Edge Computing in Midstream Oil & Gas
How Stratus Edge Computing eliminated downtime and enabled depot-wide visibility with Loginet’s Next-Gen Terminal Automation Solution at Petra Srl
- Automate terminal operations to improve accuracy, ensure security, maximize safety, and gain efficiency processing 13 tanker lanes
- Manage 35 tanks for oil-product storage, with approximately 5,000 tons of product shipped daily and more than 1.3 million tons of product shipped since the beginning of 2021
- Increase automation to improve accuracy, safety and depot efficiency, and reduce cost
- Operational visibility for analysis, alerting, and improvement
- Loginet Nuovo Petrol Terminal Automation System
- Loginet IBIS LT2 Badge Reader
- Loginet GraL Terminal
- Stratus ztC Edge in paired fault tolerant configuration
- Reduced filling time from 30 minutes to 20 minutes
- Connected real-time operations to ERP and customs reporting
- Enabled depot-wide visibility into operations by unifying systems and ensuring data capture with Edge Computing
- Zero unplanned downtime terminal automation system for 10 years using Stratus Edge Computing platforms
One of Italy’s largest petroleum services companies, Petra Srl, owns and operates one of the country’s largest oil depots, handling millions of liters of oil and gasoline and loading hundreds of trucks each day. To enable efficiency and accuracy for depot operations, Petra runs Nuovo Petrol, a next-generation terminal automation solution from Loginet, a Milan, Italy-based system integrator with 25 years of expertise in the design and implementation of sophisticated industrial automation systems for handling distribution of petroleum products.
Stratus Edge Computing enables Loginet to deliver a comprehensive terminal automation solution that automates depot operations, connects transaction data to ERP systems, manages shipping requests, and tracks customs information, all running on a single compute platform backed by fault tolerance. Through the Loginet solution with Stratus Edge Computing, Petra has automated manual processes and integrated disparate terminal systems to reduce risk, enable real-time data, and centralize visibility on operations. As a result, the company reduced depot load times by 33%, reducing the thirty (30) minutes process to twenty (20) minutes, and experienced zero downtime in a decade using Stratus Edge Computing.
Advanced Terminal Automation and Logistics with Loginet Nuovo Petrol
For more than 10 years, Petra has relied on Nuovo Petrol, Loginet’s flagship terminal automation platform, to streamline and automate depot operations. The Nuovo Petrol solution controls and monitors all terminal procedures and processes – from access control and weigh stations to deliveries in the bays, and paperwork issuances. The solution combines a range of hardware devices such as cameras, badge readers, weigh stations, meters, and flow computers, along with highly customized software to optimize people, vehicles, equipment, and petroleum products across the multi-acre campus.
To deliver the highest level of reliability, Loginet runs its application on the Stratus ztC Edge Computing platform to ensure data capture and processing for Petra’s critical processes.
Prior to deploying the Nuovo Petrol solution, Petra relied on a number of manual processes that were prone to human error. The sequence for trucks to enter, load, process, and exit the terminals consisted of several disconnected processes that prevented efficiency and visibility into overall terminal operations.
Following implementation, Petra was able to automate processes through the Nuovo Petrol software to coordinate and control the activities across the depot using intelligent networked devices, from video terminals to printers and equipment valves. Specific processes that software supervises include load reservations, entry/exit control, call-to-load, management of aisle load, and weight control, and runs underlying logic to verify the correctness of the sequences of various operations, records, and reports. If discrepancies or lapses are detected, the system issues related alarms to operators. All data from terminal operations are tied into Petra’s CRM server to instantly generate all necessary financial and travel-safety documents to meet legal requirements and compliance.
Terminal Automation Software, Orders, and Customs Combined on Stratus ztC Edge
To ensure reliability for the complex terminal automation system, Loginet runs the Nuovo Petrol solution on the Stratus ztC Edge compute platform in a paired configuration for fault tolerance. The ztC Edge is a secure, rugged, and highly automated compact server that offers built-in virtualization, simplified security, OT manageability, automated protection, and easy field serviceability. In addition, it is purpose built and ideally suited for rugged environments with a UL Class 1 Div 2 certification and IP40 rating.
Loginet utilizes ztC Edge’s built-in virtualization to efficiently run multiple software applications in a single unit backed by fault tolerance.
“For Petra’s installation, we configured the Stratus server to run with multiple virtual machines,” explained Leonardo D’Alimonte, CEO at Loginet. “First, we set up a virtual machine to run a Microsoft Windows server and configured it with all the software necessary to enable Petra to run the main Nuovo Petrol application. Then we were able to deploy a Petra work portal for them to submit shipment requests. And finally, we have a Windows server hosting a real-time web service to generate all the official documents that are needed before drivers even exit the depot.”
Realtime Visibility on Terminal Operations and No Downtime
Loginet’s Nuovo Petrol solution unified systems to enable data collection across the depot. Data from badge readers as well as field instrumentation is sent to Nuovo Petrol on the Stratus ztC Edge. The edge platform also receives data from 60 electronic computing heads across the 13 tanker lanes. As a result, Petra is able to operate a dashboard with data acquired from the Nuovo Petrol database to produce analytical diagrams and statistics. The data is also presented to provide operational visibility for depot administration. The result is a real-time panoramic view from the control center of what’s going on inside the depots. From a monitor, operators can control and supervise all the operations from deliveries to the exit and entrance gate.
Gianluigi Campisano, Automation Engineer at Loginet explains, “Operators are able to see how a loading bay is working, analyzing the duration of each delivery, if a pump is working correctly, or if a valve is closing in time, or if a temperature probe is measuring the right values. So, by acquiring this data we can manage and analyze this data.”
“With this new system, they are able to significantly reduce human error – and create a safer environment less prone to accident or unplanned operation because the system itself controls procedures step by step.”
Petra’s Streamlined Depot
As a long-term user of the Nuovo Petrol terminal automation platform, Petra has dramatically improved throughput in its terminals. “Before implementation, when Petra relied on manual processes in its terminal, it took up to 30 minutes for a vehicle to complete its loading process from entry to exit,” said D’Alimonte. “Now, that same process averages about 20 minutes. That not only enables them to load more trucks, but also ensures an error free proven process.”
What’s more, the Stratus ztC Edge platform provides the next generation in uptime and availability. “Petra hasn’t had an unplanned outage in more than 10 years,” said Gianluigi Campisano, automation engineer at Loginet. “They’ve never experienced any business disruption with Stratus as their foundation. When our customers need that extreme level of reliability, we will continue to rely on Stratus for continuous computing.”