Covestro further expands digitalization processes

Covestro further expands digitalization processes

9:39 AM, 12th September 2019
Covestro further expands digitalization processes
Predictive monitoring of Covestro production plants gets possible with the help of digital tools such as tablets.

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY: Covestro is already actively exploiting the benefits of digital transformation and consistently driving digital innovation. Important progress has now been made in two areas: A pilot project has provided new findings for the predictive, intelligent maintenance of systems and is now continued at the production site in Caojing, China.

Also, the global project for digitalizing and integrating the system landscape in production, "Optimized System Integration" (OSI2020) for short, is entering the next project phase. This will make production processes even more cost- and energy-efficient in the future. Further digitalization of the production facilities will make planning, operation and maintenance much easier.

"The collection and analysis of data has become increasingly important in recent years. The expansion of our intelligent and integrated data management increases plant availability and makes production processes more efficient. This is a major step forward in the digitalization of our global operations," said Dr Klaus Schafer, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Covestro and responsible for Production and Technology.

Machine learning enables predictive maintenance

The materials manufacturer is therefore systematically tapping the potential of digitizing production processes. The so-called "predictive maintenance" of systems, for example, becomes even more reliable in combination with machine learning and artificial intelligence. This is shown by a pilot project of the polymer company. The temperature and vibration sensors installed in a large engine of the production plant transmit their collected data on the condition of the engine during operation to software. This enabled the team to predict possible engine failure eight months in advance.

"Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence provide a real improvement in the overall operation. We are convinced that this technology will prevail in all production plants in the future," summarizes Jane Arnold, Head of Global Process Control Technology. "The aim is to be able to intervene precisely in the production processes on the basis of a clear presentation of all information and thus continuously optimize them," Arnold continues. To this end, Covestro comprehensively analyses data from ongoing production and maintenance in order to be able to assess the behaviour of machines and materials in advance and make appropriate recommendations. The system learns automatically.

Green light for digital twins

A central component in the digitalization of production processes at Covestro is the global project "Optimized System Integration" (OSI2020). Launched in 2017 with 12 sub-projects, the Board has now given the go-ahead for the second phase of the project. The roll-out of the already developed portal for integrated engineering and operation of production facilities at all major locations is planned. The Integrated Plant and Engineering Platform (IPEP) creates a virtual data model and a digital twin of each production plant.

"The entire technical documentation of each plant is brought together in digital form in this type of database. This will benefit all production employees. IPEP will enable us to work even more securely and efficiently in the future and to access all data quickly and easily. Covestro sees great potential in the intelligent linking of plant and process data, on the basis of which further applications could be developed," added Stephan Krebber, Program Director Digital Production & Technology.

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