Record-breaking productivity at chemical manufacturer

Record-breaking productivity at chemical manufacturer

Siemens Digital Industries (Siemens DI) has helped chemical manufacturer Kemira achieve record-breaking productivity levels at its Bradford plant.

Kemira was able to optimise how it makes its polyacrylamide products, which are used for the cleaning of municipal and industrial wastewater.

Acrylamide is the essential raw material in the process via which polyacrylamides are manufactured. The biggest challenge Kemira had was that for many years the acrylamide was sourced from a Kemira plant in The Netherlands, with up to ten tanker loads per day making the journey across the North Sea to Bradford.

Using Siemens’ technologies including the SIMATIC PCS 7 platform and digital instrumentation portfolio, Kemira is now producing the acrylamide on site and is also able to capture and analyse data to drive significant improvements in the efficiency of the process.

The Siemens solution has allowed the Yorkshire factory to achieve its goal of becoming self-sufficient in the production of acrylamide rather than importing about 1,600 tankers from its sister plant in the Netherlands each year. 

With a safe and efficient plant, Kemira is now using the data generated from the process to optimise the manufacturing process and further reducing batch cycle times, while the process runs at a lower temperature, which cuts energy consumption.

Steve Leech, business manager process control systems, Siemens Great Britain & Ireland, said: “The successful deployment has enabled Kemira to take their first steps on their digitalisation journey. 

“In the chemical sector, this is a significant move forward and sets them up to meet the challenges of the sector in areas such as flexibility, productivity, time to market and quality.”

Siemens also supported Kemira’s responsibilities to optimise safety at the plant as the expansion resulted in a change in classification of the site from being Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH) lower tier to upper tier. 

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