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  • Invensys Operations Management Industry Solutions for Specialty and Fine Chemicals: Production Optimization

    Improve plant economic performance by increasing production yields and agility by improving visualization,

    reacting faster to supply chain issues and predicting problems or variations before they occur.


    - Savings of up to 5% of product output value - Increased yields

    - Less variability in Process performance - Improved workflow and collaboration

    - Increased capacity and reduced waste - Reduced inventory / reduced safety stock levels

    - Better, more immediate manufacturing intelligence - Improved agility and responsiveness to operational issues

    Industry Challenges

    The most common method used by specialty and fine chemical plants to manage workflow, collaboration and schedules is

    manual. Typically on a monthly basis, the production planning department produces a production plan that is manually

    passed onto operations in terms of what volumes of which products are expected over the month. Staff in operations then

    manually juggles process equipment, material and supplies, production lines, and personnel availabilities to produce the

    required volumes of those products by the end of the month. Because of changes in these operational availabilities, nearly

    every day sees a new schedule to accommodate these changes sometimes even more often than that.

    During the actual production run, operations does not discover potential problems in advance and decisions are made too

    late or inaccurately to improve production yields due to a lack of the right information at the right time. If problems are

    not addressed early, the operator or engineer may not have time to analyze the root cause of the problem and try to

    determine the best course of corrective action. Instead, decisions are usually made based upon rules-of-thumb or just

    sheer expediency: whatever works (and is safe). Decisions ought to be based on data analysis, and need to be accurate so

    that the right information is given to the right people at the right time. Because this needed information to the right people

    is missing, decisions are usually made in the manufacturing or business process operations whose impact on profitability is

    often not identified or known until the monthly accounting reports are published one to two weeks after the close of the

    previous month, way too late to do anything meaningful about it. Thus, Operations, which creates the products and incurs

    the costs, has no or little idea about the impacts of operational decisions on the profitability while theyre making those

    decisions. They are literally flying blind to the impact on the business of their decisions and resulting actions.

    Using a combination of automatic and manual processes, the

    current approach to managing disparate data from disparate

    sources, product variability and workflow losses costs the

    specialty and fine chemical industries millions of dollars per

    year in lost earnings either through reduced yield, increased

    costs or lost revenue opportunities. This Cost of Poor

    Quality COPQ can range as much as 30%-40% of the total

    value of the goods produced in even the best plants in this

    industry. The problem can be mitigated by improving agility

    and workflow management with early identification and

    correction of problems that cause product variability and loss

    of yield. By optimizing the process, additional capacity and

    yields can also be realized.

  • Invensys Operations Management Industry Solutions for Specialty and Fine Chemicals: Production Optimization

    Invensys Specialty Chemical Industry Solution: Production Optimization

    The Invensys Production Optimization Industry Solution for specialty and fine chemical is designed to improve yield, agility

    and workflow management so that problems with scheduling, product demand, product variations, yields and maintenance

    are identified early. In addition, root causes are analyzed and recommendations provided to empower plant personnel to

    make faster, better business decisions, in the right time frames to enable them to implement corrective actions before any

    problems or variations occur. In this way, product variability and product demand are managed better and month-end

    surprises avoided. The right, context-full information gets to the right person at the right time. Product yields and

    manufacturing capacity is greatly improved as well as reduction in waste and product variability. The key components of

    the specialty/fine chemical InFusion industry solution are shown in the following diagram.

    What this means to our clients in the Specialty and Fine Chemical Industries:

    The Invensys specialty and fine chemical Production Optimization industry solution achieves improved batch chemical

    yields through a combination of three principal approaches:

    1. Improved batch execution and management: Many facilities are lacking in batch automation techniques to improve

    control and lot-to-lot repeatability of their batches. Our batch solution as part of this InFusion solution embeds the

    latest ISA S88-compliant batch automation package not only for the actual batch execution, but the supervisory

    components as well to manage the batches and report on the production operations. Our experts will asses a sites or

    an enterprises current level of automation practice, and make a recommendation of what best-practices would

    provide, define the gaps, and then define costs and benefits to close these gaps. While this component can exist by

    itself and deliver substantial client-benefit, its real value comes in being part of the other two components of this

    solution in delivering larger business value to our clients that goes beyond just batch control.

    2. Improved access to meaningful business information associated with production operations: One of the largest

    contributors to less-than-optimal yield in batch chemical plants is the inability to access the correct information on-time

    in a meaningful way to make operational business decisions. This principally revolves around current production costs,

    qualities, and schedules (volume delivered over what time frame) for production being performed right now. Managers

    have access to that information from their ERP systems, but this arrives way too late for them to actually use to guide

    the production operations while the product is being created and the costs incurred, sometimes weeks too late. Thus,

    they may know what HAS HAPPENED, but NOT what IS HAPPENING. There is a world of difference. Our solution

  • Invensys Operations Management Industry Solutions for Specialty and Fine Chemicals: Production Optimization

    addresses this shortcoming by providing real time access to their business variances (the difference between actuals

    and forecasts) for these key business metrics.

    We also allow immediate drill into the running process to determine the root cause of most variances so that corrective

    action can be taken before these variances accrue into substantial losses. Thus, we inform those who can do something

    meaningful about an issue: both WHAT a variance is and WHY. In addition, weve developed control algorithms to

    actually close the loop on many of these business processes to actually allow businesses to run their operations in

    automatic, not only based on the constraints of the process including safety, but based on the current business

    drivers as well.

    Last, because of our modelling capabilities, we can project past performance onto current conditions to actually predict

    alternate operational pathways of higher profitability to add new meaning to what if by recommending operating

    conditions of greater operating profitability. This aspect is achieved utilizing information scattered throughout

    operations (DCSs/PLCs, LIMS, maintenance, ERP systems, and inventory management systems), unification of these pre-

    existing systems to tie them into a single cohesive and unified system infrastructure and architecture so that the

    needed data and information for this aspect of the solution is available without costly re-investments.

    3. Closer-integration of the production operations with scheduling: Scheduling batch chemical operations is extremely

    difficult due to the fundamental disconnect between the dynamics of the actual process operation and the static

    nature of the planned schedule which aggregates production capacity and does not take into account complex or

    multi-path batch production processes. These factors strain normally fixed schedules which become out-dated

    almost from the outset resulting in a constant back-and-forth between operations (where we actually are in

    production) and the scheduling department (what we need to produce by when) to continuously adjust the schedule

    to reflect real conditions. Worse, most manual schedules how much of which products should be made on which

    lines over what time period to optimize profitability are determined on the basis of rules-of thumb and what

    works rather than using any sophisticated profit optimizer. These shortcomings are overcome with this industry

    solution by powerful third party scheduling packages tailored for this industry such as WAM Systems Picaso or

    Preactor to both optimize the production schedule to maximize profitability as well as dynamically tie


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