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ACHEMA Worldwide News 2/2014

gets for process improvement by removing waste and increasing efficiency. Spectroscopic Techniques on the Rise To an increasing extent, spectroscopic techniques are replacing conventional sensors. Spectroscopic sensors are, in that sense, complex systems providing detailed information on the molecular structure of components. As spectroscopic techniques can simultaneously detect all morphological and chemical features, the complete fundamental functionality is inherent in every spectrum. However, redundant and unnecessary information must be excluded and sensitivity and selectivity increased. The necessary prerequisites and objectives for advanced instrumental sensors are: • increase intelligence on the sensor platform that also includes calibration procedures; • integrate first principles into the data analysis, increasing selectivity; • increase sensitivity by means of higher photon fluxes and better detector principles; • use multimodality as the sensor principle, thus obtain complex spectral trajectories. Another buzz word in the media of today is Industry 4.0. — or shall we rather say Chemistry 4.0? The specific terms don’t really matter — but process analysis will certainly play a more important role in the future of the process industries than it has in the past. Let’s briefly look back: After the first industrial revolution with the mechanization of industrial manufacturing and the second industrial revolution with the introduction of the assembly line and electrical power came the third revolution at the end of the last century, introducing information technology into mass production. Today we are very likely at the verge of the fourth industrial revolution — which will be the smart factory. The future of industrial automation will be arbitrarily modifiable and expandable (flexible), and connect arbitrary components of a network of multiple producers. It will thus enable its components to perform tasks related to its context independently and on a self-organizational basis, with the emphasis on the ease of use. In short, smart materials are processed in smart factories with smart sensors to produce smart products. This enables the production of small batches of goods that can be customized for any customer. You don’t need to be a visionary to understand that this is an industrial environment which, for the process industries, is fully dependent on a truly advanced real-time process analysis and monitoring. Sounds complicated? Get a better understanding of what’s going on in our industry and visit us at www.achema.de and — definitely a must! — in Frankfurt am Main/Germany next year (June 15–19, 2015). n A special edition from PROCESS 7


ACHEMA Worldwide News 2/2014
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