Right on the heels of enhancing its aspenONE umbrella platform, AspenTech has announced the acquisition of pipeline scheduling system (PSS) and dock scheduling system (DSS) software from Refining Advantage, Inc. PSS allows pipeline companies, refineries, and terminals with pipelines to optimize their pipeline schedules, and thus potentially improve profitability and safety. DSS is used by refineries and terminals to schedule their docks, which should help them save on demurrage costs incurred from delays in on-loading and off-loading cargo.
AspenTech’s existing petroleum supply chain (PSC) products include Aspen PIMS (Process Industry Modeling System), the renowned petroleum and petrochemical planning system, and Aspen Petroleum Scheduler, which enables the collaborative creation of refinery schedules. Adding PSS and DSS, which are already used by some leading refineries, should enable AspenTech customers to further optimize their petroleum supply chains. If the payoff is similar to demurrage in chemicals transported by truck or rail, this complementary addition is a no-brainer (demurrage the charge payable to the owner of a chartered ship or vehicle in respect of failure to load or discharge the ship within the time agreed).
Generally speaking, AspenTech doesn’t combine acquired products with its point products (e.g., Aspen PIMS), since those point products tend to be part of integrated solution suites covering a broader area (e.g., manufacturing execution, adaptive process control, engineering, PSC, etc.). That’s not to say it doesn’t ever happen—AspenTech acquired SolidSim in early 2012 and integrated it with the point product Aspen Plus as part of the aspenONE V8 launch in December 2012. At least, once integrated with the AspenTech suite, one could expect the additional capabilities will drive more usage of the aspenONE PSC suite, thereby increasing the cross- and up-sell opportunities.