5. Important events to shape the digitalization of the process industry

5.1.    “Sensors for the Digitalization of Chemical Production Plants – Requirements, Technologies and New Approaches to Solutions”, DECHEMA workshop on 18 June 2019

On June 18, 2019, a workshop for the development of requirements, technologies and new approaches for sensors in the field of digital chemical production took place in the DECHEMA building in Frankfurt am Main with about 100 participants. The meeting was organized by the trade associations AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement and ProcessNet "Wanted Technologies" (which has been supporting various technical groups of the ProcessNet Association for Fluid Dynamics and Separation Technology since 2010). Digitalization in chemical plants is currently focused on operational planning based on complex data and through the intelligent analysis of large amounts of data based on increasing computer performance and machine learning. Flexibilization of plants, changes in the raw material base, energetic load management or shorter "time-to-market" are some future challenges for process design and plant operation. This results in application areas of new and improved sensor technology for plant monitoring, spatially and temporally closer monitoring of critical process variables or closer monitoring of product and raw material flows.

Aims of the workshop were the identification of R&D needs for the following topics

  • Sensor technology for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance of operating systems
  • Sensor technology for the acquisition of substance-related variables
  • Sensor integration in plants
  • Communication, data management, data analysis and process automation

and the promotion of cooperation and networking on the subject. The results of the workshop resulted in a position paper in January 2020 [11]. By May 2020, the initiating group had collected ideas for concrete research projects and consortia in order to bring them to the attention of research funding.

5.2. “Field instruments supporting digital transformation”, 81st NAMUR General Meeting, Bad Neuenahr, 8-9 November 2018

At the NAMUR General Meeting on November 8 and 9, 2018, the subject of field devices was the focus of the event in Bad Neuenahr, which was attended by 650 participants. "Field instruments supporting digital transformation" was the motto that users of automation technology in the process industry, invited experts and managers from manufacturers and associations discussed extensively. [7] Thus, requirements for the change in process analysis technology of today and in the future were presented. Even with the current care-intensive PAT installations, information can be provided where it is needed through digitalization. And the specialist does not necessarily have to be on site. In order to be able to successfully introduce more digitalization in the future, the complexity must be capsuled so that the user can easily and directly feel the benefits.

5.3. “100 % digital: Survival strategies for the process industry”, 57th Tutzing Symposium of the ProcessNet section PAAT, Tutzing, 15-18.04.2018 [5]

IIn April 2018, around one hundred experts and decision-makers from the chemical and process industry spent three days with lectures and creative workshops exploring what special requirements the process industry has for digital innovations, which of these have already been implemented and where there is still need for action. For this purpose, the entire vertical asset life cycle from process development to production and decommissioning as well as the horizontal supply chain life cycle from supplier to customer in chemical production was examined in terms of the opportunities and risks of digitalization. Requirements for intelligent apparatus and plants, sensors and automation as well as the topics of data concepts, data analysis, big data and artificial intelligence were also discussed. The perspectives were initially summarized in 12 theses and summarized in a series of reports in CITplus [6].



  1. Introduction
  2. The concept of digitalisation in the process industry
  3. Accompanying the digitalisation of the process industry and designing potential infrastructural R&D focal points
  4. Current associations and working groups shaping the digitization of the process industry
  5. Important events to shape the digitalization of the process industry
  6. References



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