Optimizing Refining Processes Through AutomationTue, 01/22/2013 - 13:26
Q: What is your perspective on the current state of Mexican refineries?
A: In the current situation employee discontent has led to operational downtime at Mexico’s refineries. We are currently trying to help Pemex avoid this type of counterproductive situation by implementing automation technologies and methodologies, which will help Pemex reduce this type of events, because 60% originate from human mistakes that can be easily prevented.
Q: In order to increase refining productivity, Pemex is currently investing in renovating refinery infrastructure. What technologies does Honeywell have to contribute to optimizing the impact of Pemex’s refinery investment?
A: We have a vast portfolio of products and services that Pemex could potentially use, and is using in many instances, to improve its productivity. The most relevant technology is related to process automation, not only of field equipment, control systems, and security systems, but also with regard to other applications that allow you to maximize value. Such applications, which we call skill development, are based on methodologies that allow operators to identify and administrate situations and empower them to react in real-time, minimizing risk and optimizing e·ciency. In the area of automation we have various methodologies to develop human capital, such as Abnormal Situation Management (UniSim), while in the area of e·ciency and optimization, we currently oer Profit Suite. For the business side of automation, we oer a technology called Intuition Executive, which oers information management, decision support, and collaboration tools to optimize operations. Even though we oer all these automation technologies and processes to improve e·ciency and optimize operations, Honeywell is no longer focusing on simply oering products and services. Currently, we are focusing on oering integrated business solutions that help clients better detect, invest in, and seize available opportunities. Offering products and services may help a company acquire the necessary technology needed to succeed; however, if they do not have the ability to detect and seize opportunities, those technologies are useless. Therefore, we are currently focusing on a strategy that brings this mentality and organizational change to companies so that they optimize the benefits derived from investments in technology, products, and services. Nowadays, the type of innovation we bring to the market is more focused on innovative business strategies than on innovative technologies.
Q: How are you involved in the new Tula Refinery?
A: The project is moving forward and we will be providing 40% of the technological processes. This deal was signed last year and we are currently working on the technology. We are also bidding to introduce our Main Automation Contractor (MAC) technology, which will be decided in May.
Q: What have you learned about the Mexican oil and gas industry, and working with Pemex, through years of collaborating on projects?
A: We have learned a lot from Pemex, but we learned the most at a project in Cantarell where we installed the first and only ever Main Automation Contractor (MAC) solution in Mexico. Even though the project did not advance at the rate we expected, we are very happy with our participation and we were very impressed with Pemex’s shallow water technology and processes. There are many other success stories; however, due to Pemex’s political structure and the various limitations this imposes on the company, projects and ideas change too often and there is no continuity in proposed projects. Hopefully, this will change soon and we will be able to showcase the results behind the services, products, and strategies that we offer