IIoT: Turn Real-Time Data Collection into Increased Efficiency and Profitability for Your Refinery

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By Rachel K. Carson, MarCom Analyst for Process Industries

Have you ever contemplated where all your refinery’s data goes? Is your plant capitalizing on all data collection opportunities? As stated in the last blog, IIoT: Acting on All Big Data, IIoT, the Industrial Internet of Things, is revolutionizing refineries’ data collection and enabling them to connect, collect, analyze, and act on data collection across the entire supply chain.

A quick summary of IIoT

IIoT application enhances plant value and the performance of its people, assets, and operations simultaneously. Simply stated, IoT as a concept is turning big data generated from connected devices or assets (often monitored by operators) into making smarter decisions. Alignment and integration of business and operational metrics help create the context for smarter decision making, in a timely manner, to improve business goals, such as, profitability, regulatory compliance, etc., Thus, the broad outlines of a business case for IoT in refining is built around synchronizing leading and lagging indicators, as close to real-time as possible.

A successful IIoT solution must be able to address challenges specific to refining including:

  • The pursuit of maximum uptime, reliability, quality, speed
  • Lifespan and update of technology: servers, computers, operating systems, software
  • Accelerating brain drain, where experienced personnel are retiring at a faster rate than hiring
  • Avoidance of unplanned shutdowns, which cost more than $60M lost revenue each year

IIoT solutions, when deployed properly, can help solve these issues simultaneously.

IIoT in Oil and Gas Refinery

Applying IIoT to your refinery in 5 easy steps

So you have learned about IIoT and know why it works…but now how do you apply this to your refinery?

IIoT implementation can be applied easily and specifically to meet the needs of your refinery. Implementing IIoT architecture can help refinery management teams exploit the IIoT’s affordable internet connectivity to improve reliability and run-time, environmental and personnel safety and ultimately the business bottom line. Here the suggested approach when setting up an IIoT plan for your refinery:

Step 1: Start with complete architecture in a pilot area, where problems are occurring.

Step 2: Evaluate return on investment (ROI) before broadening project scope.

Step 3: Integrate asset monitoring and management projects.

Step 4: Merge IT and OT infrastructure.

Step 5: Consult with experienced partner, such as, Schneider Electric.

Insight alone does not create value. Until action, in the form of these steps, is taken to close the loop, nothing changes. IIoT implementation is the next step towards closing the loop, digitalizing your refinery, and acting on all collected data for better business practice.

Ready to learn more?

Read the Delivering Closed Loop Business Operations for the Refinery Enterprise whitepaper to learn more.

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