News | May 23, 2019

Accelerating the Adoption of Digitalisation

Digitalizing our factories and processes will be an essential part of a sustainable future for the industry. Smart Industry will be able to optimize processes all throughout the value chain. Available Digital solutions already provide energy consumption reduction methods with relatively low investments, and  short payback times. The implementation of technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Process Analytics show a 5 to 30 percent energy reduction in payback times between six months to two years. Innovation steps in the digital world goes very fast, so there is a continuous need to inform end users on the possibilities and ways to integrate new technologies in existing processes. The AIDA project wants to attract the attention and interest of end users and stimulate the adoption of digital technologies to reach sustainability and lower costs.

Digitization - Laptop

Artificial Intelligence for process control

In addition to stimulating the usage of available digital energy reduction methods the AIDA project also looks for innovation. The project investigates how the Artificial Intelligence solution of EnerGQ can further improve process performance by using dynamic (transient) process information to improve its performance in case of non-steady state operations.

Instrumentation

Today’s laboratories and production sites are comprised of several system environments, often combining sophisticated tools from different vendors. The variety and the complexity of these systems, as well as the fact that many of them use proprietary software packages, makes data integration difficult. This is not a trivial problem – it actually causes much waste of man-hours, materials and energy in many sites. However, technology also offers us a way out. In AIDA possibilities for integrating the data flows of instrumentation using mobile platforms are being studied. By understanding the requirements of data flow and data sharing the project aims to integrate information from various instruments (and later, also from databases) and make it available on site for quick decision-making.

Data sharing across sites and plants

After generating and analysing data the topic of data communication and data sharing emerges.  How can digital  technologies be applied in such  a way that  it creates an interoperable and portable solution across production lines and across sites. Solutions that must prevent a so called ‘vendor lock-in’, making end users dependent on the vendor of the IT technology provider.  This asks for an investigation of standardization on communication protocols and reference architectures. The project will therefore look at existing technical approaches for isolating the application software from the remainder of the infrastructure and at possibilities to use these approaches in the use cases of the project.

Infographics on ease of integration, business impact and sustainability

Digital technologies must be integrated into existing processes, which often is not trivial. It is helpful to have an overview of those technologies that are easy to integrate and have high impact on sustainability and costs. Therefore the AIDA project will create infographics to help end users identify the most promising technologies. To get the required data for the infographics  a market and literature study is being performed.

Courses and follow up

For dissemination the project makes use of the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology’s Innovation Academy that offers courses like Artificial Intelligence for Chemical Engineers to show possibilities and explain backgrounds.

A possible follow-up of the research that will lean more towards the integration of data-flows originating from instrumentation could be the development of a commercial software solution.

The consortium includes the University of Amsterdam, the Technical University Eindhoven, EnerGQ and the Institute for Sustainable Process technology.

More information: frans.vandenakker@ispt.eu

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