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Benefits / ROI of Data Reconciliation

What are the benefits of Data Reconciliation (DR)?
logo bug Find your true loss
logo bug Identify and eliminate sources of apparent loss or gain
logo bug Know your true production and consumption, by unit and by product
logo bug Find misbehaving instrumentation
logo bug Provide repeatability and time savings in performing daily mass balance. You don’t want different results on days when your usual personnel happen to be on vacation!
logo bug Balance the whole plant in under an hour per day
logo bug Calculate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with more accuracy
logo bug Select feedstocks according to true process behavior

What is the ROI?
The quantifiable benefits realized by a client of Inlibra as a direct result of implementing Data Reconciliation are:

Reducing Product 1 losses from 1.5% to 0.8%
Reducing Product 2 losses from 0.5% to 0.25%
Reducing Natural gas losses from 4% to 2%
Increasing Plant 1 production by 0.3%
Increasing Plant 2 production by 0.4%
Engineer Time saving reduced from 3 to 1.5 man-years

In addition, qualitative (non-financial but also important) benefits included:
logo bug Increased confidence in mass balances and production numbers
logo bug Eliminating or Minimizing human errors
logo bug Energy savings
logo bug Find additional sources of error
logo bug  Safety and environmental benefits
logo bug Consistency of actions and data interpretation
logo bug Reduced process unit maintenance through early detection of
instrumentation problems.
The Financial analysis shows a payback time on the order of a few months.

Why should I implement DR?
logo bug As described above, the ROI from DR implementation is high and the payback time is on the order of a few months.
logo bug All meters have error. When trying to balance a process unit, which meter should you trust? Don’t just trust the last meter in a series, or the one most often proved. Base your trust on facts.
logo bug Can you manually reconcile the inputs and outputs to one process unit with the streams elsewhere in the plant? Without programmatic assistance, this task quickly becomes unmanageable in the manual or spreadsheet form.
logo bug If you currently balance your process units manually, are the results of this balance used for reporting and feeding to the financial system? Why not? Using a DR software tool provides a consistent daily calculation that is able to be trusted and can be reported upward.
logo bug How do you know which instruments are working? Which ones are completely broken? A good DR software tool will direct your attention to the instrumentation that needs attention.

How is DR used?
The following is an excerpt from our white paper, “What is Data Reconciliation?”

Data Reconciliation (DR) is usually defined as a system to resolve inconsistencies between plant measurements and mass balances (and other balances such as energy or component) throughout the plant. Please see the PDF of the entire document: What is Data Reconciliation? >

Data Reconciliation is usually used in the following five ways:
1) To provide accurate information to monitor and optimize the operation of process units.  For example DR is used to obtain accurate product yield information to determine product and feed stock values.  In this model, DR is used as a preprocessor of flow data for process planning, analysis and optimization.  Before a rigorous on-line model is used to optimize a process, typically the flow data is reconciled.
2) DR helps to identify sources and magnitudes of losses.  These could be:
logo bug Flaring or venting losses
logo bug Leaks
logo bug Erroneous feed meters
logo bug An open slip-stream or bleed-stream that is thought to be closed
3) Using DR on a regular basis (daily) can typically reduce the weight percent of losses from 0.75 +/- 0.5% to 0.3 +/- 0.1%. This is especially important for plants with multiple owners and where the product are distributed to the various owners.
4) Using DR helps prioritize instrument maintenance.  (Helps to answer the question, “Which flow meter should I calibrate next?”).
5) Using DR provides economic justification and shows optimal locations for instruments.

What makes a successful DR implementation?
The key ingredients for success are:
logo bug Involvement of key plant personnel in training and in preparation of the DR plant model.
logo bug Willingness to use reconciled data for KPI and financial reporting purposes, once it has been proven to be reliable for three months. (We can generally check this using two months of prior real-time data and one month of live data.)
logo bug Management knowledge and involvement to support the above two.
logo bug Choosing the right software tool. Existing software on the market ranges from inconvenient to unusable. Inlibra Suite, on the other hand, works correctly and is as easy to use as, say, PowerPoint.
logo bug Choose the right partner to help you build a model that is useful and correct. Inlibra Suite comes with a deployment project and a warranty period provided by Inlibra SSC, the company. Our staff will not let you down.

