It is inevitable that pipeline companies will be relying increasingly upon simulation models in the near future to provide timely information for business decisions. Before models can provide this information, they will need to be implemented within the gas control environment, providing operational information. For real-time models to be effective, they must be maintained. This can only be practically accomplished by the gas controllers. Gas controllers have traditionally been resistant to the integration of simulation models in the gas control environment. Their reasons are:
Models can't tell an operator with 20 years experience anything about the pipeline.
Controllers already have enough to do without having to baby-sit models.
Models require too much expertise to keep them running.
Recognizing that the participation of gas control is essential to the successful integration of simulation models in the operational and business processes within a company, it is crucial to address these barriers to acceptance of the technology. In this workshop, methods will be explored through which each barrier is either mitigated or removed completely. Participants will be encouraged to share experiences in which models have been successfully introduced in and used by gas control. Outline I. Involvement A. Get Gas Control Involved in the Specifications. The success or failure of the simulation implementation will depend on its acceptance in gas control. Getting the controllers involved during the "shopping" phase of the project will insure buying a relevant product. B. Involvement in the implementation. The difference between what is delivered and what was originally envisioned can be significant (the devil's in the details). Having gas control involvement throughout the implementation phase can avoid a lot of problems. C. Involvement in the testing and integration. The ability to spend significant time with the developers of the system can be an important opportunity to really learn how and where the system performs best. It is also the best possible training for senior gas control personnel that will greatly exceed anything they might experience through after the fact training. II. Ease of Use A. Control screens look like SCADA. Making the control and viewing of system results look as much like the gas controllers' SCADA displays is critical to success. It will reduce the learning curve and maximize user acceptance of the system. It will also increase the overall level of integration of the system into the gas control environment. B. Buttons and short menus. Gas controllers have a lot to do. Making the control and viewing of results easy to accomplish will enhance acceptance. Cryptic computer like commands are strictly verboten. C. Intuitive Operation - pipeline terms rather than modeling terms. Too often, modeling systems rely on mathematical rather than pipeline terminology (boundary or external rather than supply or delivery). The simulation system is supposed to be reflecting and projecting what is actually going on in the pipeline. Make the operator's interaction with the system as close as possible to the way he/she interacts with the pipeline. III. Reduced Responsibility - Useful Results