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You Can’t Afford Not to Have an AML – Analyzer Maintenance Management System

The oil and gas, refining, gas processing, LNG and petrochemical downstream industry is in the middle of a major workforce shift, what some are calling “the great crew change.” As companies are bringing in the next generation of young, tech-savvy technicians, there is growing business pressure to do more with fewer resources. And to further complicate matters, the retirement/layoff of many experienced technicians means a huge amount of their accumulated knowledge from so many years in the field is walking out the door. This scenario places more importance on modernizing equipment for increased efficiency, without sacrificing accuracy.

Old versus new measurement tools
This is especially true when it comes to analyzer equipment used for refining, gas processing, LNG and petrochemical downstream data collection. The previous, experienced technicians were used to gathering and interpreting data from old-fashioned analyzers via manual methods (i.e., handwritten notes). While there was room for human error, a depth of understanding went a long way in getting the job done and in a timely manner. But, what about the reliability of the data? Well, companies just lived with a certain amount of uncertainty. Recent demands of complex well production environments, however, call for higher accuracy to manage costs and mitigate risk.

Today, more expensive and technologically advanced analyzers are being purchased; therefore, measurements are definitely more precise. On the other hand, this newer equipment is also more fragile and sensitive, requiring extra care and attention. That’s where HINT’s AML Analyzer Maintenance and Management System comes into play, as it monitors, controls, and validates the analyzer’s activity and operability; thus, protecting your equipment investment.

Enterprisewide efficiency with AML
AML saves time, resources, and money across the entire organization—from Operations, to Maintenance, to Management.

  1. From an Operations perspective, AML helps enables operators to virtually see what’s happening in the field from their handheld device or computer screen, without actually being there! This eliminates the daily visits to physically read each and every analyzer. They can also be more confident in the data collected, since values are taken directly from the analyzers, with less need for routine sampling and less errors (many of the errors used to come from sample handling systems, themselves, which did not have a lot of built-in intelligence).
  2. From a Maintenance perspective, AML helps maintenance staff diagnose problems remotely (such as a dirty filter) via programmed alarms that detect errors and identify the specific analyzer/location needing attention. The remote monitoring feature is used to ascertain from onscreen displays if values are within specified limits and, in some cases, a change can even be made remotely. And if not, a technician can then be dispatched to handle that particular situation.
  3. From a Management perspective, AML helps managers make business-critical decisions quickly and confidently based on the most accurate data possible. All sorts of measurement-related information (analyzer manufacturers, technician skills, etc.) can be evaluated and compared—at not just the individual plant level, but on a wider enterprise level. The system also calculates and stores in its historian database the reasons for issues occurring, tracking errors in human interpretation versus analyzer errors. This enables you to take the necessary corrective actions, like fine-tuning/replacement of faulty equipment and customized training of employees in the areas needed most to improve performance.

In summary, with the ever-increasing technology changes, the challenges of next generation workers, and the need for high-quality decision making, you simply cannot afford to be without AML. It literally impacts all level of the organization, providing the data insights required to make well-informed decisions, everyday!

Wout Last

HINT is the leader in AMADAS technology innovation. The company recently expanded the team in Houston, Texas with the goal of making more accurate measurement a reality for oil and gas, petrochemical, and potentially medical industries. The expertise of our specialized consultants comes from vast experience working with end users and having also worked as engineers in the field of flow measurement.