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North American refinery implements DuPont operator training simulator

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,


A refinery in North America commissioned and installed a high fidelity STRATCO® operator training simulator (OTS) for two sulfuric acid alkylation units. This OTS was specifically developed and fully customised by DuPont Clean Technologies (DuPont) over a seven month period. It encompasses the entire refinery alkylation operation from feed preparation to product storage.

The benefit of an operator training simulator is that it allows the alkylation plant operator to safely practice plant shutdowns and startups, hone responses to potential emergencies and improve troubleshooting skills for instrument and equipment failures in a realistic yet consequence free environment.

Dave Dericotte, Business Segment Leader, OTS, DuPont Clean Technologies, explains how DuPont customised the OTS even further, “As we develop and build the operator training simulators to specification, we have the flexibility to incorporate and adapt the elements that our customers want. At this customer’s request, for example, we expanded the instructor suite of tools by adding more failure modes and adding the ability for the instructor to adjust the speed and difficulty of the failure. This helps the instructor keep each training session fresh and forces the students to learn and develop troubleshooting strategies as opposed to simply memorizing and subsequently applying rigid responses that could have disastrous consequences. We consider our customers as long term partners and work to ensure that both the students and the instructor are equipped to achieve their individual, team and company goals with our OTS.”

DuPont does not just supply the OTS, but also offers instruction and training that leverage the OTS platform as well as STRATCO® alkylation technology expertise. At the time of product delivery, DuPont included one full week of OTS-enhanced operator training for a class of 12 operators and engineers. The experience level of students in the class ranged from a couple of months to more than a decade in the unit. Inexperienced students were paired with expert operators and engineers to help facilitate the knowledge transfer.

Both refinery and DuPont instructors led the class to leverage the best knowledge from both groups. Students used the OTS to practice emergency response skills for such scenarios as power failure, aromatics in the feed and acid runaway. The students also performed a full startup in this time frame. By adjusting the speed of the simulator, users could experience a full plant startup from turnaround in less than 16 hours of class time.

Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/refining/18112016/north-american-refinery-implements-dupont-operator-training-simulator/


 

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