Safer, Smarter, More Sustainable Approach to Chemical Production

by | Jun 19, 2024 | Event | 0 comments

Emerson had a huge presence at the ACHEMA 2024 event in Frankfurt, Germany. At the event, Emerson addressed key industry challenges such as increasing efficiency and reducing emissions, accelerating the transition to hydrogen, and how Boundless Automation can create modern automation architectures that liberate data to unleash the power of software. Emerson’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Vidya Ramnath, joined Khalil bin Salamah, Saudi Arabia Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Industrial Affairs; Juergen Nowicki, executive vice president of Linde Engineering; and Dennis Schulz, CEO at ITM Power; for a panel discussion on mastering the global challenge of green transformation in the chemical industry. The panellists were all asked what is required to master that challenge. Ramnath said:

“…Collaboration, coalition and conviction of our joint efforts towards sustainability are all necessary. We have the technologies, but what we need is the commitment from people, collaboration between businesses and stakeholders. This will be a multi-pronged approach encompassing regulators, industry and thought leaders and technology providers. Sustainability is a complex journey, and the challenge is finding a balance between sustainability, security of supply and affordability. Within the chemical industry, which is such a carbon-intensive industry, we must look for opportunities across the value chain. That includes raw materials and energy used during production, optimizing these elements and then inventing new sustainable processes.”

Ramnath was then asked to describe Emerson’s own sustainability framework:

“…’Greening Of’ is how we look internally and how we can improve as a company in terms of environmental sustainability. ‘Greening By’ is how we can work hand-in-hand with customers, walking them through their decarbonization journey by activating our technology expertise and production portfolio and solutions. While ‘Greening With’ is engaging and collaborating with stakeholders, which is key as we go forward. ‘Greening With’ is propagated by listening sessions with our customers. These help us understand their starting points and where they want to get to, and perhaps identify some `low hanging fruit’ opportunities for improvements. We then host green innovation days that bring our technology experts and partners together with customers to find solutions.”


Sustainability investment

Asked to describe the impact of investments made within the chemical industry, Ramnath said:

“…In the past we have been working with companies on small pilot projects, but now we are seeing significant capital investment in large-scale projects. At brownfield sites, there is an emphasis on adopting new technologies and implementing them at scale. The focus has been on minimizing emissions, so we have seen a lot of investment in technology in that area. Our customers have been very keen to gain greater visibility, through dashboards, of energy optimization throughout the plant. Asset reliability in the plant is another key area of investment. Increasing the reliability of an asset leads to greater process efficiency which directly leads to lowering carbon footprint. Improving access to operational data is therefore very important. We are working with our customers to implement Boundless Automation strategies that create modern automation architectures to enable intelligent field devices, edge-based technologies and cloud computing to better collect and share information from across a facility, helping to bring greater operational awareness.”


Green transformation of the chemical industry

Emerson also delivered a broad range of technical presentations as part of the ACHEMA conference program. Twelve papers from Emerson experts covered subjects such as the application of advanced instrumentation, control and automation, green innovation, hyper scaling hydrogen, process innovation in the chemical industry, and next generation manufacturing in the life sciences industry. At its exhibition booth, Emerson demonstrated how automation can help to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency in chemical plants. Michael Machuca, from Emerson’s measurement solutions business, outlined a range of measurement strategies to achieve sustainability and decarbonization goals. He explained that:

“…Effective process automation is an essential component of any comprehensive strategy for improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with chemical industry plants and facilities. Accurate and reliable measurement provides the foundation for benchmarking and implementing improvement programs. Measurement solutions from Emerson provide the insight to start and then sustain an effective energy management program. Our intelligent field instruments help to increase the efficiency of steam, fuel and water systems.”

The event was also focused on the life sciences industry and medical device manufacturing. At its booth, Emerson demonstrated how automation technology helps manufacturers more easily achieve cGMP, with effective solutions for improving data management and ensuring real-time product quality. Sumeet Dalvi, from Emerson’s systems and software business, described some best practices for recipe management within the life sciences industries:


“…There is a need to digitize recipe management. A huge amount of recipe and process knowledge is collected during the development of a new drug. This information is often disseminated across different groups and recorded in different formats, which makes the technology transfer process very challenging. To help meet this challenge, Emerson’s DeltaV Process Specification Management software creates a continuum of process knowledge though the drug development cycle. By digitizing the entire process definition, providing a structured repository and collaboration model, this enables teams to work together to scale recipes, execute technology transfer faster and accelerate the time to market of new therapies.”



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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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