Could rethinking process engineering boost your competitive edge?

Imagine if process engineers in your organisation had more time to innovate and tackle complex problems, using the right tools. How far could you go?

Posted: March 12, 2019

Engineer, Procure, Construct

Could rethinking process engineering boost your competitive edge?

In times of fierce global competition, changes in demand and commodity costs, the process industries are increasingly looking to Digital Transformation to increase agility and efficiency. This is especially prominent in the Chemicals and Petrochemicals industry where 92% believe their organisation will be left behind by the competition if they do not digitalise, and 83% consider plant digitalisation top or high priority1

While this space is full of Digital Transformation stories from Predictive Maintenance, to Mobile Working and Computational Chemistry, one area in particular stands out as a key opportunity - the Digital Transformation of the process lifecycle and process engineering.

Understanding and managing your process well will ensure that you can cut cost by being more efficient with your energy consumption and feedstocks, ensure that your products are on spec and help you minimise plant downtime.  It is also key for process innovation and gaining a competitive edge. It is not surprising that our digital eyes are now turning this way, with the chemical giants taking the lead.

A company that is already ahead of the curve in this space is Covestro, one of the world's largest specialty polymer companies. In their organisation-wide Digital Transformation program, Digital@Covestro, process engineering plays a key role.  

Covestro implements a unified platform for process engineering to boost innovation

The benefits of process simulation to the organisation are well known in terms of process design, efficiency, safety and operations. However, despite their digital nature, many process simulation tools are not well equipped to support Digital Transformation programmes and emerging Digital Twins. Often, different process engineering and simulation tools are used by different teams across the process lifecycle. 

Without easy and automated information transfer between tools, process engineers end up spending a large portion of their time re-creating flowsheets and transferring process information from one stage to another and across multiple teams (see Figure 1 below). By working in these process engineering silos the overall benefits of Digital Transformation such as increased efficiency, innovation and reduced errors and delays cannot be fully realised.

the process simulation lifecycle from Covestro

Figure 1: The different stages of the process lifecycle supported by process simulation

This is changing at Covestro where rethinking process engineering is part of its Digital Transformation journey. As a result, Covestro is consolidating the multitude of engineering tools used by engineers across the plant lifecycle onto a single, unified platform, AVEVA's SimCentral Simulation Platform, creating efficiency and a reduction of manual transfer of information between one tool to another.

The time saved in this streamlined process enables process engineers to focus more on innovation, improvement and finding intelligent solutions to complex problems, generating further competitive advantage for the organisation.

If you would like to learn more about Covestro's Digital Transformation of process engineering, how the use of AVEVA's SimCentral Simulation Platform helped support their journey and how they are already benefiting from their new system, watch the Hydrocarbon Processing webinar with Dr. Jochen Steimel and Dr. Konrad Triebeneck from Covestro here.


 1. Vanson Bourne, AVEVA, Digitalisation in Chemicals and Petrochemicals, 2017

Written By
Rebecca Elgebrandt

Rebecca Elgebrandt is leading portfolio marketing for AVEVA’s Engineering business. With a combined Chemical Engineering and Marketing background Rebecca has over 10 years’ experience in engineering software for the process industries. She is passionate about supporting organisations in their digital transformation journeys to realise the hidden value of their engineering information and maximizing the profitability of their capital projects and operations.

Download the Whitepaper:  Digital Agility Forges Digital Resilience    

Related Blog Posts

Stay in the know: Keep up to date on the latest happenings around the industry.

Engineer, Procure, Construct
A history of 3D plant design

Taking you back to where it all began for the 3D plant design industry. The launch of PDMS and the software developments that progressed over five decades to ...

Engineer, Procure, Construct
Capital Project Execution: Unified, in a whole new way.

Capital Project Execution success is about unification, not integration, and it is more important now than ever before.

Engineer, Procure, Construct
From “one & done” Training to Continuous Microlearning

Dedicating a few short minutes a day to microlearning can make a world of difference in avoiding human error and maintaining competency.

Engineer, Procure, Construct
Why is everybody talking about Advanced Work Packaging?

Advanced Work Packaging new Industry trend

Engineer, Procure, Construct
What does the gaming industry have in common with plant design?

What does the gaming industry have in common with plant design? learn about graphical precision to gain a competitive edge with the latest 3D design software ...

Engineer, Procure, Construct
Taking Ship Engineering and Design to new Levels

With tight timelines, concurrent engineering projects not to mention a myriad of external pressures, shipbuilding projects are anything but straightforward. ...

Engineer, Procure, Construct
Standardized Training: Move from pockets of excellence to Operational Excellence

A technical problem is easier to solve than the human one. AVEVA’s cloud technology removes the barriers to deploying advanced tools like operator training ...

Engineer, Procure, Construct
Can your homegrown resource management solution provide the insights you require?

AVEVA ERM Materials allows you to quickly see that you’ve purchased enough material needed for your CAPEX project without having to scour through multiple ...

Engineer, Procure, Construct
CAPEX Project Risk Management: Are you dropping the ball?

Unified Project Execution could shave 15% off the cost of your next project.

Engineer, Procure, Construct
Engineering helps develop a growth mindset – and opens unexpected opportunities

"Be excellent now so you can be excellent tomorrow. Your career as an engineer can take you to lots of different places". See How Lisa Johnston global leader ...

Engineer, Procure, Construct
Enabling the Digital Twin through Unified Engineering

Unified Engineering can save up to 30% of engineering efforts during the Engineering Design phase

Failing to Transform Your Infrastructure Can Really Stink

Infrastructure operators face many challenges, but failing to transform infrastructure can lead to significant consequences.

Engineer, Procure, Construct
Could rethinking process engineering boost your competitive edge?

Covestro is rethinking process engineering as part of its Digital Transformation journey. Learn how they used of AVEVA's SimCentral Simulation Platform to ...

Engineer, Procure, Construct
How EPC 4.0 Helps Maximise Return on Capital

EPC 4.0 means taking control of your data, it means empowering your workforce, and it means reduced costs, reduced delays, and a safer workplace!

Oil and Gas
How Closed-loop Operations Enable Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas Fields

Today, the advancement in technology – cloud platform, analytics and computing power – is revolutionising the way how companies can leverage big data and ...

Food and Beverage, CPG
Henkel’s Sustainability Success is not by Coincidence

Defining a clear focus and measurable targets is vital in driving a successful sustainability initiative. Henkel is one of the first multinational companies to ...

Food and Beverage, CPG
Two Major Food Manufacturing Trends to Watch in 2018

There are two food manufacturing trends that will be extremely important for F&B manufacturers in 2018 across a variety of markets and end-users – ...

Roy Hill: A Digital Mining Transformation & Digital Strategy Success Story

AVEVA has worked closely with Roy Hill to help drive significant achievements for far and continues to work arm-and-arm to further their digital transformation ...

Oil and Gas
How Virtual Reality Compresses Operators Learning Curve in Oilfields

Unlike a traditional classroom environment, the VR immersive training system facilitates interaction between equipment and environment and scenario simulation ...

Waste and Loss Reduction: Digital Mining’s Simplest ROI Story

Know what causes the waste and loss in the mining industry so that you can eliminate that exercise and increase ROI through your digital mining investment.

previous next

Sign up for our newsletter and get all the latest information straight from the source.