Skip to main content

Improved energy and resource efficiency by better coordination of production in the process industries

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CoPro (Improved energy and resource efficiency by better coordination of production in the process industries)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2020-06-30

The goal of CoPro has been to improve the energy and resource efficiency of industrial plants and industrial parks by improved process monitoring and optimal dynamic planning, scheduling and control of interconnected process units and plants, thereby making significant contributions to reduce the carbon footprint of the European process industries.
The energy and resource efficiency of the production depends critically on discrete decisions on which equipment is used when, maintenance, shutdowns, etc. CoPro has included these discrete decisions in plant-wide dynamic optimisation and developed integrated scheduling and control solutions. Advanced online data analytics have been developed to monitor plant health. CoPro has demonstrated advanced plant-wide and site-wide coordination and control in five use cases that cover a wide range of sectors of the process industries:
• Integrated petrochemical production
• Base chemicals and polymer production
• Cellulose production
• Consumer product formulation and packaging
• Packing and sterilisation of fish.
CoPro has further developed methods for the coordination of the operation of processing plants that are connected by resource networks but are operated by different business units of companies, and has analysed the legal constraints for such coordination mechanisms.
CoPro has paid special attention to the interaction with plant operators and managers and developed novel user interfaces. As the effort required for the development and maintenance of accurate plant models often is the bottleneck for the implementation of optimization-based solutions, CoPro has developed tools for hybrid (rigorous and data-based) modelling and model management. To reduce the effort for the integration of model-based solutions in the existing IT/OT landscape at the plants, an integration platform has been developed and demonstrated in several feasibility studies.
Modelling strategy, model quality monitoring and model adaptation
• Models suitable for the purpose for the CoPro industrial case studies
• Comprehensive survey of model quality measures and their application in the process industries
• General techniques for hybrid modelling and tool within PSE’s gPROMS environment.
• Approach to introduce constraints in data-driven models to capture the qualitative behaviour of the underlying physical process
Data Processing and Process and Product Quality Monitoring
• Improved data reconciliation formulations
• Soft sensor for fouling
• Derivation of rules for the root causes of deviations of plant efficiency from the best demonstrated practice
• Anomaly detection method for a critical polymerization reactor
Plant and site-wide optimisation and control of continuously operated plants
• Method for robust estimation of the best demonstrated performance from production data
• Operator assistance to improve energy and resource efficiency
• Decision support tool for the optimization of the production and procurement of intermediates in large sites
• Methods for efficient mixed-integer linear modelling of complex production networks including storage and logistics
• Decision support for the optimization of the operation of evaporator networks
• Efficient algorithms for the joint optimization of plants that are coupled by resource networks, via market-like algorithms
• Methods for the integrated scheduling and adaptation of operational parameters of batch processes in food processing

Plant-wide control of flexible multi-product plants
Models and solution techniques
• for production scheduling of multi-product, multi-purpose mixed batch and continuous plants
• for integrated optimization of operations and scheduling for batch processes
• for the optimization of product changeovers in multiproduct plants in the consumer goods industry with and without intermediate storage

Human-machine interaction, IT integration and LC assessment (Lead: LEIKON)
Main results are:
• New HMIs for several applications
• Intexc suite for the integration of model-based solutions into the IT/OT infrastructure
• Model management platform

Applications to use cases, demonstrations and feasibility studies
LENZING
• Implementation of a system for real-time load allocation for an evaporator network (in daily productive use)
• Methods and algorithms for integrated scheduling and operation of an evaporator and condenser network using river water (prototype)
INEOS
• Complete modelling and optimization of the NH3-network, including storage and logistics (prototype)
• Reliable estimation of the best demonstrated efficiency for large-scale plants from measured data (in productive use)
• Derivation of the root causes for deviations from the best demonstrated plant efficiency (pilot)
COVESTRO
• Optimization of the production and procurement of technical gases (pilot)
FRINSA
• Production scheduling system for the complete production (prototype)
• Integrated optimization of the operation and scheduling of the sterilizers (pilot)
P&G
• Product assignment and sequencing algorithm for multi-product consumer goods production (prototype)

Exploitation, Dissemination, Standardisation
• Continuous communication via LikedIn, Research Gate and the CoPro web site
• 35 peer-reviewed published papers
• Final online event with about 180 participants
• Two market studies for SMEs from the CoPro consortium
• Detailed exploitation plans, roll-out of several developments in the participating companies, two developments led to new products by SMEs immediately after the end of CoPro
• Contribution to international standardization activities
Innovative CoPro technologies:
• Operator support for improving energy and material efficiency
• Anomaly detection in polyethylene production
• Large-scale optimisation of production and logistics in chemical plants
• Optimisation of the operation of an industrial power plant under demand uncertainty
• Optimisation of the production and procurement of technical gases
• Planning and scheduling of make and pack processes
• Optimal operation of sterilisation processes in food production
• Large-scale production scheduling in the food industry
• Optimum operation of an evaporator network in viscose fiber production
• Optimisation of the operation of heat exchangers
• Intexc Suite – Seamless integration of model-based real-time solutions into production IT environments
• Model Management Platform
• Surrogate modelling tool and workflow in gPROMS
• Data-driven and hybrid modelling tool
• Estimation of grey-box models with constraints
• Cross-company site-wide optimisation without sharing of sensitive data
• Modelling concept and model library for large-scale optimisation in chemical plants
• Thermal models for process optimization in the canning industry
• LC assessment tool for monitoring the impact of grid connected processes.

These innovations of CoPro are applicable to all SPIRE sectors. The CoPro technologies will significantly strengthen the global position of the European process industry and have positive impact on the greenhouse emissions and resource efficiency. The on-site material handling time, the resource consumption, the global use of energy and the greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by at least 5% if rolled out broadly across the European process industries.
CoPro Project logo