05/03/2021 | The show
Modular plants are considered a concept of the future. But can existing equipment also be integrated into modular landscapes? The start-up Semodia promises just that - on the basis of standardized Module Type Packages.
Not only the last few months, with their fluctuations in demand and partial supply chain failures, have shown once again that more flexibility in production is the key to cutting costs and staying close to the market. Modular plants that can be reassembled and scaled as needed are one way to achieve this. But few labs and companies can afford to build a completely new plant fleet. Semodia offers a solution to this: "We can equip existing modules such as temperature control units in such a way that they can be integrated into the control system afterwards via plug & produce. This saves a lot of time and manual work," explains Henry Bloch, Managing Director and co-founder of Semodia GmbH.
The approach is based on the Module Type Package. An MTP includes all the information needed to connect a component with other components - similar to a printer driver in the office. "The founders of Semodia developed the Module Type Package in their research and strongly promoted its standardization. But to enable all stakeholders in the process industry to use the Module Type Package, we have developed a product range around this standard." This closes a gap for Semodia, because until now controllers from different manufacturers could not be used together within one plant. The founders offer their solutions for laboratories as well as pilot plant and production facilities.
The team is an integral part of the "modularization scene" - a good prerequisite for establishing their own company. The application orientation tipped the scales: "We decided to become founders ourselves because we want to bring the good scientific idea of the MTP into industrial application. We also want to make the process industry more flexible, and we want to do that with creative freedom." The fact that the path would not be easy did not deter Henry Bloch, Anna Menschner, Stephan Hensel and Jan Funke: "As a founder, you have to overcome hurdles every day. One is higher, the other lower. But thanks to a very good team, great customers and a good network, these can always be overcome. The biggest hurdle so far was to win the first customers, but we managed that too and now we have more than 15 customers."
At the ACHEMA Start-up Award, they now want to expand their network: "We hope to make good contacts and have interesting discussions with the most important players in the process industry, as well as attract international attention. We are looking for customers and partners to spread the MTP and also NAMUR Open Architecture in the industry."
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