Process Monitoring and Control of Batch and Continuous Processes using Real-time Efficiency Indicators

Copyright BASF

Copyright BASF

Overview of the case:

partner-logo-basf-3The BASF Personal Care and Nutrition GmbH production site in Düsseldorf, Germany, comprises various plants, most of them operated in batch mode. The plant chosen as a case study within MORE is characterized by an upstream section operating in batch mode and a number of continuous processing sections downstream that produce specialty products. The value chain is based on natural and renewable raw materials.

This case study was selected for MORE according to the following criteria:

An integrated batch and continuous production of reasonable complexity having available online production data, clearly defined system boundaries, existing external influences (e.g. raw material variations, customer demand), having quantitative and qualitative evaluation of inputs and outputs as well as a life cycle assessment and material flow analysis.

Therefore, the case study shows specific challenges: optimal operation of the upstream part, the additional feature of feedstock changes due to the use of natural raw materials of different origin, and the real-time monitoring and improvement of the batch processing resource efficiency.

The plant is interconnected by streams of intermediates, products, water of different purity levels and carriers of energy and waste streams. Its current mode of operation aims at reaching the target specification at all conditions of fluctuating raw material qualities, as so-called “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Expected Achievements of the case:

Expected achievements within MORE are

  • The definition of real-time resource efficiency indicators (REIs) that can efficiently be used in daily operations and are either already available computer-based or are based on new innovative analytical measurements.

  • With the help of these online indicators, production of first-pass quality is aimed at as well as improving resource efficiency and reducing energy demand. This is supported by a model-based real-time decision support tool to plant operators and plant managers.

  • Simultaneous increase of transparency of the whole production process.

In the first project period of MORE, process specific REIs were chosen and successfully applied to process data offline. In a next steps these will be implemented online. For this purpose a general visualization concept for multi-dimensional REIs to support operators and plant managers was created. In addition new online analytics were tested and a proof of concept was shown.