The term “golden batch” describes the ideal batch production against which all other produced batches are compared. I caught up with Emerson’s Martin McDonough about how this concept applies to chemical manufacturers with batch production processes.
Martin shared some industry statistics with me. Many of these chemical manufacturers operate with a “Right-First-Time” metric between 40-70%. The bad batches increase cycle time because they require rework or even scrapping.
Batch production inconsistency also reduces labor efficiency. He cited a statistic based on industry feedback that over 60% of work performed is non-value added due to unnecessary operator rounds and manual measurements. Personnel safety is also a concern when these measurements occur in hazardous locations.
For manufacturers seeking greater golden batch-level consistency, key outcomes are eliminating out-of-spec batches, reducing scrap & rework, ensuring high levels of health, safety & environmental (HS&E) performance, and improving batch cycle times.
Automation technology has a prominent role to play in achieving these outcomes. For example, using highly accurate Micro Motion™ Coriolis Mass Flow Meters for mass and density measurements helps you obtain tighter recipe control while reducing out-of-spec batches.
You can reduce scrap and rework with accurate level measurement, even for processes with turbulent agitation or thick foam, dust conditions, or narrow vessels. The Rosemount 5408 Non-Contacting Radar Level Transmitter provides accurate measurements in these difficult process conditions. Missing temperature measurements due to installation difficulties can also affect batch consistency. Rosemount X-well™ non-invasive pipe surface temperature measurement enables simplified installation and tighter process control.
In batch processes with reactors, accurate pressure measurements enable optimal control strategies to keep the reactors within safe operating conditions for continued strong HS&E performance. This improved control also helps you reduce cycle times by optimizing reactor gas purging and additions.
From a batch cycle time improvement perspective, Micro Motion Fork Viscosity Meters (FVMs) help to eliminate manual sampling. The FVM rapidly responds to viscosity changes for better reactor control and final product quality. Accurate pH measurements with Rosemount™ RBI pH/ORP Sensors provide real-time measurements, which can help improve product quality to allow reactions to proceed as designed, resulting in higher yields.
These are a few ways automation technology can help you achieve consistent golden batch performance. Read the Chemical Application Guide: Golden Batch document for ways to attain repeatable golden batch outcomes. Also, visit the Solutions to Optimize Your Chemical Plant Performance for many more ways to drive improved performance in your chemical manufacturing operations.