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Artificial Intelligence
Bilfinger to become a DFKI shareholder

Industrial plants consist of many elements. PIDGraph recognizes these from the plant plans and transfers them to the digital world. (Picture: Bilfinger)
Industrial plants consist of many elements. PIDGraph recognizes these from the plant plans and transfers them to the digital world. (Picture: Bilfinger)

Bilfinger, through its subsidiary Bilfinger Digital Next, is joining the group of shareholders of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). The DFKI is an industry-focused research institute in the field of innovative software technologies incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and is considered one of the most important “Centers of Excellence” in the international scientific community. The purpose of the stake is to develop innovative solutions based on AI for the process industry. Bilfinger is the first industrial services provider in the DFKI shareholder group, which also includes companies like Google, Microsoft and SAP. Franz Braun, CEO of Bilfinger Digital Next: “Artificial intelligence technologies give companies in the process industry groundbreaking new opportunities to manage and maintain their plants with a greater degree of efficiency and effectiveness. Plant operators can generate substantial competitive advantages using AI. We want to demonstrate these possibilities to our customers and support them with future-oriented solutions based on the broad range of advantages delivered by artificial intelligence”.

Prof. Dr. Antonio Krüger, CEO and Chairman of the DFKI Management Board: “We are pleased to be taking the next step towards a lasting partnership on the basis of the success we have enjoyed in our joint project work to date. Bilfinger’s commitment attests to our cooperation and underscores the industrial relevance of the work DFKI researchers are doing. DFKI’s circle of shareholders will be strengthened by the addition of an ambitious industrial services provider, with whom we plan to continue implementing the results of AI research into products and solutions for the process industry”.

Bilfinger has been collaborating successfully with the DFKI for some time on the development of digital solutions for the process industry. Joint developments that have been launched on the market include PIDGraph, a software for the digitalization of plant documentation. Through the application of AI methods, the software is able to digitalize piping and instrument flow diagrams (P&I diagrams) that are only available in paper or PDF formats. The symbols, texts and lines of the diagrams are converted into a digital format with the help of neural networks trained to recognize patterns. The software records the corrections made by the user and thus continuously improves itself. The digital formats created by PIDGraph can be processed by any modern engineering and asset management system, thereby forming the basis for creating “digital twins” of industrial plants, for example. The digitalization of P&I diagrams is not only significantly cheaper with PIDGraph, but also much faster than conventional methods.

“The AI algorithms recognize the complex elements in the plant diagrams, analyze them, assign them semantically, making them readable for the computer. PIDGraph shows how mature AI methods can comprehend complex corporate knowledge and make it available for digital use,” says Prof. Dr. Andreas Dengel, who started the cooperation with Bilfinger and leads the research area Smart Data & Knowledge Services at the DFKI.

Chemicals News Processing Technologies Water & Waste Water

New belt press range for the environment industry

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International technology group ANDRITZ presents the SME-Q and the SMX-Q, the new belt presses for the environment industry reflecting the very latest state of the art. Due to their low-profile components, they are extremely operator-friendly and feature high quality design with low maintenance needs, thus ensuring maximum performance in terms of dryness and throughput.

Different Models for a wide range of requirements

The medium-pressure belt filter presses in the new SME-Q range are suitable primarily for standard and medium duty performance levels, while the high-pressure belt presses in the SMX-Q series were developed for medium to heavy-duty performance levels where each individual machine must achieve high throughputs. The two machines include the same features in terms of design and have an extra-long thickening zone, a camber wedge for a steady, optimized pressure increase, a low profile, and an open, stainless steel frame structure for easy access. Both models will provide excellent operating availability and reliability in operation.

Investement versus throughput and perfomance

Compared to the SMX-Q, the medium-pressure belt press SME-Q provides a smaller footprint at lower investment cost and has been specifically developed for small to medium-sized sewage treatment plants and for industrial applications. The investment costs are low due to its optimized structural weight. In addition, the innovative design of the belt press makes it possible to dismantle parts of the machine quickly and easily so that it can be transported in conventional containers or on standard-size trucks.

