Services

Software Implementation

 

Refining Advantage offers Aspen Petroleum Scheduler(ORION) and MBO implementation services that are tailored to a refinery's specific needs. We approach implementation projects as a team effort with refinery personnel. This kind of collaboration yields a complete technology transfer by the end of the project, enabling the refinery to take ownership of the system.

Software Upgrades

 

 

A new version of APS is typically released every 12 to 18 months. Each version includes new features, often from enhancement requests, that increase the capabilities and performance of the APS system. In order to support these new features, the development team generally has to modify the structure of the APS database by adding new tables or modifying the definition of existing tables. A database utility is provided with each new release to update the database structure as required, but the utility does not guarantee that your existing interfaces, reports, and customized components (such as UserCalcs) will work properly with the new version. Also, to take advantage of a version's enhancements, schedulers need to be trained on the new features and you may need to make changes to your APS model.

Refining Advantage can provide turnkey services to fully upgrade your system to the latest version, including the following:

  • Update the database structure

  • Modify all reports and interfaces as necessary

  • Review your system to insure that the new version works properly, and modify the system as necessary to take advantage of new features

  • Provide user training on new features

 
Application Interfaces

The most cost-effective approach to application integration is the use of batch interfaces written in Visual Basic. Refining Advantage customizes these interfaces based on a particular refinery's specifications. We can design and develop such APS interfaces as:

  • Crude assay

  • Beginning inventories

  • Shipments and receipts

  • Oil movements system

  • Unit rates and operating parameters (from Aspen PIMS or other LP)

  • Online blending system

Reports

 

 

Effective use of APS requires reports designed to meet a refinery's specific needs. Refining Advantage can tailor reports to different uses by employing such formats as:

  • Fixed format printed reports

  • HTML reports for viewing over the refinery intranet

  • Excel-based reports

  • Ad-hoc reporting that allows the user to select which data to extract

 
Benefits Analysis

 

 

Benefits analysis is a vital part of effective scheduling and has two important objectives: identification of areas in which scheduling will yield the greatest return; and benchmarking performance. To complete benefits analysis, Refining Advantage collects data on various areas of scheduling effectiveness, including:

  • Attainment of throughput constraints

  • Quality giveaway

  • Number of crisis decisions

  • Inventory levels

  • Demurrage

  • Evaluation of special opportunities

Next, Refining Advantage analyzes this data to determine the difference between actual performance and theoretical performance and quantify the profitability associated with the difference. Finally, we report to you the key indicators for scheduling performance.

Work Flow Analysis

Work flow analysis is critical for successful scheduling but is often overlooked during the implementation project. APS provides exceptional modeling capability, and in many cases, the engineers working on the implementation get bogged down in creating the perfect model of the refinery and lose sight of the fact that the principle objective of the project is scheduling, not modeling. Having the best software available doesn't provide much benefit if you are not using it effectively.

Work flow analysis is not re-engineering your business processes for planning and scheduling. It is simply reviewing the way that APS is being used, making sure that everyone involved understands the process, and automating those parts of the workflow where it makes sense.

 
Refining Operations Planning Functions

 

 

We have in-depth experience in all of the Refinery Operations work functions and work processes. The key work functions are listed but we can support any need in your Refinery Planning and Economics area.

  • All Planning work processes

  • Operating Plan development

  • Crude oil evaluation and feed slate evaluation

  • Project economic evaluations

  • Process unit economic optimization

  • Product blend optimization

  • Refinery logistics evaluation

  • Refinery economic due diligence

  • Performance measurement and metrics

  • Model uses and accuracy maintenance

Training

 

 

Training is crucial for effective use of APS, MBO and LPs. It is particularly important to provide thorough training when changing personnel. Refining Advantage offers customized on-site training that includes both prepared materials and hands-on training.