Process engineers must continuously monitor the health and performance of process units. Unit monitoring ensures reliable operation of the unit, identifies disturbances early in the cycle and improves the understanding of the process. Effective unit monitoring results in the identification of short and long-term economic opportunities - usually in yield optimization, cost reduction and maximization of unit capacity.
Unit engineers use key performance indicators (KPIs) to help define and measure progress toward the plant’s business and strategic goals. Increasing process plant complexity requires more sophisticated ways of approaching KPIs and targets. This is where real-time connected technology with deeper analytics - the process digital twin - comes to the forefront, as it accounts for the multidimensional factors and nonlinear trade-offs that make effective decision making a challenge.
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This article appeared in Hydrocarbon Processing, September 2021 and is Co-Authored by Saudi Aramco.