The high-pressure belt press SMX-Q delivers highest throughputs thanks to its large filtration and pressing area. Its robust frame structure generates high belt tension and high pressure on the sludge to provide the best dewatering performance for a belt press. The specific features of the SMX-Q enable this machine to be adapted to almost any application – even with the most challenging dewatering requirements.

Among the advantages of the new ANDRITZ belt presses are the lower investment costs (SME-Q) compared to other products currently available on the market, perfect dewatering results, highest throughputs, and lowest residual moisture. They offer the right technical solution for municipal and industrial sludge treatment plants, for thickening and dewatering in a single stage (thanks to the efficient thickening zone or combination with a gravity table) and for achieving high efficiency in specific applications such as pulp and paper, manure, biogas, slaughterhouse and chemical sludges.

ANDRITZ SEPARATION

Provides mechanical and thermal technologies and services for solid/liquid separation, serving the chemical, environmental, food, mining and minerals industries. The customized, innovative solutions focus on minimizing the use of resources and achieving highest process efficiency, thus making a substantial contribution towards sustainable environmental protection. In addition, the business area offers technologies and services for the production of animal feed and biomass pellets.

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Chemicals

Energy Leader
Merck’s DOZN Green Chemistry Tool Named Top Product of the Year

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Merck announced that it won a Top Product of the Year award from Environment + Energy Leader for its DOZN system, a quantitative tool that evaluates the relative greenness of chemicals and chemical processes against the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.

“Our DOZN™ system is enabling the global scientific community to make data-driven decisions to increase the environmental sustainability of the sector,” said Jeffrey Whitford,  head of sustainability and social business innovation and branding at the Life Science business of Merck. “This recognition further confirms the importance of quantitative tools that make data actionable.”

The Environment + Energy Leader Awards celebrates excellence in environmental, sustainability and energy management. The win is an indication that the program’s judges consider Merck’s DOZN™ tool a top example of the exemplary work being done in the environmental management field.

Merck’s DOZN™ system has more than 300 active, registered users representing some of the most prestigious names in the academic world, government institutions and business-to-consumer companies. The tool has been cited in 17 papers since its May 2019 launch.

Chemists and scientists look for sustainable options in the lab, such as recycling gloves and using greener packaging. However, they may not think about the impact of green chemistry and often face the challenge of evaluating the sustainability of a chemical or process. Merck’s DOZN™ tool provides a consistent and reliable framework for measuring the greenness of chemicals and processes. It also raises awareness for scientists and communicates the environmental improvements for products labelled as greener alternatives. Products receive an aggregate score based on a scale of zero to 100, with zero being the most desired.

The DOZN™ system instructs customers how to calculate scores for products that the company does not offer and allows customers to  carry out meaningful research while positively contributing to their own environmental impact goals.

Merck plans to expand the applications of the tool, including the implementation into curricula at academic institutions to further increase the adoption of quantitative metrics in green chemistry.

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Chemicals

Digitalization
IChemE launches new online Knowledge Hub

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Image: IChemE

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has today formally launched its Knowledge Hub, a virtual library for process engineers to access thousands of resources developed across IChemE.

The Knowledge Hub brings together over 9,000 pieces of technical content in one central location, accessible through a single searchable index.

Featuring information from a broad range of sources, content on the Knowledge Hub includes historic journal papers, incident reports, good practice guides from the IChemE Safety Centre as well as articles from The Chemical Engineer and the Loss Prevention Bulletin.

Also included are selected online training courses, proceedings from previous Hazards events as well as IChemE submissions to policy consultations.

Viewers can browse by industry, topic, author or date, or alternatively use the handy search bar. With the comprehensive search functionality, this extensive library of IChemE technical information is now available at the click of a button.

Jarka Glassey, Vice President Learned Society said:

“IChemE has historically produced and continues to produce an exceptional amount of technical content helping to inform, advise and provide guidance to chemical and process engineers around the world. The Knowledge Hub is a fantastic resource that enables members and others involved in the chemical engineering profession to access the full extent of this information with just a few clicks of the mouse.

“Over time we will continue to add more and more content to the Knowledge Hub, ensuring that all of IChemE’s technical information and guidance is easily accessible in one place.”

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