"Connect": the plant of the future by Air Liquide
“Connect” is part of the Air Liquide Group’s quest to invent the plant of the future. Developed by Air Liquide France Industrie teams, the project in which Air Liquide will invest €20 million by 2017, combines their skill set and the many possibilities offered by digital technologies: connected eyewear, tablets, 3D modeling, etc. Around ten new technologies are currently being tested or deployed at the French production sites. At the same time, a remote operation and optimization center that is unique in the industrial gases industry is being set up in the Greater Lyon area (France).
Scheduled to begin operations in 2017, the center will be capable of commanding and optimizing the production, energy efficiency and site reliability of Large Industries sites or performing predictive maintenance analysis. Some twenty sites will be connected to this nationwide command center. Thanks to big data analysis, it will be possible to adapt the production flows of each site in real time to the needs of each customer. Connected eyewear with an integrated camera will allow technicians to dialogue with an expert in the remote support team and benefit from technical assessments or adjustments. With the help of a tablet, the technician will enter or access information in real time.
A TECHNOLOGICAL SHOWCASE
Developed by a multi-disciplinary team supported by i-Lab (Air Liquide’s laboratory for “new ideas”) and the Large Industries world business line, “Connect” illustrates the Group’s open innovation and collaborative approach. The project brings together over 100 local companies, including more than ten French start-ups. A first in the industrial gases sector, the project lead by Air Liquide’s Large Industries activities in France was certified “technological showcase” by the Industry of the Future Alliance (Alliance Industrie du Futur)*.
* Industry of the Future Alliance (Alliance Industrie du Futur) gathers Industry and Digital Technology professional organizations in order to secure, in particular, the French “Industry of the Future” plan deployment.