Real-time control and optimization of batch industrial processes

June 15, 2023

This is the ambition of the project “Advanced Batch Control for Industry” (ABC4I) led by 6 partners. Optimistik, Axel’One, Probayes, and INSA Lyon/IMP laboratory are pooling their expertise to develop a complete digital chain, from online process analysis to process control through prediction and optimization algorithms. This digital chain will be tested on the processes of the two industrial partners: Adisseo for vitamin A synthesis and Elkem for silicone polymerization.

This new approach aims to offer a ready-to-use method that is technically and economically relevant for improving the performance of batch processes, including on flexible and multiproduct lines. Furthermore, the benefits will include productivity, material yields, energy consumption, emissions and waste reduction, and quality improvement.

For Elkem, the ABC4I project is part of an approach to digitize batch processes of vinyl oil synthesis with automation by a learning system that will optimize the duration and quality of production.  The solution, after validation phases, will be implemented in a specialty silicone manufacturing workshop in Saint-Fons, south of Lyon.

The ABC4I project is funded by Bpifrance as part of the “i-Démo – Support for structuring R&D&I projects” call for proposals of the France 2030 plan, and is supported by the competitiveness clusters Axelera, Minalogic, and Techtera. A dozen companies in the industry sector have also expressed their interest, as real-time automated control with optimized batch processes is a significant challenge.

Key figures of the project:

  • R&D budget of €4.7 million
  • Duration: 3 years

Optimistik is a Cloud solutions provider dedicated to the digitalization and management of factories in leveraging their data, known as “Data Driven Plant Operations”. These solutions enable industrial companies to improve their production processes using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) by making these technologies accessible at all organizational levels.

Axel’One‘s mission is to mutualize services, tools, and expertise to reduce the costs and risks of scaling up industrial processes. The Axel’One platform supports R&D projects and small and medium-sized enterprises in the fields of advanced materials and innovative processes.

Probayes has been developing customized Artificial Intelligence solutions in collaboration with the customer business teams, since 2003.

A team of Data Scientists is dedicated to each expertise, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, Vision, Natural Language Processing, Operational Research.

Probayes supports its customers from the identification of use cases to the industrialization of solutions and the training of business teams.

Elkem is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced silicon-based materials shaping a better and more sustainable future. The company develops silicones, silicon products and carbon solutions by combining natural raw materials, renewable energy and human ingenuity. Elkem helps its customers create and improve essential innovations like electric mobility, digital communications, health and personal care as well as smarter and more sustainable cities.

Adisseo is a global leader in animal feed additives, with a mission to contribute to sustainable, affordable, healthy, and safe food production. To achieve this, the company designs, produces, and markets innovative nutritional solutions for sustainable animal nutrition.

The IMP (Materials Engineering) laboratory is a Joint Research Unit (UMR CNRS 5223 INSA Lyon/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1/Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne) that develops activities ranging from fundamental research to applied objectives, from the synthesis of new macromolecular architectures to polymer formulation for establishing structure/property relationships.

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