Powtech 2017

The Latest Preparations for Powtech Run at Full Blast

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Digitalization Only Slowly Finds Its Way

Traditionally, Powtech brings together plant designers and operators from almost all segments, including chemicals and pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, non-metallic minerals, recycling and ceramics. Each segment has its own demands, but several trends that will have a lasting effect on systems, apparatus and components in the next few years are witnessed overall.

The trend for digitalization is not only seen in the chemical industry. Process digitalization helps in achieving the goal of ensuring consistently high product quality, 24/7. The focus is also on curbing production costs and increasing energy and resource efficiency. What’s needed is maximum safety in the manufacturing process while maintaining a high level of flexibility — at multiple locations around the world.

Sylvia Bräunlein, Operations Director Chemicals Division at Hosokawa Alpine in Augsburg/Germany, finds there are many different demands facing mechanical engineers and plant manufacturers: “Single machines that in-house engineering departments incorporate into an overall system are a thing of the past. What’s needed instead is the supply of complete systems with guaranteed process values, which comply with current safety standards and norms. To make this happen, you need a high level of system automation: only once that’s in place can you optimise your productivity, ensure stable process operation and put remote maintenance and predictive maintenance in place in order to minimise downtimes.”

The challenge: Many components in the bulk solids sector are still mechanical. It’s a giant step to refit these devices so that they also provide information digitally. At Powtech, first examples will be presented, for example at Zeppelin Systems, whose mechanical components not only independently update their electronic nameplate via App, but also can set up a chat to the service technicians. And this shall only be the company’s first step to a broad digitalization strategy.

With regard to condition monitoring, filling and packaging systems are considerably more advanced. Bearing damages as well as damages of filling and dosing equipment are giving themselves away, for example by vibrations, unusual noise or heat. Such deviations can be well identified via sensors so that influence can be taken on time. Therefore, not only is a standstill prevented, but also plants reach an optimal operating point.