Solution Line Manager, Siemens Energy d.o.o.
Davor Rubinic is Solution Line Manager in Siemens Energy Headquarters responsible for Oil&Gas Storage, Tank Terminals, LNG and Refinery solutions in Industrial Applications division. He studied Radiocommunications on Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) and after graduate Master degree of IT Management on Faculty of Economics and Business on University of Zagreb. He has 20 years of experience as automation and electrical engineer, Terminal Management System designer, project manager and sales manager in Oil&Gas and other Industrial Applications. His responsibilities are R&D, business and opportunity development, global strategy, regional sales development, marketing and global sales support in area of electrification, automation and digitalization.
LECTURE: Digitalization Trends and Solutions for Tank Terminals
Stakeholders across the Tank Terminal industry are facing increased pressure to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency, and ensure profitably in a future defined by market volatility. In recent years, as the speed and complexity of transfer logistics has increased, so too has the need for optimized product transfer and asset utilization. These requirements, coupled with growing health, safety, and environmental (HSE) demands, are incentivizing bulk storage and terminal operators to transform traditional processes using automation and digitalization. The implementation of an open and flexible terminal management system (TMS) is an essential step on the way to making that a reality.
The TMS enables monitoring, control, and management of the entire product handling process via operational workflows. This includes scheduling, planning, queue management, and access control of ships, trucks, or railcars, loading and unloading control, quantity archiving and reporting, safety inspection sealing, weighing, metering, balancing, reconciliation, etc. All these activities can be monitored and managed from a single user-interface (onsite or remotely), giving operators complete transparency and control over their terminal infrastructure and associated processes.
Seamless integration with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools (ISA 95 – Level 4) and operational systems (ISA 95 – Level 2) is another preferred characteristic. The latter includes supervisory, control and data acquisition (SCADA) and distributed control systems (DCS), tank gauging systems, metering devices, etc. Integration with third-party software applications is also essential, as it is a prerequisite for leveraging digitalization to its fullest potential and “future-proofing” the TMS as new technological solutions are developed and commercialized. The TMS provides fully automatic plant workflow control for critical processes and field devices, such as preset controllers, Driver Interface Devices (DIDs), metering, and other instruments, which are at the heart of any terminal facility. The ultimate objective is to visualize all data so that personnel can make decisions based on an accurate, up-to-the-minute picture of their facility. The TMS can also be integrated with select smart wearable products, such as HoloLens.
The implementation of a TMS also has implications when it comes to leveraging digitalization to optimize terminal performance. By collecting data and information related to all product transfer activities and integrating it in a single-source-of-truth environment, operators can build a digital twin of their terminal.
The digital twin mirrors the performance and condition of the terminal in near real-time and supports optimization by enabling predictive maintenance and complex simulations in a virtual (risk-free) environment. Within the digital twin, an artificial intelligence (AI) can be used for making decisions aimed at continuously enhancing facility performance.
With the digital twin, terminal operators can transform data into actionable insight that can be used to drive efficiency improvements – for example, by exploring potential scenarios for improving bay utilization and reducing waiting times. Additionally, the digital twin can be used to predict potential problems before they impact terminal performance. Service on equipment, such as metering devices, can be conducted based on the predicted future condition rather than a predefined schedule. This ultimately allows for maintenance activities to be more effectively planned – ideally during periods of low terminal activity so that there is minimal disruption to service and associated revenue.
All the above-described capabilities are relevant for terminals in operation; however, the digital twin concept can also be used to aid in the design of greenfield facilities by validating the expected efficiency and/or throughput of a design before the plant is physically built.