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A Simulation-based Decision Support System for Refinery Supply Chain Management Cambrige Create View project Modelling and Simulation of Heat Recovery Steam Generator View project
N Julka, , Iftekhar Karimi A
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The refinery business involves tasks spanning across several departments and using large amounts of data. These processes include crude procurement, logistics scheduling, storage (tank) scheduling and crude scheduling. Integrated decisions based on the entire supply chain are a new approach to manage business. The challenges associated with this approach include the difficulty of modeling the entire system and integration with present decision support systems for individual departments or tasks. In addition, with the advent of the Internet, a channel where more data can be exchanged seamlessly has opened up. This opportunity needs to be exploited in the decision-making processes dealing with businesses.

This paper describes PRISMS (Petroleum Refinery Integrated Supply Chain Modeler and Simulator), a decision support system for refinery supply chain management, based on an agent-based framework that we developed in our earlier work. The system focuses on the crude oil procurement process and supports integrated decisions with respect to the refinery’s supply chain. Studies performed using historic data give an insight on how the business behaves to policies and decisions in different scenarios and provide the opportunity to perform detailed ‘what-if’ analysis of the business process. The system can be used to study the effects of internal policies of the refinery upon the whole supply chain and can also assist in the modeling and engineering of the refinery’s supply chain. It can be configured to support the decision-making processes of different departments based on their own performance indices. Thus, it allows the reuse of DSS components and helps users create customized support systems based on their specific needs. PRISMS is able to play the role of a central DSS through which all processes of a refinery can be studied and decisions can be made with respect to the overall operation of the refinery business.

About the journal
JournalAmerican Institute of Chemical Engineers