March 2007

Special Report: Instruments and Networks

Improve polyethylene process control and product quality

Using artificial intelligence-based sensors can improve costs

Badhe, Y. P., Kulkarni, B. D., Lonari, J., Tambe, S. S., National Chemical Laboratory; Deshmukh, S. V., Ravichandran, S., Valecha, N. K., Reliance Industries Ltd.

Sharp excursions in natural gas prices and increasing feedstock costs over the past few years have led to almost flat and even negative margins for the global polyolefin industry. Unstable and decreasing end-product sale prices have resulted from overcapacities compounding the problem even further. A welcome respite from the severe downturn in margins and financial performance is underway. A supply/demand imbalance that is increasing demand is expected to continue over the next few years.1 Accordingly, polyolefin manufacturers are gearing up for the impending upturn by raising production rates, reducing the transition time between product changes and minimizing off-spec production. Relia

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