Ahead of the upcoming "The Chemical Innovation Conference 2019", CIEX is interviewing Jane Arnold, Head of Global Process Control Technology at Covestro on which is the current state of the industry, its innovation efforts and what must leaders in the chemical industry do to prepare to remain competitive and prepare for the future.
Question #1: Without giving too much away – what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?
Digitalization is a hot topic in the industry these days. Historically, we have been digital since the first transmitter sent the first signal to the first digital recorder. Over the years we have amassed an incomprehensible amount of data. All of that data tells a story. When you view it with the right lens, then you can leverage the power behind it to make monumental improvements. At Covestro we are strongly focused on how to utilize the data in order to make improvements across the entire value chain from R&D and Project engineering through production to our commercial operations.
Question #2: Why did you choose the topic of your talk?
My first priority for many years has been to optimize production and to make work as easy as possible for the field level workforce – those with their hands closest to production. Full automation means less unplanned outages and less operator exposure to abnormal situations. I am very passionate about the opportunities that go along with the technical advancements over the past few years and want to leverage them to continuously improve operations at Covestro. In turn, the advances that we make also improve energy efficiency, reduce rework, and improve throughput for long-term sustainable advances.
Question #3: What motivates you to join CIEX 2019 and what are your expectations?
CIEX offers a unique opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas with other leaders in the industry and also offers a platform for connecting with innovative start-ups that are relevant in the industry. I look forward to hearing the advances in the other companies and see what Covestro can learn from their experiences.
Question #4: The need for innovation has been a continued topic for the chemical industry – how would you sum up the current state of the industry, specifically with a focus on its innovation efforts?
When I started this position 2 years ago, I spent a lot of time learning where other companies stood in the area of Smart Manufacturing. I think that Covestro, as well as the other companies represented here are ahead of the curve. Innovation in this industry is very important because the global demand for high-quality chemicals and production levels are ever-growing, while chemical companies strive to significantly reduce or even eliminate their carbon footprint. In our case, the UN Sustainable Development Goals are a part of our company policy and a real driver for innovation.
Question #5: What must (chemical) industry leaders do to prepare to remain competitive and prepare for the future?
Leaders of the chemical industry must embrace new technologies and utilize them to their fullest potential in order to remain competitive. In many cases, this needs to go hand-in-hand with a cultural change and establishing new ways of thinking and working in their organization. This is no small feat, but personally I feel energized by this challenge. I couldn’t imagine more exciting times to work in process control technologies than today.
Hear more about innovation, digitalisation and sustainability strategies of the world’s leading chemical producers at CIEX Europe 2019. Register today to meet and listen to speakers from BASF, Dow Chemical, DSM, Henkel, Clariant, Mitsubishi Chemical, Ashland, Covestro, Braskem, Sabic and many more. Register at ciex-eu.org.
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