Achema 2018 A showcase for Flexible Production

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Much has been said about the trend towards more flexibility in the process industries, driven by market demands and shortening product cycles and implemented thanks to digitization and modularization. But grey is all theory …

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The stand shows how solutions from different suppliers work together to create more flexible and at the same time efficient processes.
The stand shows how solutions from different suppliers work together to create more flexible and at the same time efficient processes.
(Sources: DECHEMA)

Luckily, Achema is not only colourful, but also the place to experience the trends of the process industry hands-on. So for anyone who wants to know what modularization is about, visiting the joint stand “Process Industrie 4.0: The Age of Modular Production” in Hall 9.2 is a definite “must”. Visitors can learn first-hand what modularization looks like and how intelligent automation and MSR technologies can increase productivity.

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Organized by ZVEI, Namur, VDMA and ProcessNet — an initiative from DECHEMA and VDI — the stand shows how solutions from suppliers such as ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Festo, Finesse, Hima, Huber, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Samson, Siemens, SpiraTec, Wago and Yokogawa work together to create more flexible and at the same time efficient processes. Users from the chemical and pharmaceutical industry contribute business cases and best practices on the practical application of modular concepts.

“Competitive advantage in the process industry depends increasingly on how effectively and efficiently production is designed”, said Dr. Linus Schulz, Dechema. According to Schulz, plant operators demand that their production is more flexible, faster and more cost-efficient than that of their competitors — in short: superior.

A prerequisite for modularization is the standardization of interfaces and the decentralized implementation of intelligent automation devices. Working groups at Namur, ZVEI, Dechema and VDI have been cooperating for a number of years, developing a neutral module description that is applicable to equipment independent of the specific supplier. Modul Type Packages (MTPs) are the key: They can easily be combined to form a complete process chain — and they change paradigms that have been valid in process automation for a long time.

Felix Seibl, Managing Director of the Measurement and Process Automation Division at ZVEI sees major progress in this field: “Functionalities, dynamic processes, diagnostics and maintenance have been improved and proven that information transfer into a high-level process automation system is feasible.”

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