Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.95, No.2, 265-280, 2017
Real-Time Resource Efficiency Indicators for Monitoring and Optimization of Batch-Processing Plants
This paper presents a framework for the definition and calculation of Real-Time Resource Efficiency Indicators (REIs) for batch processes. The indicators are based on the allocation of resource and energy inputs to the individual batches and recipe operations as the basis for a comprehensive analysis and representation of the overall resource efficiency. The framework structures REIs into three categories describing (1) the efficiency of key unit operations, (2) the efficiency of the production of an individual batch, and (3) the overall system performance. Indicators from the last two categories can be propagated along the production process and can be aggregated vertically from units to sections and complete production sites. Chemical production processes often involve batch blending and splitting, separation processes, and continuous production steps. The framework allocates the contributions of the continuous steps to the batches and considers merging and splitting of batches. Thus, it yields a reliable and commensurate set of indicators that can be used to monitor and to optimize the resource efficiency of batch processing plants in real-time in order to support the decision making process in daily operations. To demonstrate the approach, it is applied to a sugar production process that integrates batch and continuously operated unit operations.