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CEMEX partners with Petuum AI software for autonomous operation at cement plants


March 21, 2019
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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March 21, 2019 – Petuum, an artificial intelligence software provider, has partnered with CEMEX, a global building materials company, to implement software for autonomous operation at its cement plants.

The Petuum Industrial AI Autopilot product is being deployed at select CEMEX USA and Mexico plants and will continue to be rolled out in 2019 before being deployed to plants worldwide.

The software delivers real-time precise forecasts for key process variables, prescriptions for critical control variables and supervised autosteer for all cement plant operations including clinker cooler, preheater, rotary kiln, pyro process, ball mill and vertical mill processes to achieve lowered energy consumption, optimized fuel mix and increased throughput.

The joint CEMEX and Petuum teams achieved a cruise-control-like supervised “autosteer mode,” where the AI Autopilot could run operations with full engage/disengage control available to the operator.

“We expect our yield improvements and energy savings to be up to seven per cent from the connected AI-based autopilots,” says Rodrigo Quintero, operations digital technologies manager at CEMEX. “Additionally, this is a giant step in digital transformation towards safe, highly standardized operations, that will help us strengthen our high-quality products portfolio while also ensuring we meet our operational and sustainability goals, and minimize costs.”

The Autopilot products deployed at CEMEX for the rotary kiln and clinker cooler systems are integrated with plant control systems and OSIsoft PI data infrastructure for scalable, standardized and rapid deployments across multiple lines and plants globally.

Petuum AI Autopilot can ingest data from a variety of sources including unstructured, images, structured, time series, CRM, ERP and others. The Petuum platform provides data processing, cleansing and machine/deep learning pipelines, used to implement advanced AI that is sensitive to linear, temporal, long range and non-linear data patterns in a range of industrial use cases.

“Our collaboration with CEMEX has allowed us to demonstrate that resource and skill-intensive advanced AI technologies, previously used to address complex problems only in limited settings, can now achieve tangible business impact in a wide range of real-world industrial environments,” says Dr. Eric Xing, CEO of Petuum. “We are able to achieve new levels of automation, accelerating the journey to Industry 4.0. Our vision is to bring AI benefits to a wide range of businesses in a highly cost-effective and fast manner, solving challenges that can’t be addressed by traditional techniques.”