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Improving chemical production processes with IIoT and AI technologies

By Andritz |

Efficient filtration is an essential process step in the chemical industry if you want to guarantee consistently high product quality. The filter press has long been established as one of the most common products for filtration, but extensive changes over the decades mean that today’s version bears scant resemblance to the first presses. In a field highly receptive to innovation, it is hardly surprising that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies have now come to bear on filter press development. One company at the forefront of applying latest IIoT advances to classic separation technology is the international technology group ANDRITZ. Their automation solutions for filter presses draw on new mechanisms and features that not only increase product quality but also decrease operating costs by optimizing processes.

So what makes a filter press intelligent? The key distinguishing features include monitoring of dry substances, oil and filtrate quality, as well as intelligent washing cycles and pressure control. These features enable operators to increase efficiency, reduce downtime, and enhance safety and monitoring functions. For example, a Smart Sensor may be fitted inside the filter press to monitor the press and constantly compare the values reported with the nominal values. The filter press can then be stopped automatically if any deviations from the norm are sensed. The sensor can also increase efficiency, for example by suggesting an automatic washing cycle to keep the quality of the end product at a consistently high level.

Furthermore, the filter press can be programmed to shut down in case of a loss of pressure – a feature that massively increases operating safety. In addition, intelligent technology facilitates constant measurement of the oil levels and oil quality, thereby ensuring smooth operations and reducing OPEX by avoiding unnecessary oil changes. Damage to the equipment is also prevented by ensuring lubrication stays at a functional level. Another key efficiency driver is the monitoring of dry substance by Smart Sensors positioned inside the filter press during the process. This enables the operator to stop filtration at the right time and reduce fluctuations in the cake moisture content.

And a final aspect is the enhancement of usability by applying intelligent filter elements: Leading technologies that have to be mentioned in this respect are the intelligent filter plate and the smart filter cloth developed by ANDRITZ. The Metris SmartFILTERCLOTH is tagged with an RFID chip to help monitor use and indicate the right time to replace cloths, while the LENSER filter plate facilitates an enormous reduction in cycle times.

Download the attached Whitepaper for deeper insights into the elements of the intelligent filter press.