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Advantages of Inlibra Suite

I use another DR software. Why should I switch to Inlibra Suite?
logo bug Does your existing solution produce a result each day? If it does, are you spending too many effort hours to achieve that result? Is the result realistic or must you discard it? Inlibra Suite will reduce your average effort hours to under an hour per day and produce results that you will trust.
logo bug Does your current solution balance every significant stream in your plant? If not, your model has been simplified to work with more limited software. Inlibra Suite can balance up to several thousand streams.
logo bug Does your current solution represent the entire plant on one GUI screen? Is it so complex that no one understands it fully and your staff is afraid to change it? Using Inlibra Suite, you can use Navigator objects and Model Connectors to break your plant into easily understandable pieces, and still balance the entire plant with all its subparts as one operation.
logo bug Does your supplier understand the real problems and challenges and give you more than adequate support?

Has any company switched and if yes, why? Also, what are criteria for comparison and evaluation?
Four of Inlibra’s existing customers previously used the software from a significant competitor, Sigmafine, and Inlibra are able to share with you an analysis of why the switch was made. Please see the Customer Product Comparison document >
As well, you may be interested in the case studies here. Case studies pdf >

What are the advantages of Inlibra over other DR software products.
We like to call our set of superior features and service offering the Inlibra Advantage. You can read about it here: Inlibra Advantage >

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Implementing and Maintaining Data Reconciliation

What makes a successful Data Reconciliation (DR) project?
What are the challenges of DR implementation?
What effort (Man days/month) is required to maintain a DR system?
The three questions above are answered in the Inlibra recently published article
“How to have a successful Data Reconciliation Implementation” >

How do we get started; what data do we need to gather?
Data to gather includes:
logo bug PIDs and PFDs
logo bug Control valve data sheets (where flow must be estimated from valve opening)
logo bug DCS screens printouts
logo bug Real time database tag list (including descriptions)
logo bug Process operation manuals

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Theory of Data Reconciliation

What is the theory of Data Reconciliation?  What do the terms solvable and redundant mean with respect to streams in a plant?

The following is an excerpt from our white paper, “What is Data Reconciliation?”>

The practical theory behind DR is:
1) First a mass balance software model of the input and output process streams is built on a mass basis.
2) Next, the DR software should ideally provide a feature called Solvability Analysis.
Solvability Analysis is the process in which each mass flow stream is categorized as redundant, nonredundant, solvable or unsolvable. Each of these terms is defined below.
Redundant Stream: A metered or unmetered stream whose flow can be calculated at least two  ways. It would require the failure of at least two meters to make this stream unsolvable.
Non-redundant Stream: A metered or unmetered stream whose flow can only be calculated one way. If one critical meter fails, then this stream will become unsolvable.
Solvable Stream: Any stream in which it is possible to deduce its flow.
Non-Solvable Stream: A stream in which it is impossible to deduce its flow.

3) A Tolerance is determined for each metered flow stream.
Tolerance: The acceptable allowance, expressed as a percentage, that a flow measurement is reasonably adjusted to correct a mass balance. Instrument tolerance is a function of many factors including:
logo bug meter type
logo bug stream viscosity and cleanliness (a clean thin stream is easier to measure then a thick, dirty stream)
logo bug the percentage of range a meter is operating in (accuracy of meters diminishes when the meter is run close to 0% or close to 100%)
logo bug date of the meter’s last calibration
logo bug closeness of actual flow conditions (temperature, pressure, etc.) to design conditions
Therefore a meter that was recently calibrated, is running at 50% of meter range, in a clean fluid (for example water) and close to design conditions might be assigned a tolerance of 3% while an asphalt flow meter, running at 95% of meter range, that has not been calibrated for 8 years, and is running 30 degrees from design temperature might be assigned a 20% tolerance.
4) The final step of DR is to simultaneously adjust each of the flow stream measurements within the tolerance of the flow instruments in such a way that the process mass balance is closed with the minimum number and size of total adjustments.

