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China operates first smart oil refinery with 5G+ industrial internet

China’s first intelligent oil refinery with a dual-frequency 5G-plus industrial internet went fully operational on Tuesday, its operator, the Huizhou Petrochemicals Company under China National Offshore Oil Corporation, announced.

Located in Huizhou City of south China’s Guangdong Province, the smart refinery boasts eight intelligent applications such as a 5G explosion-proof intelligent inspection robot, 5G-plus augmented reality (AR) remote collaboration, 5G operation and artificial intelligence (AI) monitoring, BeiDou personnel positioning system, refining industrial internet application platform, and a mass innovation ecosystem of digital applications.

The inspection robot, for example, can automatically avoid obstacles and climb hills in an area equal to 140 standard football fields, replacing manual inspection.

In addition, workers can have real-time remote consulting with experts through AR glasses.

The AI monitoring system can undertake static and dynamic uninterrupted monitoring, automatically identify toxic gas and other abnormal conditions, and transmit site data.

“The conventional inspection was mainly completed by on-site operating crews,” Jiao Jianchong, a process engineer in Huizhou Petrochemicals’ No. 7 operation department, told China Media Group (CMG). “Now, we can finish manual inspection via intelligent robots. At the same time, we can view the data collected by inspection robots and computers as well as hand-held terminals conveniently, or we can directly control the inspection robots and set inspection modes.”

Moreover, with a dual-frequency network, multiple digital technologies such as the Internet of Things and AI can be widely used in production, operation and management to form an integrated, unified and shared 5G plus industrial internet platform of the oil refinery.

Li Jiangshan, manager of the health, safety and environmental protection center at Huizhou Petrochemicals, told CMG that “since the project went into operational, we have realized comprehensive perception and intelligent monitoring of data during the operation process.”

With high-end 5G technologies, Li further stated that the rate of automatically collecting production data of the oil refinery exceeded 98 percent, reducing refinery monitoring costs by 30 percent and production accidents by 80 percent. As a result, the dual-frequency 5G-plus industrial internet safety production achieved remarkable accomplishments and significantly improved work efficiency and production safety.

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