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Worldwide Refinery Processing Review (Individual Technology)

Publication date:1Q 2017
Item#: B1027

Refinery IoT

As a result of the current challenge of maintaining profitability in the face of oversupply, weaker demand and lower oil prices, refiners are increasingly seeking to improve plant safety, reliability and efficiency by turning to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). It is also thought that the IIoT may be a potential solution to the aging workforce problem that the oil & gas industry is facing as increased access to valuable data will help to fill the knowledge void that will be created at retirement. And more refiners may capitalize on the attractiveness of the IIoT to a new generation of talented young professionals that are adept at using the latest technology and might be opposed to relocating to remote locations for work.

The ‘things’ in the IIoT are wireless sensors and other smart devices that are deployed in a widespread manner throughout the refinery for continuous data collection. Data analytics techniques are then performed yielding information about issues that are occurring and those that have the potential to occur. Cloud-based storage platforms enable companies to remotely access data from all of their facilities to aid in the decision-making process.

To meet the demand for increased connectivity, new sensors continue to be developed including wireless options. Also, drones are being utilized to collect data during inspections by an increasing number of companies in the downstream sector. New big data analytics and machine learning solutions have been introduced as part of a shift to a predictive maintenance approach to plant optimization. And some companies have begun to bolster their IIoT platform of core components with services and solutions offered by partner companies thereby forming digital ecosystems. Finally, companies are addressing the cyber security challenge inherent with the IIoT and collaborative efforts are underway for further development in this area. The refinery IIoT section also features the latest trends and technology offerings, including:

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Keywords: Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT, digitalization, connectivity, sensor, transmitter, drone, data collection, data storage, cloud, data quality, data platform, analytics, machine learning, platform-as-a-service, IIoT platform, digital ecosystem, cyber attacks, cyber security, SIEM, malware