Perhaps I am biased (as a chemical process engineer/operations manager in the chemical industry for 25 years) but it appears to me that the chemical industry is the industry that is most challenged to adopt IIoT solutions.
The industry does indeed face different challenges than other types of manufacturing. Whereas robotics transformed automotive manufacturing, and additive (or 3D printing) is transforming turbine and aircraft engine manufacturing, chemical process optimization isn’t about eliminating manual labor or developing new ways to create complex parts. It is mostly about data – getting the right data, analyzing that data to gain new insights, and then automating the use of that data to prevent or predict issues in the future. The IIoT will transform the chemical industry.
How is the chemical industry different? Here are three examples.
However, advances in IIoT software present excellent opportunities to address these challenges.
As a process engineer, I spent more than half my time looking for relevant data and getting it into a format that I could analyze. Then, I could finally do my real job of making improvements in quality, throughput, and equipment integrity. Getting more data collected electronically was cost prohibitive at that time.
Now that costs have decreased exponentially for wireless devices, edge software, and cloud software to monitor and control the plant, we have the opportunity to fundamentally change how we improve the chemical process. We can finally get the right data to understand the impact of tiny variations in the process. With this knowledge, we can deploy analytics to detect and correct these variations in the future. When used to augment the existing control systems, these analytics will reduce risk.
According to Gartner, “Asset performance management (APM) is becoming a core competency to improve overall business operations in asset-intensive industries.” To learn more, check out the 2019 Gartner APM Market Guide* here.
The future is finally here for the chemical industry. Learn more about how GE Digital solutions can help you on this journey.
Asset connectivity and local intelligence to power your IIoT solution
Ensure asset integrity and compliance by monitoring changing risk conditions.
Provides a complete package of IoT functions to power GE Digital cloud applications
How can we help you transform with IIoT technology?