Process Integration Survey in CH.

In the frame of the Annex I of the IEA Implementing Agreement on Process Integration (PI), an international survey of end-users needs has been coordinated by EA Technology in Capenhurst, UK. The objectives of the survey in end-use industries are : 1) assess the degree of awarness of PI; 2) assess their PI needs; 3) rank their prorities and determine for which objectives PI methodologies are considered; 4) understand in what respect and why PI projects have been successful or failed. Of the 41 questionnaires sent in Switzerland, 20 went back; interviews (13 in total) were necessary to further discuss issues not covered by the questionnaires. It comes out that a small number of PI projects have been achieved, and about 5 of them went to practical and successful implementation (paper industry, fiber cement products, bottling facility, humid oxydation process, brewery). Except these, the general level of PI awareness is very low within swiss industries. The report focuses on understanding why the awareness and the implementation rate of Process Integration are rather low compared to countries such as UK. Based of the insight gained by the interviews, guidelines are outlined to allow for a significant improvement over the present situation. Factors explaining the present situation are summarized. These include: the low price of energy; the competitive market in which companies concentrate on “core buisness”; the swiss industrial structure (very few large companies, many small to middle size companies producing speciality products in batch processes); the legislation & standard framework; the short lead time as well as lifetime of products; the often stringent process conditions; the inadequate project management process; the tendency to rely on outsourcing of know-how; etc. According to industries and engineering consultants, present PI methodologies and related softwares are needed (particularly for batch processes). Up-to-date handboods within the reach of “generalists” are required, including detailled case studies. Education and training on PI methodologies should be extended and should address not only energy but other, presently more important issues. Given the difficult present situation, the strategy to develop, disseminate and implement PI methodologies in the most effective way (at the swiss level) should at least consider the following guidelines (to be discusses with all categories of actors to come to practical solutions in the near future): •it is essential that the message be end-users oriented, i.e. focused on solutions of particular relevance for industries (e.g. not focused on energy as a prioritary objective, but as an additional, side benefit). •a close partnership should be built between industries and academic institutions to tackle the problem of supplying industries with relevant methodologies and software tools as required. The amount of work should be correctly evaluated. i.e. not under-estimated. •an evolution towards a more multidisciplinary structure is needed within the academic institution to efficiently support industries and respond to their generic needs in the PI field.


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 Record created 2005-08-08, last modified 2018-03-17

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