Arkema Inc. / USA
Shashank Shah, Senior Principal Engineer, Central Process
Technology & Engineering
Prior to the Global ManuChem Strategies 2014, we spoke to Shashank Shah, Senior Principal
Engineer, Central Process Technology & Engineering, Arkema Inc. / USA
In your opinion: What are the main
optimization of chemical production
and what are the specific challenges
related to your company?
Shashank Shah: The existing supply
chain involving transport of hazardous
chemicals is becoming difficult to sustain
in the long run. Attempts to integrate
production of intermediate chemicals are
constrained by high capital costs for new
units. This is shifting the advantage to
complexes close to raw material sources.
We constantly have to evaluate feasibility
of smaller legacy production plants.
Looking to volatility in commodity
markets, which role plays operations
management, specifically S&OP and
plant capacity management?
Shashank Shah: Volatility in commodity
markets puts great pressure on S&OP.
Even though most contracts are cost
pass through, the ripple effect from end
markets where demand is sensitive to
price leads to plant operations where a
unit may sit idle or run below capacity for
a few months and then suddenly needs
to run at full capacity. The net effect is
always a loss to the operating business.
Do you use and / or plan to implement
new technologies like MES, Big Data
& Cloud Technologies?
Shashank Shah: We do employ MES
and are extending its use in planning and
closer integration with S&OP. We haven’t
figured out how to use Big Data except
how it may improve offerings of
advanced process control from vendors
such as Aspen and Honeywell. We keep
moving out more and more of process
technology, manufacturing and business
information into the intranet cloud,
extensively using Sharepoint and other
such networked databases.
Do you use mobile technologies to
optimize operator management and
Shashank Shah: Not in a standardized
way, however most local operations
management of smaller units closely
communicate with mobile technologies –
not just phones, but text, status sharing,
Which role plays the topic critical
infrastructures in relation to cyber
security in your plant?
Shashank Shah: This is a major threat.
Our approach has been to limit
integration of operating systems and
software. We tolerate the use of
sometimes incompatible software just to
ensure cybersecurity. Process control
systems reside on entirely different
distributed servers, as do business
critical S&OP systems.
presentation you will be holding on
Global ManuChem Strategies 2014
Shashank Shah: I will be holding a brief
presentation of some examples of what
can be called the state of art practices or
techniques in the process industries to
stimulate a discussion on the possibility
of their wider adoption and relevance to
The topic, as
suggested is broadly described below:
Breakthrough Performance with new
Processes and Technologies:
operations using new innovative
including BI, cloud, mobile, social,
and 3D virtualization as a lever
Advanced modular process design
strategies for faster time to market
Challenges and demands for
strategy framework at a global and
Realizing earlier returns and
comprehensive OPEX programs
and integration in a manufacturing
World class production in chemical
& petrochemical Industries –
According to your moderation, could
you briefly introduce us to the project
and what is important it?
Shashank Shah: We are constantly
challenged to remain competetive
because of the global nature of our
business. Hopefully this will introduce
some topics to the participants that they
may not have considered. The
discussion will allow participants to share
their opinions of whether these new
technologies and strategies can be of
value to them.
How different will the Chemical
Operations/Manufacturing of the year
2020 be from today’s ones?
Shashank Shah: I think we are looking
at greater consolidation of large scale
manufacturing, but also an explosion of
innovation coming from modular and
close to market applications.
Which question would you like to ask
ManuCHEM Strategies 2014?
Shashank Shah: Are you hopeful about
the growth of your businesses or do you
see a major transformation of your
Thanks a lot for this interview!
Interview Partner: Peter Haack and
Shashank Shah has 30 years of technology
development, project execution and leadership
experience with global majors. Employers
include Hindustan Lever, Monsanto, Air
Products, Celanese and Arkema. In numerous
projects, he has demonstrated the power of
process modeling for accelerating process
development and is a pioneer of modular plant
design. Expertise spans across batch,
continuous, bulk and specialty chemical
Global ManuChem Strategies brings together
industry leaders to discuss the current state of
the industry, the impact of new regulations and
the challenge to increase efficiency in chemical
operations and technical assets.
Information about the event and
we.CONECT can be found at:
Managing Director / Product Management &
Phone: +49 (0)30 52 10 70 3 – 44
Fax: +49 (0)30 52 10 70 3 – 30
we.CONECT Global Leaders GmbH
10178 Berlin, Germany