Soft sensor for Lanxess

August 30, 2022

Let’s say you work as a maintenance manager in a company that specializes in chemicals production. Ensuring the timely maintenance of production machinery can be challenging, especially if you work with products with high acidity levels that require you to constantly replace and calibrate them.  

As a maintenance manager, you know that maintaining, configuring, and calibrating physical sensors for production lines is a time-consuming and costly job. How do you manage to reduce costs for something that is part of the production process in the chemical industry?  

The Problem

This was the main production problem presented by our customer LANXESS nv, a specialty chemicals company with some 1,000 employees in Belgium. To attack the problem, they were using in-line sampling and measurement, but these manual procedures were costly and time-consuming.  

The pH determines the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution and is used in many industries to determine the acidity of their chemical solutions. A pH sensor plays a key role in determining the proper pH levels in the production process.  

Using our expertise in industrial consulting and our extensive knowledge in artificial intelligence, at Quariq we prepared a tailor-made solution for LANXESS nv. Using machine learning, a virtual soft sensor was created with the ability to predict pH values in real-time.  

“For most companies in industry and process management, artificial intelligence is a brand new technology. New technologies come along with questions and finding your way through a new vocabulary. How to implement new technology in your company? How to integrate it with existing systems? As digitization is key in our company, our ambition is to gain knowledge and experience related to Artificial Intelligence so we prepare ourselves for the future. And therefore, a trustworthy partnership is essential. Quariq, a brand of AG Solution Group, has a profound knowledge of our systems and combines these insights with Artificial Intelligence expertise. The creation of a soft sensor made it possible for us to gain experience in setting up an AI project in our current production environment and prepare for future AI projects. First results: a more stable production"

-Steven Smedts. Automation Manager at Lanxess Kallo

The AI Solution

With a virtual soft sensor, Lanxess operators can now adjust the production process constantly, instead of waiting a couple of hours to notice that the pH is out of specification, potentially resulting in a loss of product.  

Quariq's AI solution for Lanxess supports operators by integrating the soft sensor values into the trusted SCADA system. Using historical automation data and AI to predict the acidity and accuracy of 3% and then send it back to the historian and automation system.  

The main advantages of implementing this solution are:

  • Significantly decreases maintenance time and cost
  • Increases the sampling rate to allow for more timely process changes
  • Supports the decision making of operators by seamless integration with the current systems

Taking AI to the industrial level

Even the best and most accurate industrial solutions in the world don't bring value if they don't help decision making when and where it matters. At Quariq we can give you answers and actions to optimize your production and help you make decisions based on real-time data.  

Tell us about your plant's biggest challenge. We can help you solve it, even if you don't know what that problem is.

Start today!

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