KBC, a Yokogawa Company, hosted its annual Americas Software Users Conference in Houston, TX this past week.
The conference features a variety of KBC's North American refining clients that get together each year to share different uses of KBC's Petro-SIM and SIM Reactor Suite by KBC's customers as well as KBC's partners and own consultants, technical support staff, and developers.
This year's conference saw a wide variety of topics critically relevant to the refining industry from the use of simulation for unit performance monitoring, to generation of LP submodel for refinery wide optimisation, to the use of simulation to support advanced process control in plants. For the third year in a row, KBC's much anticipated Principles & Practices session tackled many issues and challenges facing refiners related to the use of simulation within different organisations. Different clients were able to share their successes and struggles successes with simulation adoption and use within their own organisations and to benefit from the experience of other client's own experiences. It was a great session to really focus on the value of simulation to refiners and the challenges they overcome to expand the use of simulation within their operating facilities and the demonstrated value of these applications within their respective organisations. The attendees included operating companies, process licencors, catalyst suppliers, and engineering and consulting companies each bringing a very relevant perspective to the discussion and the overall conference.
KBC through the support and collaboration with its clients continues to push the boundaries around how simulation is deployed and used in refining through unique approaches to solving today's challenges and planning for tomorrow.
The conference kicked off with a joint presentation between a North American refining company and KBC around the application of Petro-SIM and FCC-SIM for enhanced model based unit performance monitoring and management. Beyond trending process variables, this unit monitoring application looks to reconcile material balances, calculate key performance indicators that cannot be directly measured in the unit and compare the results of the simulator and LP submodel to the plant on a regular basis.
Later in the morning, another refining company presented on the use of FCC-SIM to support LP optimisation of alternative feedstocks.
Following a similar theme to the kick off presentation, a different North American refining company presented on its own experiences with using Petro-SIM and FCC-SIM for performance monitoring at one of their operating facilities.
Other presentations focused on the use of simulation to determine process control benefits, the integration of Haverly's HCAMS Crude Assay Management Tool with Petro-SIM, and modelling deactivation in fixed bed hydroprocessing units.
The first day of the conference concluded with a Principles & Practices session moderated by representative from several North American refining companies and KBC to explore the benefits of simulation in refineries, the application of unit monitoring tools, managing the deployment and use of simulation models within a refinery, crude assay data management, and the human side of simulation around organisational maturity, culture, and the atmosphere that fosters innovation and creativity to applying simulation to improve profitability.
On the second day of the conference, KBC's customers were able to learn more about KBC's new parent company and partner companies as a result of recent changes.
KBC's CEO Andrew Howell joined the conference to affirm his support for growth and expansion of KBC's engineering simulation technology and his commitment to KBC's customers.
The second day also focused on different uses of the software to support optimisation of different refinery units as well as the entire refinery as well as the use of simulation to support catalyst changes as told from the perspective of an operating company and a catalyst supply company.
KBC's Shaun Wright presented on the DaaS capabilities from the Industrial Knowledge acquisition by Yokogawa and the ways in which these capabilities can enhance KBC's core process simulation technology to provide new and unique offerings and applications to the energy industries.
The conference concluded with KBC's CTO Mike Aylott and the Petro-SIM and SIM Reactor Suite Product Champion Mary LaCombe laying out KBC's vision for the future of their simulation suite discussing short term developments and new functionality releasing with Petro-SIM 6.2 to the future state of process simulation within KBC.
LaCombe stated "At KBC, process simulation is sits at the heart of everything what we do...We are focused on delivering a platform that extends beyond engineering simulation technology by transforming into the business decision support tool that underpins our client's business processes while breaking through the traditional barriers that exist today to support a new type of work process that revolutionises the way project teams collaborate and exchange information."