In today’s digital age, smart monitoring technology is proving to be a game-changer, impacting everything from personal health to asset management in the oil and gas sector. This transformative technology, capable of real-time tracking and predictive analytics, can identify potential issues before they escalate, offering the possibility to protect, preserve, and improve efficiencies. Let’s delve into a real-life scenario that demonstrates this, and see how Akselos is leveraging this technology to protect critical downstream assets.
In late 2020, Bob, an avid runner, was gifted an Apple smartwatch by his wife for their 17th wedding anniversary. This smartwatch came with a heart rate app, which Bob immediately used to track his fitness.
But, as Bob monitored his heart rate, he started noticing erratic readings. His heart rate was bouncing all over the place. Concerned but not alarmed since he felt perfectly fine, Bob decided to get a routine physical check-up.
His doctor discovered a heart arrhythmia, necessitating surgery. Like a champion athlete rebounding from a setback, Bob swiftly bounced back, returning to his regular running routine. The smartwatch, by alerting him to an unseen problem, had possibly saved his life.
Getting Downstream into Shape
So, how does Bob’s life-saving smartwatch tie into Akselos and the protection of downstream oil & gas assets?
Just like Bob’s watch, Akselos’ cutting-edge engineering simulation technology can play a vital role in maintaining the efficiency and safety of oil & gas downstream technology through smart monitoring. For instance, digital twins – virtual replicas of physical systems – can provide operational and engineering teams with vital, almost instantaneous data on the startup of heavy-wall reactor vessels in refineries. This data can then be used to refine the process, ultimately saving both time and money.
To paint a clearer picture, Akselos’ technology enabled the real-time calculation of thermal-induced stresses in a refinery reactor for one of our clients. These precise calculations gave the operator the critical information needed to adjust the startup process, slicing a significant 6-12 hours off the typical startup time. If this seemingly minor adjustment were applied across the 600 refineries globally, it could improve efficiency to such a degree that constructing an entire new refinery could be avoided.
Preventing Fatal Issues with Smart Monitoring
As with Bob’s smartwatch detecting his heart issue almost in real time, digital monitoring is only truly beneficial if it tracks in a way that allows potential problems to be caught before they escalate. Akselos’ high-resolution, targeted monitoring software aims to do just that, predicting issues before they become problems and indicating how much life remains before replacement or repair becomes necessary.
For instance, Akselos is currently collaborating with Pan American Energy to create a comprehensive digital twin of refinery cokers – units that convert residual oil into a crude oil refinery product called petroleum coke. These cokers, regardless of the type of crude oil, their location, or who operates them, face severe operating conditions that lead to accumulated asset damage and eventual failure.
Using Akselos’ digital twin technology, it’s now possible to digitize coker operations, creating an almost real-time virtual replica of the asset. This can prevent disastrous consequences by accurately highlighting which high-stress locations require inspection and potential repair.
Bob’s smartwatch saved his life, an incredible testament to the power of smart monitoring technology. Similarly, while Akselos might not be directly saving lives, our high-speed, highly advanced engineering simulation and monitoring technology is working tirelessly to enhance the efficiency of downstream oil & gas assets and prevent fatal issues.
Keen to discover more about how our technology safeguards critical downstream assets? Contact us now!