A look into the future at ACHEMA
Three focal topics bring "Flexible Production", "Chemical and pharma logistics" an "Biotech for Chemistry" to the forefront at ACHEMA 2018, which runs from June 11 to 15, 2018 in Frankfurt. They will provide answers to the process industry of the future.
First trend that can seen at the ACHEMA 2018: Digitisation has been a major driver of the process industry for some time – and it’s no end in itself: “Future chemical production has to react more flexibly – to different raw materials, to a volatile energy supply, and to customer demands for more individualized products”, said Dr. Andreas Förster, Subject Matter Expert Chemistry at DECHEMA e.V. The focal topic “Flexible Production” at ACHEMA 2018 specifically addresses these aspects:
- Modular plants that can be assembled from „plug and play“-components according to the requirements of different processes, production volume or locations
- Robust technologies that allow for variations of production volume depending e.g. on energy supply
- Automated process control that uses real time measurements to optimize processes
The second trend: Closely related to flexible production are chemical and pharma logistics. These used to be perceived as something happening outside the factory gate, but in times of integrated supply chains they have become a significant factor in production. In some areas like personalized medicine, logistics even become part of the product: New therapies rely on samples being transported fast and reliably from the bedside to the lab. With track-and-trace-technologies the location of the sample can be determined at any time – an important feature in quality control not only in the pharmaceutical, but also in the chemical industry. ACHEMA 2018 takes this into account.
The third focal topic „Biotech for Chemistry“ showcases the integration of chemical and biotechnological methods. They are no longer strictly separated; pragmatically, the method of choice is the one promising the best results, the organizer states. Citric acid, for example, has been produced since the 1920s by purely biotechnological means, for acetic acid, the chemical process is still more competitive. This leads to questions regarding the development of robust production strains as well as the selection of solvents at the interface between biotechnological and chemical reaction steps. ACHEMA as the forum that covers the whole development and value chain offers stakeholders the chance to explore exactly this type of cooperation.