It’s Not Just Your Unit

A lot has been written about the need for better Console Operator Training. With today’s units and plants being integrated and interconnected, console operators need to know and understand more than their own unit—and more than ever before, they need to know and understand the big picture.

    not your unit

  • An upset at an Olefins unit in one plant disrupts the hydrogen supply at a refinery 20 miles away
  • A refinery in Texas loses an LPG treater and a pipeline controller in Oklahoma gets a low flow alarm

We work in a highly integrated operating environment where upsets in one unit, not only affect others in the same plant, but may impact downstream plants and customers miles away. The need to know, understand, and control your unit has never been as important as it is now. A console operator that is proactive, instead of reactive, can save their company and its customers millions of dollars. But it’s not just making moves and silencing alarms; it’s about understanding those moves and their larger impact.

Seeing a valve going open, but the flow staying the same, indicates that something is happening that needs attention. If it is missed, and the valve goes 100% open, the flow cannot be controlled any longer. Having the right knowledge and skills is the difference between identifying an issue and fixing the problem, versus losing the unit and affecting a plant downstream. If your unit goes down, it could be hours, if not days, before every unit downstream gets back to running on-spec.

A good console operator knows their unit. A great console operator knows more than their unit, they understand the impact their actions have on downstream customers, and proactively control situations before they become an upset.

We don’t tell you how to run your units better, we train your team to be more effective operators. We work with your console operators to increase their knowledge and skills, to use their tools and resources to recognize and control situations before they cost you and your customers money.

Written by: Gary Sproull, 37 years as an operator in the petrochemical industry

Interested in ways that Systran can help take your operators from good to great? Visit our Operations and Training Simulator Center page to learn more.