Visual MESA Optimization Software for Steam Systems

Visual MESA LLC helps customers improve profitability with Visimation’s assistance

"Feel free to list me as a very satisfied customer!"
- David Nelson, Visual MESA LLC, Moscow, ID
(developers of Visual Mesa)

Visual MESA, developed by Visual MESA LLC, is a software tool used to help manage steam and other utility systems. Visual MESA is the most used real-time energy optimization system in refineries and petrochemicals throughout the world. Companies, such as Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ineos, RepsolYPF, Air Liquide, Rohm and Haas, Irving Oil, Sunoco, and many more, use the tool to easily maintain their facility models.

Visual MESA helps steam facilities determine where to release incremental steam (i.e. boilers or steam generators) and which turbines or letdown valves will most efficiently let the steam down between pressure levels. Visual MESA helps businesses reduce operating costs, generating more than $2 million per year of improved profitability in a typical 200,000 BPD oil refinery.

Visimation assisted Visual MESA developers with advanced Visio programming techniques for Visio and .NET technologies. Because of our experience with large–scale coding and integration tasks, we were able to suggest and implement best practices, saving them time and work. Visimation also produced parts of the code in cooperation with the client’s team.

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In a familiar Visio environment, a user can drag new equipment from a stencil into the drawing page and connect it to the appropriate steam headers to build the model. Other product features and benefits include:

  • Identifying Bad Flow Meters
  • Reducing Work Load
  • Evaluating System Changes to Reduce Cost
  • Evaluating New Projects
  • Planning Shutdowns
  • Monitoring Steam Production and Use

Methods Used
The Visual MESA diagram package involves multiple Visio documents instead of one large Visio diagram because a scheme was needed to properly handle the Undo and Redo actions in Visio. There is also an underlying object model with data that must be kept in sync with the diagram. Visimation was able to successfully leverage and expand upon the rich capabilities of Visio to produce a seamless experience for the user using familiar UI elements and behaviors.

One mode of operation for Visual MESA involves a client–server system. This allows simulation and real-time data to be running on a server. When updates take place, they are propagated to any listening clients where their diagrams are updated in real-time to match the new data. Visimation was an early adopter of Microsoft .NET technology to accomplish this functionality across network boundaries.

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