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Before

“I have always focused on a do it once strategy. So, solve your hard problems and document the solution, so we don’t have to rethink it repeatedly with people and time changes in facilities.”

After

“I would recommend the product to any facility looking to manage a CEMS system. Elements that I like about Stackvision are the transparency, ease of change management, and the solid support from ESC Spectrum. Changes done in a week of request should be industry standard and have been with ESC Spectrum.”

How Did StackVision Help Calumet Montana Refinery Increase Emissions Data Transparency and Configurability?

 

Refinery Background

The Calumet Montana Refinery (CMR) is a small refinery located in Great Falls, WY, with a capacity of about 30,000 bbl/day. Prior to a significant expansion project in 2015, the facility capacity was 10,000 bbl/day. The refinery has existed in some form since the 1920s.

Calumet has some process uniqueness that includes operating a large mild hydrocracking (MHC), a very small fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), and a HF Alkylation unit. NaSH processing is the method for handling sulfur. The refinery does not have a Coker but does produce asphalt.

Joe Dauner is a chemical and biological engineer by academic training and has been working as an environmental engineer for air quality in the oil and gas industry for ten years before transitioning to his current role as Environmental Manager at Calumet Montana Refining LLC. Joe has been at Calumet since 2017.  He started after a 2015 expansion project to help finalize compliance and environmental program deliverables to the refinery. As the Environmental Manager, Joe manages the air, waste, water, and general environmental issues for the refinery.
 

Refinery Challenges

As a result of the 2015 refinery expansion project, the facility struggled with monitoring compliance. The two main issues Calumet experienced were:

  1. Data collection and management under complex regulatory requirements.
  2. Lack of configurability of emissions data with the distributed control system (DCS) and historian.


Refinery Challenge #1: Data Collection and Management Complex Regulatory Requirements

For Joe, the most prominent issue with CEMS data management was Flare Compliance under the Refinery Sector Rule (RSR).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 40 CFR Part 63 Subpart CC (MACT CC) requirements via the Refinery Sector Rule (RSR) mandates refineries make flare minimization a priority. RSR requires active monitoring and immediate response to maintain minimum efficiencies, on average quadrupling the amount of required data to be collected and reported. Making the necessary monitoring improvements to comply with RSR is operation, employee and data-intensive.

“The most significant challenges for my job are communicating and implementing environmental requirements for others clearly and efficiently. Many of the regulatory requirements we deal with are not clear implementations, and we have to provide that clarity of direction to the facility.”

“The most significant challenges for my job are communicating and implementing environmental requirements for others clearly and efficiently. Many of the regulatory requirements we deal with are not clear implementations, and we have to provide that clarity of direction to the facility.”



Prior to the RSR requirements, Calumet most successfully managed the Benzene fence line, tank compliance, and maintenance venting elements with a spreadsheet. But the RSR’s flare system control vision creates a complex interaction between monitoring and controls. The lack of transparency created communication limitations between different refinery personnel groups. Calumet needed a more efficient way to monitor and organize data that maximized communication and transparency.


Refinery Challenge #2: Lack of Configurability of Emissions Data

One of Calumet’s greatest challenges with their previous system was the lack of configurability of emissions data. Their old eDAS was behind the DCS firewall, meaning it was challenging to modify. It required a person to be onsite to modify black box system – there was no way to see the environmental calculations remotely. Additionally, all system changes required the help of a process engineer to resolve the issue due to management of change (MOC) and process safety management (PSM)challenges.

This lack of efficient data configuration left Calumet eager for a better-suited system for their compliance monitoring and reporting needs.
 

Why Did Calumet Choose StackVision For Air Compliance Monitoring?

Joe heard about ESC Spectrum from an associated vendor conference he attended when Calumet was selecting Mass Spectrometers. At the time, he was reviewing three or four different solutions – manual Excel spreadsheets, a homegrown DCS/Historian, or updating the existing eDAS system -- when he finally selected the StackVision DAS.
 
