The project puts a strong emphasis on the validation, maturation, dissemination, and exploitation of the developed technologies. Standardization and generalization efforts will be started after the definition of the real-time resource efficiency indicators for the participating companies has led to first results. The project overall implementation strategy includes several major steps:
Step 1: Definition of real-time resource efficiency indicators.
This will be the first major innovation of the project as such indicators presently are not available. Knowledge from the definition and use of aggregated long-term resource efficiency indicators will be used and the special challenges of the dynamic nature of real-time data will be addressed. This step feeds the discussion with stakeholders and standardization activities.
Step 2: Novel analytics and data reconciliation.
For the resource efficiency analysis, more detailed information on the composition of process streams is required. Novel analytics will be developed and demonstrated for specific tasks, leading to results that can be used in similar units across the chemical industry and as prototypes for other problems. In order to provide reliable indicators that are useful for operators and managers, possible errors in the data must be detected and, where possible, corrected. Model-based methods for this will be developed that can also be generalized to other applications.
Step 3: Decision support.
After the definition of the indicators, it will be investigated how they should be visualized for different groups of users inside the company to support them in resource-optimal steering of complex processing plants. From this, the project will progress to model-based decision support tools, based on the analysis of different possible operating scenarios and the use of advanced optimization technology. This is a challenging, highly innovative area of work. The results will be demonstrated for parts of the plants of the industrial companies involved in the consortium. It will lead to “best-of-class examples”, show cases inside the enterprises and beyond.
Step 4: Implementation.
For the connection to the available monitoring and control infrastructure and for the computation of the resource efficiency indicators and the decision support, a general deployment platform will be developed in close consultation with the end-users and the tool providers. This platform will be the vehicle for further roll-out of the real-time resource efficiency analysis and of the decision support tools and create additional commercial opportunities
Step 5: Demonstration.
The project targets demonstrations of the technology developed in four different real industrial plants, three from the chemical sector and one from a related sector. This goal provides the guideline for the overall activities in the project. Lessons will be learnt from the prototypical implementation and further developments will be triggered inside the participating companies and in terms of general industrial solutions.
Step 6: Standardization.
Standardization is important for the industry in particular for benchmarking between companies and for discussion with authorities. Standardization activities will be started after the first year of the project.
Step 7: Outreach.
The proposed indicators, solutions for decision support and implementation and results will be discussed with stakeholders from other companies and other sectors of the process industries. This further supports the business opportunities for marketing the results.