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Placing Data Analytics in the Hands of Engineers

By Chemical Engineering |

The field of data analytics is evolving quickly, and an increasing number of tools are being designed with chemical engineers in mind Big data, smart devices, Internet of Things (IoT) — these are terms heard more and more frequently in the chemical process industries (CPI). But as connectivity proliferates, questions arise about how CPI facilities can best make use of the wealth of data they are collecting (Figure 1). “Data analytics are here to stay — those who don’t use it will lose out to competitors who do,” says Petri Vasara, vice president of management consulting at Pöyry plc (Helsinki, Finland; www.poyry.com). These benefits reach beyond process improvements into more esoteric areas, such as safety and sustainability. Vasara lists minimizing raw materials consumption and reducing emissions as two specific environmental benefits realized by data analytics. “Modern process-control equipment provides significant amounts of data that can be used for proactive disturbance elimination and process stabilization, promoting not only safety, but higher efficiency and sustainability,” explains Tom Lind, vice president of technology and new solutions at Pöyry. Introducing these principles into CPI sites will require continued…
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