8 Benefits of Automating Plant Labor Operations Management

Plants need to operate efficiently and reliably while still maintaining the highest safety standards. A digital platform, specifically automation powered by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), enables the instant exchange of information and data that can streamline your refinery operations. 

Automation can monitor and manage various operations simultaneously and improve the entire process from start to finish. We’ll discuss the benefits of adopting an IIoT platform for streamlined and efficient operations management.

1. Improve Equipment Utilization

With automated data collection, managers are able to view and assess worksite operations in real time. The moment operators are aware of a bottleneck, or machinery break down, management can receive alerts. This allows leaders to make decisions within minutes of a breakdown, and quickly make repairs and changes to minimize downtime. An effective IIoT platform can also enable your workers and contractors to properly maintain equipment, preventing or reducing potential breakdowns.

Improving equipment utilization begins with an automated digital software system that monitors the performance of each piece of machinery. Software can calculate utilization rates with greater accuracy than manual methods. Implementing IIoT solutions means accessing real-time data, quickly uncovering the reasons for any downtime or potential downtime, and providing instant notifications to all necessary workers and operators.

Specific examples of using IIoT software to improve equipment utilization include using data analytics tools to improve equipment rental levels. Often sites rent a large amount of equipment, based on historical knowledge without data to substantiate how much of it was utilized. Triax Technologies provides an automated IIoT platform that can bring all these data points together seamlessly. You can then have this information sent directly to operators to right-size the levels needed, thereby improving refinery operation management.

2. Increase Worksite Visibility

An IIoT solution can leverage advanced automation to provide greater worksite visibility for both on-site and off-site management. By adopting an IIoT platform, managers gain full visibility into all day-to-day operations, bottlenecks, and risks happening across worksites. 

An IIoT platform such as Spot-r offers an integrated software solution that combines automation, wearable safety devices, and AI-driven camera technology to give managers complete worksite visibility. 

With Spot-r, workers wear a safety device while on a jobsite, and the data collected from this device such as location data, equipment downtime, and injured workers is available in one easy-to-use, centralized dashboard. Within this dashboard, managers can view all worker and equipment data at a glance, create custom reports, and set customizable KPIs. With greater worksite visibility and aggregated data, managers are empowered to make informed and intelligent decisions that will help improve productivity and efficiency in refineries.

3. Deliver Greater Scalability

When workloads increase or change, you need IIoT solutions that adapt along with your current needs. When you ramp up production at a moment’s notice, your refinery operation management team can depend on the Triax platform to make informed decisions on how to adjust your production levels. 

Having the ability to just collect more data is not enough — you’ll want an IIoT platform that can provide data in the following ways:

  • We provide data analytics and reporting solutions that will assist your operations team so they can easily monitor and manage changes in your production needs.
  • Our IIoT software is formatted to provide actionable data that is tangible to making specific improvements.
  • Using this software will enable your operations team to align your IIoT solutions with your unique business strategies.

4. Raise Worker Productivity

Implementing effective IoT solutions can have an enormous effect on worker productivity. Using a digital dashboard, your management team can monitor worker productivity in real-time. You can collect data regarding the location and amount of time each worker spends at a site. Automation can bring together hundreds of data points you can access from any device. Your refinery operation management team can use automated processes that can improve labor productivity in the following ways:

  • Provide Workers with the time on tool metrics
  • Manage Workers Certifications and Profiles
  • Monitor Workers by Type, Group, and Zone

Your refinery operation management team will not only enjoy greater labor productivity, but the IIoT software can indirectly improve overall productivity by automating several processes, including the following:

  • Monitoring each Blend Order, for Better Control of Flow Ratios and Recipes
  • Managing Each Sequence to Efficiently Produce Batches of a Product
  • Tracking all Process Feeds and Blending
  • Tracking Product Receipt and Storage
  • Monitoring Tank Transfers
  • Monitoring Component Product Storage
  • Monitoring Final Products Loading on Trucks, Ships, and Pipeline

5. Improve Worker Safety

When an accident occurs, the best automation systems will alert your management team immediately. Emergency management software can also trigger a protocol system that will start automatically. Wearable devices are an example that are extremely effective in preventing workplace accidents. Wearables can instantly assess a worker’s movements and send alerts through vibration if the movements such as an overreach or a bend are unsafe. Connected workers can improve safety throughout the worksite.

