TNO whitepaper: small-scale flexible plants

Towards a more agile and competitive EU chemical industry • 02 Jun 2015

In the rapidly changing and highly volatile chemical market, flexibility and efficiency are seen as a key elements to strengthen the position of Europe. A way to implement this necessary flexibility is offered by the concept of  flexible plants.

The paper will be made available for customers at Achema and via our website. This paper presents a vision on the opportunities that flexible plants can offer. Industry representatives from a large number of chemical companies, covering a wide range from commodities to pharma, provided valuable input for this whitepaper during interviews. Their main drivers to implement flexible plants are to:

  • Shorten time to market
  • Increase responsiveness to customer demand
  • Enable market entry and growth in emerging markets
  • Reduce CAPEX risks

In the whitepaper you can read that:

  • Flexibility in production offers a route to new strategies reversing the negative trend of the moment, offering a shorter time to market, greater responsiveness to customer demand and CAPEX risk reduction. Production can be flexible in capacity, product type, innovation, location and feedstock.
  • Technical developments enable the implementation of flexible plants. Modularity offers opportunities to expand and adapt a plant in a flexible manner, e.g. to enlarge capacity over time. Other relevant technical enablers are process intensification and continuous processing, novel manufacturing technologies like 3D printing, and smart industry.
  • Sound business cases are within reach when supported by business models that utilize the benefits of flexibility. More emphasis should be put on value creation, while making investments and operational costs less dependent on scale.


An electronic version of the whitepaper can be downloaded here
The full report can be downloaded after filling in your contact details via this form.
A hardcopy can be acquired at our booth at ACHEMA hall 9.2 at stand E37.

If you want to know more about this TNO whitepaper or about the business opportunities that flexible plants can offer for your company, please get in touch with Martijn de Graaff.


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