Centrally Monitoring MPC’s Terminals
Not long ago, if a transport driver picking up a load at one of Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC’s) more than 70 product terminals had a problem, it fell to the local operator to solve it. Today, MPC's Terminal Transport & Rail (TT&R’s) new Central Monitoring Desk – part of TT&R’s vision for the “Terminal of the Future” – is a new and growing process designed to centrally monitor many of the functions that take place at a terminal.
“Since our terminals are 24-7 operations, that often meant that our operation technicians were on call all the time,” explains Dayna Reid, supervisor for TT&R’s Central Monitoring Desk. “Now, the central monitoring desk analysts can remotely handle many of the functions that the operations technicians used to have to do themselves. That really frees them up for other work and also means fewer trips to the terminal when they are on call.”
Central Monitoring Desk analysts can see the same screens that local operators see. While the analysts cannot initiate start or stop functions, they can solve many problems through the use of the Terminal Automation system and data in PI Process Book. Some of the data being monitored includes the alarm log, flow rates and meter status. Loading lane cameras and phones connected to the Central Monitoring Desk also help solve a number of communication problems.
A pilot project at the Nashville terminal in March 2015 kicked off this central monitoring program. To date, 19 terminals are online, monitored 24-7 by a total of 10 analysts working 12-hour shifts. Reid says the hope is to have all TT&R terminals on the system by the end of 2017.
“The creation of the Central Monitoring Desk is another great example of continuous improvement,” she adds. “Not only does it assist local operations technicians, it helps with process information and also reduces risks associated with product quality.”