Note that the process mass balance may include several “envelopes” of mass balance that are simultaneously balanced including:
logo bug A distillation column mass balance that is part of a bigger envelope including a…
    logo bug Gas plant mass balance that is part of a bigger envelope including a…
        logo bug Process unit mass balance that is part of a bigger envelope including …
            logo bug The entire plant mass balance

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What services and software does Inlibra offer?

Software products
Inlibra Suite –
This is our meter data reconciliation package for mass balance, useful in plant maintenance, operations and Production Accounting. Composition Tracking is an available feature of Inlibra Suite. Please see our product brochures:
DR brochure>
CT brochure >

Stockpile Tracker –
Stockpile Tracker monitors the shape of a stockpile of granulated solids in real time and permits calculation of available tonnage for shipping. Our brochure:
Stockpile Tracker brochure >

Software Services
logo bug General consulting and custom development on real-time and measurement issues.
logo bug Assistance during the setup of a data reconciliation model, with warranty and support thereafter.

Where does the name “Inlibra” come from?
About the Name >

Who are the management team and founders of Inlibra?
Management Team >

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Who are references of Inlibra DR software success who I can call?
Please contact us and we will be pleased to refer to provide customer contact data.

What do Inlibra clients say?
For a testimonial video made by one of our customers, please see it here >

Mr. S. K. Jang of LG Chemicals, Korea, says: "We had tried other material balance solutions and were frustrated by how poorly they worked and how much effort they required to create and maintain. We were surprised and pleased to find out that there was another way. Inlibra Suite saves us hours each day and gives us results we could not have obtained using other solutions".

Stewart Gomez, FertiNitro, says: "FertiNitro is one of the world’s largest producers of ammonia and granulated urea. The plant has been producing since 2001, and we’ve been waiting for this kind of tool for a long, long time. Hong Won was like a university professor to us – we asked him some very tough questions, and he answered everything 100 percent. He knows what it’s all about; how everything works in a company like this. I’m still amazed at how this tool works and how easy it’s been to implement. It’s going to give us a lot of advantages."

Mr. D. T. Kim of Yeochun NCC says: "Inlibra Suite offered us functionality that was simply not present in our original software, Sigmafine -- including the ability to create logical summary models and additional, user-definable constraints. Inlibra’s Composition Tracking functionality also provides us with valuable feedstock movement detection and quality tracking. The switch to Inlibra Suite improved our work efficiency, data validation, and execution speed, so that overall, our material balance work time was shortened by half. On a normal day, we spend less than an hour balancing the plant, and we can trust the values we get back from Inlibra Suite."

Can you provide me with some case studies?
Click here to see the results obtained by two of our customers who upgraded from a competing product to Inlibra Suite.
[Andy/Adam – please use the accompanying pdf file “Inlibra Upgrade from Competitor Case Studies (Yeochun NCC, Honam).pdf” as the target for all our Case Study links]

Who are Inlibra customers?
Customer List >

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How much training is required to install and use Inlibra Suite?
During a typical project, we provide one to two weeks of formal, hands-on training, either at the client site or at our premises in Calgary, as the client desires. This training is timed to adjoin periods of collaborative effort in building the customer’s plant model, so that the class room knowledge immediately gets used and is reinforced.

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Where are Inlibra offices?
Inlibra SSC’s headquarters are in Calgary, Alberta, which, due to Alberta’s natural resource base and proximity to the US, is a North American hot spot for oil and gas related development.

Inlibra SSC also has an office in South Korea, the birthplace of Inlibra Suite. Marketed there as ErrorSolver, this product now completely dominates the Korean refinery and petrochemical plant DR marketplace.

We have sales representation and/or operational capability in the US, the Middle East, and China.

How do I contact Inlibra for more info?
Contact Us >

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