ESC Spectrum’s StackVision is leading-edge data acquisition software that offers insights into emissions and compliance that other software solutions simply cannot. StackVision is the most widely used DAS software across the U.S., with more than 3,100 air emission sources in the petrochemical, refining, electric power generation, steel, and pulp and paper industries relying on it for monitoring and reporting. StackVision:  
  

  • Meets the monitoring and reporting requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state regulators.  

  • Is specifically designed to meet the needs of air continuous monitoring compliance.  

  • Is user-driven and has an innovative and configurable design that keeps you on top of your compliance status and tends with a real-time set of tools and displays. 

  • Is in constant development to stay up to date with the ever-changing regulatory realm. 

 

How Did StackVision Help the Refinery Face Their Challenges?

Since implementing StackVision, the refinery has seen many improvements, including:  

  1. Transparency to Refinery Personnel

  2. Change Management & Integration with DCS

 

StackVision Benefit #1: Transparency to Refinery Personnel

Since implementing StackVision, Calumet’s refinery operations, process control, and process engineers can now see the compliance calculation for specific regulations in real-time – something that was never available to them before.

“A user can see the architecture of the system design; it is just user desire and willingness to learn.  This is a nice contrast from the black box systems.”

Access to the emissions data and calculations that were once limited to physical computers, flash drives, and the people who owned them is now held on the StackVision server. StackVision has empowered Calumet to track where information and signals are being rooted, eliminating the communication limitations that once existed between the refinery personnel. With StackVision, complying with even the most complicated regulations – like the Refinery Sector Rule – is a breeze.

“A user can see the architecture of the system design; it is just user desire and willingness to learn.  This is a nice contrast from the black box systems.”

StackVision Benefit #2: Change Management and Integration with DCS

“Automation behind our decision-making is the best element of the system.  It really forced us to review the compliance method and decision-making around error or valid data handling to have a conscious policy to apply.  It also allows us to not revisit the same issues over and over every time a minor disruption in data quality or events make a question arise.”


StackVision’s configurability and ease of use are some of the most significant benefits Calumet has recognized. Environmental professionals at the refinery can directly makes changes and configurations to the system. With StackVision’s remote access and cloud-based server, refinery personnel and even outside consultants can view and make changes anytime, anywhere. The ease of access and customization of StackVision leads to quicker problem solving and more efficient monitoring and reporting.

“Automation behind our decision-making is the best element of the system.  It really forced us to review the compliance method and decision-making around error or valid data handling to have a conscious policy to apply.  It also allows us to not revisit the same issues over and over every time a minor disruption in data quality or events make a question arise.”
 
StackVision’s configurability also allows it to integrate with the refinery’s DCS. Joe explained that Calumet integrated StackVision with the DCS so there is a two-way flow of information: StackVision does the QA/QC of the emissions data, and then validated data and information is alarmed in the DCS.


What are Calumet’s Suggestions for a Smooth StackVision Implementation?

After Calumet’s experience installing StackVision, Joe shared some insight on how to ensure a successful implementation:

  • Have an obvious pathway for a compliance calculation to be established/reviewed before handing any work to developers from Stackvision and your DCS/Historian groups -- mistakes here lead to costly and timely rework.

  • Involve key stakeholders in the design process – including I&E technicians.

  • Create a facility data transfer map to formally outline how to route signals between PLCs/servers/instruments.

  • Have a personnel training plan and prepare to repeat explanations and directions over and over – patience is key.

 

Would Calumet Recommend StackVision to Other Refineries?

Thanks to StackVision, Calumet can now efficiently and effectively monitor emissions data for air compliance.

“I would recommend the product to any facility looking to manage a CEMs system. Elements that I like about Stackvision are the transparency, ease of change management, and the solid support from ESC Spectrum. Changes done in a week of request should be industry standard and have been with ESC Spectrum.”

“I would recommend the product to any facility looking to manage a CEMs system. Elements that I like about Stackvision are the transparency, ease of change management, and the solid support from ESC Spectrum. Changes done in a week of request should be industry standard and have been with ESC Spectrum.”


StackVision is in constant development and backed by ESC Spectrum’s premier 24/7/365 Support team. Have questions about how StackVision can help your facility? Contact us to see how we can help you.

    Published: 7/23/2021 1:00:42 PM

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