The chemical industry has in many respects lead the way in using advanced process controls and analytics. However, with challenges in the form of high energy costs, ever increasing environmental and safety issues, the emergence of major players in developing countries and a mature and saturated Western market, companies throughout the sector need to optimize their R&D and manufacturing processes or risk getting left behind.
Multivariate analysis (MVA) is a key decision tool to both analyze process data and relate it to quality, production costs, and environmental impact. MVA tools can also be applied to optimize processes, reduce cycle time (when applied to real-time data) and increase the safety of operations by process monitoring for petrochemicals, polymers, inorganics, paints and coatings and agrochemical manufacturers.
Chemical production is a highly energy intensive industry, typically in distillation columns which import energy. Trying to optimize processes to decrease waste and energy consumption and/or increase the yield can benefit from the use of chemometric tools. For example, regression models can determine the possible leverages on the production performance. Additionally, MVA has been used to analyze the composition of byproducts and determine whether they can be recovered. When a process designed to produce a certain chemical results in a secondary mixture, it is chemometric software like CAMO’s Unscrambler® X suite that can provide information on the individual components of said mixture. These components can then be further refined, maximizing resource use and profit.
Capacity expansion is also a challenge that chemical industry needs to tackle. On-line or in-line quality control enables a quicker production and releases of the manufactured products by monitoring in real-time their compliance to standard quality. This is enabled by regression models for quantitative or qualitative analysis or other classification tools such as SIMCA and an online analyzer.
The constant changes in technology and available materials are new opportunities for product and process improvement as well as threat to the quality consistency. Fast evaluation of the potential opportunities and adaptation of the process to the selected new parameters is a competitive advantage that is well served by carefully planned experiments (DoE).
When improving hardware there is the risk of lengthy installation time and complications with prior infrastructure. However, having incorporated CAMO’s software solutions into an existing framework, it means that staying at the frontier of multivariate processing technology is only a click away.
As pioneers in multivariate analysis, our software and solutions have been tried and tested for over 25 years and are used by chemical manufacturers around the world. Contact us to find out how we can help or for a free demonstration.