Use digitalization for existing plants

Using digitization – a challenge at brownfield locations in the process industry.

CHORUS DIGITAL takes on the task and offers specific solutions in which logical-technical aspects are combined with the content from management, personnel and organizational development and the tools of digitization.

In March 2019, the two Viennese entrepreneurs Franz Peter Walder and Richard Wipp founded the service company CHORUS DIGITAL. From 35 years of shared experience in the design of companies and procedural process optimization, the claim arose to generate significant and verifiable added value through digitization in the process industry. The focus here is on specific optimization measures for existing production facilities (brownfield).

As a digitization partner for the energy-intensive industry, CHORUS DIGITAL combines the three major areas of corporate management, process and control engineering and data science under one roof.

These three areas are often viewed separately from one another in companies. When applying individual disciplines, the entire optimization potential can never be exhausted. Problems can often only be solved in a sustainable manner by combining procedural considerations and data-based methods. In order to use this solution in optimization and digitization projects and thus also to establish process changes permanently, it is necessary to anchor these with the employees taking into account the corporate strategy. For this purpose, approaches from organizational and personnel development would be implemented, describes Richard Wipp, Managing Director CHORUS DIGITAL, the situation.

Know-how provider with a holistic approach

“We want to provide technology and know-how for digitization projects in the sawmill, wood-based materials and paper industries with a comprehensive, holistic approach,” said the managing director. The focus of the consultation is the linking of several areas that build on each other in the digitization. It has been shown that in the areas of IT and OT, an understanding of the other topic often has to be established. Due to the mutual dependency with simultaneous overlap, for example in the area of security, cooperation is essential for successful digitization projects, continues Wipp. The focus of the teams from process and control engineering together with the data scientist team are industry-specific mathematical and physical as well as data-driven models, so-called digital twins.

In this way, in an increasingly dynamic production environment, upcoming tasks can be carried out and displayed using simulations and tests without interfering with existing production lines and thus without risk. With the help of defined boundary conditions, forecast models for an optimal production output as well as proactive, predictive maintenance scenarios for individual components and entire production lines are worked on.

Development of optimization potential

This approach enables optimization potential to be tapped step by step. This raises quick wins, which already include the corresponding personnel and organizational development during implementation, the entrepreneur executes. In the context of digitization, an overall optimum of work organization, material flow, energy efficiency and product quality with strongly fluctuating production quantities is required.

By digitization partners, companies usually understand the individual suppliers of their digital production systems. Employees often connect digitization with job losses, especially in the production process. CHORUS DIGITAL breaks this basic understanding, Wipp explains. The improvement of existing systems and the increase in competitiveness through product diversity, efficiency, speed and product quality help the individual operating locations and support the successful implementation of cross-location production strategies. It is not uncommon for projects to fail not because of the technical tasks but because of the social complexity and the lack of involvement of people. Wipp knows that a strong corporate culture can be very beneficial, but if there is no involvement, it can also be a hindrance. This is exactly where the integrative, comprehensive and both technically and socially demanding approach of CHORUS DIGITAL comes into play.