Emergency management software can enable workers to directly report any injuries. It can also detect worker falls, sound an evacuation alarm if an emergency were to occur, and improve emergency response time by identifying the location of a zone-based worker. Your company needs automated digital refinery solutions that can improve the safety of all workers, whether on or offsite.

We also offer automated refinery operations management solutions for lone workers. The Spot-r Clip ® is a small yet rugged device that can monitor a worker’s location. It can even detect if an individual worker has fallen and notify management to send help immediately.

6. Increase Worksite Security

Whether it’s physical or digital security, the right software can reduce risks and improve refinery safety. A cyberattack has the ability to threaten safety, destroy a company’s reputation, and shut down your operations indefinitely. Digital refinery solutions that include automation and the right software can help reduce dramatically the chance you’ll experience a cyberattack or any type of malfunction.

With IIoT software, you have the ability to automate several security processes digitally. Physical security improvements using automation might include the use of recording devices or in-field monitoring devices. These devices provide quick access control, immediate incident response times, and notifications sent to all appropriate personnel.

  • Perimeter Surveillance: Your refinery operation management team can use recording devices for perimeter surveillance of specific worksites.
  • Manage Each Site: Spot-r solutions can provide your team with access control that includes a high level of accountability for anyone entering your site.
  • Identify Threats: Recording devices can identify threats both physically and digitally much quicker than manual security methods. Automated recording devices strategically placed on a worksite can continuously monitor people, equipment, and events 24/7.
  • Improve Response Times: Responding to and remediating a security breach needs to be accomplished as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. Automated security tools can access and repair damage quickly.

7. Manage Site Turnarounds

Site turnarounds (TAR) in the oil and gas industry can take anywhere from a few weeks to years. Whether you’re overseeing a turnaround or a shutdown, restarting operations as smoothly and quickly as possible is crucial. Implementing an all-in-one automation, real-time monitoring, and data analytics solution can make the difference between an efficient or a chaotic turnaround. 

Automating refinery operations can improve each of the following areas involved in a turnaround:

  • Evaluating Risks Before Each Turnaround or Shutdown
  • Organizing Equipment Destination and Sequencing
  • Monitoring Equipment During Movement
  • Providing Information Regarding Maintenance and Upgrades of Equipment
  • Safely Starting Up Every Unit
  • Providing Data for Evaluating Each Turnaround or Shutdown
  • Improving Consistency of Turnarounds on Multiple Sites

8. Reduce Operating Costs

All of the above benefits can help reduce costs and improve refinery operations management. Another example is how automation can reduce waste during processing. Automation can limit excess processing, defects in processing, and time that is often lost during manual production. Implementing lean manufacturing principles through automation can reduce costs.

Increased labor productivity that ultimately leads to reduced costs, will also increase when many redundant tasks are completed through an automated process. For example, condition checking of various systems and processes is time-consuming. Automated IIoT software can perform many of these checking tasks. The software is also less prone to error than their human counterparts.

Triax Technologies Provides IIoT Solutions for Refineries

Refinery technology and solutions

You need a technology company that can effectively and seamlessly automate your operations. Whether it’s worker productivity, equipment utilization, or emergency management, Triax Technologies can provide you with cutting-edge automation to improve operational performance.

Our AI-powered IoT solution, Spot-r, provides real-time monitoring, detailed data collection, and automation so your organization can dramatically improve refinery operation management. Our Spot-r platform includes an integrated suite of tools that include software, safety wearables, and hardware, to capture data from worksites, employees, and equipment in real time. With Spot-r, your organization benefits from increased worker productivity, improved worker safety, and long-term cost savings for your organization.

Triax Technologies has the experience and expertise to provide you with the refinery technology your organization needs to succeed. Book a demo of our Spot-r platform and see for yourself how Spot-r helps refineries dramatically improve labor productivity and total worksite visibility.

8 Benefits of Automating Plant Labor Operations Management