Skip to content

Process Purity in the Evolving Global Market of process industry

Text: Mikko Rantanen, Head of sales, chemicals / Banmark Oy Ab

The global economy and industrial landscape are in constant flux, driven by market dynamics of supply and demand, political regulations, and megatrends characteristic of different eras. In recent years, the emphasis on sustainability has become a driving force in process industry. This shift towards honoring environmental values is guiding the industry into a new era. The adoption of new practices has accelerated the pace of change and raised the bar of requirements. This transformation has not been entirely intrinsic and self directed. A major drive has come from market dynamics, highlighted by changes in consumer attitudes. This awakening has prompted alert industrial players to respond to this change. The transition from a traditional competition orientated strategy to value creation and market disruption has truly begun. Success is no longer originating solely through competitive advantage. The output of industrial production must generate exceptional value, not just meeting demand but creating it. This is achieved through value enhancement, product and process innovation, and new solutions that serve the end user. Specialization of products and production has become the core of success. For the process industry, drivers of sustainability, socioeconomic factor, and political incentives and measures, have been pivotal. Reduction of water usage and full utilization of the by products represent the new trends in the industry. However, the transition has not been effortless, as creating new always involves growing pains.

Problems and challenges invariably trickle down the chain. Process development places increasing pressure on supporting technologies in a constantly changing environment. The change of industrial processes inevitably leads to new process technical problems. In water intensive industries, challenges often relate to reduction of water usage, closing process loops, and reusing materials. The causality between problems and actions is usually clearly identifiable. These changes often lead to increased potential for deposit formation. Thereby lowering purity levels due to physicochemical factors. The relative amount of soluble and insoluble components increases due to the law of conservation of mass leading in to increase of agglomerates and contaminants if not efficiently removed. Understanding the interactions and formation of contaminants in the process is crucial. Too often, the symptom rather than the disease is treated.

The purity of processes is often taken too lightly, as the identification and contexts are lacking since the formation of deposits is not just an everyday nuisance. It threatens the operability of processes, the achievement of quality goals, and efficient production process. Irrational behavior diminishes predictability and production planning, leading to reduced process control and production bottlenecks. Often, this ultimately leads to production losses and increased downtime. Problems do not solve themselves, leading existing resources to be directed towards problem solving and resulting in inefficient use of time. Focus shifts away from critical production factors, taking time from future development work. Once again, the competitiveness of process industry operators and the challenges to it are central, requiring expertise, knowledge, and proven solutions. Sometimes also innovation and the courage to think outside the box is needed. Suddenly, the simple theme of process purity has become a complex critical entity.

For this reason, nurturing factors that enhance the efficiency, quality, and predictability of industrial processes is important in both short and long term. As previously stated, the purity of processes is a critical component in this regard. Cleanliness is a factor that usually receives attention only when problems arise. Benefits are greater the more proactively purity is approached through planned development work and professional solutions. Process development and optimization can help up to a point if targeted to qualitative development areas. Through chemical treatments and customized purity programs, the functionality of processes can be taken to the next level before reaching the next technological development stage. Often, they run parallel in repeating cycles, supporting each other. Experience has shown that existing chemical solutions and targeted treatments lead to a higher level of purity, thereby achieving optimal efficiency and leading to lower total costs and competitive advantage for users. Chemical induced process cleanings serve as an example, appearing as a simple process when examined only cursory. However, they always involve a problem and a solution that meet through expertise, and the right comprehensive solutions.

Like other areas of process industry, the development of solutions specialized in process purity is on an accelerating spiral. The platform economy and cooperation between different players have created a combination of technology and chemical solutions. This results better services, whose benefits and advantages are verifiable online. The adoption of new applications is still in their early stages, but the benefits and potential have been recognized by pioneers. This creates a competitive edge for early adopters who implement them into their processes. The use of artificial intelligence will play an increasingly significant role in process purity. Through the development activities process cleanliness will be taken to the next level. This will be effectively achieved in clusters, where decades of experience from different industry professionals are combined for the collective good. Companies at the forefront of integrating chemistry with high tech solutions are setting benchmarks in operational efficiency. The expertise in specialty chemicals and cutting edge services are pivotal in addressing the challenges and paving the way for future. As the industry evolves, the role becomes increasingly critical, underscoring the importance of selecting innovative partners in the pursuit of excellence.


Mikko Rantanen, Head of sales, chemicals
Banmark Oy Ab