By Rebecca Murtagh, Imubit VP of Marketing
Recently, some of the world’s largest refiners and petrochemical producers gathered in Houston to discuss the latest advancements in AI process optimization. Engineers and executives from Chevron, HF Sinclair, Big West Oil, CVR Energy, and others shared real-world results of using the Imubit Optimizing Brain™ approach to achieve a 15-30% reduction in energy usage and 1-3% in yield improvement and reach transformative levels of team collaboration.
As our CEO Gil Cohen said early in the day, “Talk of AI is everywhere, but in the energy industry, a lot of what’s being called AI is simply a re-spin of traditional linear process optimization.”
The day focused on how true AI can deliver the critical transformation plants need. It starts by understanding the plant in a completely new, nonlinear way, harnessing AI as the optimizing brain of the plant and enabling it to directly control the plant using data – not theory or opinions.
See what attendees had to say about it here.
In the opening workshop, ‘1st Principles and AI,’ Imbuit Product Team Lead Aaron Durke presented a deep dive on how Imubit incorporates first principles into our Deep Learning Process Control models without destroying the value potential of the plant’s actual data, a key difference from traditional models. Later, Imubit Chief Scientist Nadan Cohen extended the learnings in his session ‘From 1st Principles to End-to-End Neural Networks in Reinforcement Learning,’ documenting and explaining the journey of advancement.
An optimizing brain for your plant
CEO Gil Cohen took the group through the full concept of Imubit’s optimizing brain approach, showing how we take data from all of a plant’s different disciplines at once – planning, economics, process engineering, scheduling, process control, and operations, to build a single model of plant reality, optimizing not only plant processes but the way those disciplines – people – collaborate. The model is bound by first principles trained using Deep Reinforcement Learning and is completely cyber-secure. It is also transparent, so engineers and operators can see and learn the decision-making process of the plant’s optimizing brain approach to AI process control and the decisions it wants to make.
Real-world results and learnings
Moving the conversation from concept to application, HF Sinclair Engineering Specialist Kevin Daines presented ‘Implementing Sustainable Change,’ sharing his plant’s success achieved with the Imubit platform. A ‘Best Practices’ panel with Chevron’s Stephen Hunter, CVR Energy’s Sterling Vance, and Big West Oil’s Travis LeGrande was a valuable format for sharing learnings and experiences. It covered ground from practical tips like helping operators in the control room visualize decision-making, to learnings from past mistakes (not getting operators, engineering, and field personnel involved early), to operational learnings, like how one plant moved from pilots to programs, and how another optimized the diesel pool with the Imubit platform.
Dare to duel the AI
Attendees had a chance to test their skills against Imubit’s Closed Loop Neural Network simulator, either alone or in teams (spoiler alert: the AI remains undefeated). After trying it out, Oxbow Director of Process Improvement Sanjiv Dhanjal said, “I was really impressed. We could adjust multiple variables and control a process we knew nothing about within five minutes. This can be used to explore changes we think may be good, verify them, and get insights into our process that we couldn’t do without costly trial-and-error exercises.”
Controls Engineer Technology Eric Riley of CVR Energy summarized his thoughts on Tech Day. “There was a lot of value in seeing the direction of the AI concept and different areas we can use the technology. The potential for where we can go with Imubit is inspiring.”
Hearing Imubit customers representing companies from some of the industry’s most recognized names share these real-world results at the conference was extremely rewarding. Their examples are just a glimpse of the digital transformation that’s taking place. To discover more stories about refiners optimizing collaboration across plants to achieve operational excellence, watch more Tech Day videos here.