Interview with Shashank Shah, Arkema Inc. / USA


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Prior to the Global ManuChem Strategies 2014, we spoke to Shashank Shah, Senior Principal Engineer, Central Process Technology & Engineering, Arkema Inc. / USA

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Interview with Shashank Shah, Arkema Inc. / USA

  1. 1. Interview 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 we.CONECT: In your opinion: What are the main current challenges and trends regarding management and 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 large integrated manufacturing complexes close to raw material sources. We constantly have to evaluate feasibility of smaller legacy production plants. we.CONECT: 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. we.CONECT: 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.  we.CONECT: Do you use mobile technologies to optimize operator management and operator mobility?   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, etc. we.CONECT 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. we.CONECT: Please describe in brief the 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 developments in manufacturing techniques in the process industries to stimulate a discussion on the possibility of their wider adoption and relevance to member companies. The topic, as suggested is broadly described below: Manufacturing 4.0 – Achieving Breakthrough Performance with new Processes and Technologies:    Transforming manufacturing operations using new innovative processes and technologies including BI, cloud, mobile, social, and 3D virtualization as a lever Advanced modular process design and project implementation strategies for faster time to market facilities Challenges and demands for developing and managing a strategy framework at a global and local scale Realizing earlier returns and revenues by refining crossfunctional integration in the production process Managing sustainable and comprehensive OPEX programs and integration in a manufacturing 4.0 concept World class production in chemical & petrochemical Industries – challenges for leadership, continuity, excellence and leadership we.CONECT: 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. we.CONECT: 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
  2. 2. manufacturing, but also an explosion of innovation coming from modular and close to market applications. we.CONECT: Which question would you like to ask the delegates of our Global ManuCHEM Strategies 2014? Shashank Shah: Are you hopeful about the growth of your businesses or do you see a major transformation of your industries? we.CONECT: Thanks a lot for this interview! Interview Partner: Peter Haack and Shashank Shah. 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 processes. 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: about Contact: Henry Fuchs Managing Director / Product Management & Marketing Phone: +49 (0)30 52 10 70 3 – 44 Fax: +49 (0)30 52 10 70 3 – 30 Email: we.CONECT Global Leaders GmbH Gertraudenstr. 10-12 10178 Berlin, Germany