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ERTC Asset Maximisation Conference - Prague 11-13 May 2009

Eascon and Saras presents "The Just in Time Scheduling of the Saras Refinery Operations".

 

Abstract

Unexpected occurrences may disarrange also the most accurate refinery production plan. Mostly if the refinery works on behalf of a third party and the crude arrivals and the product shipments are made by sea as it occurs for the Saras Refinery in Sarroch.

When this happens, it is very difficult to evaluate the impact of the delayed or suspended operations on the schedule of the whole refinery and to understand, for example, if the plants set ups could be affected.

In those dynamic circumstances, the traditional tools for production scheduling are ineffective mainly because of the time required to refresh of the current situation, define a new schedule plan and transmit it to the "doing" departments.

So, often, when the new schedule plan is available the scenario has changed again and risk is to sparked off a vain pursuit between the events and the schedulers.

To overcome these problems the new scheduling module of CPP-3, the Management Execution System supplied by Eascon, has to work with a continuous rolling approach and in a closed loop with the "doing" departments.

Every hour, the scheduling module automatically:

  • takes a detailed snapshot of the refinery in terms of tanks contents, plant production and consumption, progress of the operations concerning oil movement, blending, Lab analyses, arrival and shipments;
  • carries out a detailed forecast of all the events in the following 72 hour on the basis of the current status, of the new scenario and of the operations already scheduled
  • points out the delay or the advance of each operation on the basis of the resources availability, i.e. pumps, tanks, piers, raw or intermediate materials, and of the true potentiality of the plants.

This approach allows the schedulers to know in advance the availability of materials and resources of the refinery for the following 72 hours so that they do not need to redefine a new complete operating program every day but, when necessary, they simply add new operations or change the existing ones and they immediately verify the effects on the planned scenario.

As soon as the changes to plan are confirmed the corresponding tasks are automatically added in the "to-do list" of each department of the refinery (Plants, Tank Farm, Laboratory, Shipping).

Each department can accept or modify the timing target of its own tasks on the basis of its detailed knowledge of the situation and of the resources availability.

At the end of this approval cycle the scheduled activities become a common commitment for all the departments; they are automatically transmitted to the "doing" systems and, every hour, the discrepancies between their expected and actual performances and execution times are monitored and shown to the engineers and the schedulers of the refinery.

The scheduling module is running in the Saras Refinery since September 2007 and the presentation will show how it works, how the Saras organization changed to take advantage from it and the results obtained in terms of performances of the refinery and of assumption of responsibility by the personnel.

 

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