efficient utilization of fossil fuels. To accomplish this, oil refining companies are now consolidating their refinery operations, as part of which they must also reestablish and reconfigure their control and information systems. This requires an environment where control, MES, and ERP systems can be quickly built or reconfigured, and where various types of complex data can be accessed in an integrated and flexible manner at each system level.

Features of This New Solution
The solution improves efficiency by structuring and standardizing a plant’s control and information systems as well as the data handled by these respective systems. This improves the portability of data, establishes a framework that facilitates the integration, construction, and modification of all of a plant’s control and information systems, and creates an environment with industry-leading security for all communications and information management. This is true not only for a plant’s own control and information systems, but also for links between plants. In addition to facilitating the consolidation of a company’s refinery operations, this solution is useful in the installation and expansion of plant facilities, and can deliver the same benefits here as well. The main features of this solution are as follows.

1. Integrated information reporting
Systems with different functions that are in various locations can now be treated as a single virtual
information platform, allowing the generation of reports whenever they are needed, and in any desired format. This improves ease of access to information and allows the free selection of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

2. Information access
This solution features refinery-wide network connectivity and provides a highly-secure environment, allowing a plant’s systems to exchange structured and standardized data with systems at company headquarters and other plants with industry-leading security. Information can be quickly imported from other locations, compared, and linked, ensuring that people have all the information needed to make informed decisions.

3. Analysis (business intelligence)
The ability to collect a wide range of information and make effective use of large amounts of plant data allows for the performance of multifaceted analyses that can accurately identify solutions and improve both quality and efficiency.

Outlook for the Future
This collaboration of Cisco and Yokogawa Solution Service will not be limited to the oil-refining sector. With Cisco’s proven track record in providing highly-secure, high-quality network equipment and information system services and Yokogawa’s wealth of experience in the industrial automation field, the two companies will be able to respond flexibly to market needs and provide solutions that deliver great benefits such as improving how control and information systems work together and making maximum effective use of large amounts of control data. Both companies plan to extend this collaboration to other industries, and intend, for example, to roll out this solution to the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries later this year.

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