News

The CeSaR project at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology
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The CeSaR project at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology continued during the winter semester 2022/2023 with a practical course in the Laboratory for Automation and Measurement.
Students learned how to use process control simulation software for control loop tuning and optimization as well as a graphical programming language and interface for process simulation, data acquisition and control.
Participants in the course also had the opportunity to learn how to create a simple thermal process control system from a sketch to a real-world application using measurement devices connected to a computer and a software application (https://cesar-fkit.eu/).

Published: 13.01.2023
Visit to Karlsruher Institut für Technologie and Siemens Industriepark Karlsruhe
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In December, we visited the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Campus North. With our friendly hosts we visited the Institute for Biological and Chemical Systems (https://www.ibcs.kit.edu/english/index.php), the Institute for Microprocess Engineering (https://www.imvt.kit.edu/index.php), the Institute for Nanotechnology (https://www.int.kit.edu/) and the Energy Lab 2.0 (https://www.elab2.kit.edu/english/index.php).
An extensive tour of the site provided us with useful insights and contacts with potential future employees.
On the second day, we visited the Siemens Industrial Park with our colleagues, where we discussed the latest digitization concepts in the process industry.

Published: 16.12.2022
Smart Production Solutions Fair
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SPS – Smart Production Solutions is one of the largest international automation trade shows. The fair gathers the leading companies of the automation industry from Germany and from abroad. At the very well-attended fair, drive systems and components, control systems, interfaces, sensors, industrial communication and infrastructure, software and information technology in general were showed.
We visited a number of booths and talked to potential partners. Further cooperation was agreed with Aveva and Siemens in the areas of design, advanced process control and development of process analysis technology.

Published: 15.11.2022
Joint IMEKO TC11 & TC24 conference
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Research assistant Matea Gavran and prof. Bolf participated in a TC24 Chemical Measurements conference organized by the International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO).
We shared our knowledge of process analytical technology as well as our experience with various spectroscopic measurements for in situ concentration measurements in solutions. In the poster section, we presented the paper “In-situ Solution Concentration Measurement Techniques in the Crystallization Process”.

Published: 21.10.2022
Networking @ Pharma
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We participated in the Networking @ Siemens Pharma event on September 22, 2022 at Siemens City Vienna.
Prof. Nenad Bolf gave an interesting presentation: Application of PAT &QbD in Crystallization Process Control. Most of the presentations focused on digital transformation in the pharmaceutical industry. After the useful presentations, we visited the Siemens Living Lab and made important business contacts during the networking dinner.

Published: 30.09.2022
World Congress on Particle Technology
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Under the organization of the National Association of Chemists and Chemical Engineers of Spain (ANQUE), the 9th World Congress on Particle Technology (WCPT9) (https://wcpt9.org/)was held in Madrid, Spain. With more than 600 participants from 35 countries, it covered virtually all areas related to particle technology. Our team member Matea Gavran attended and gave an oral presentation in the Crystallization and Precipitation section.

Published: 28.09.2022
Visit to ENSIACET in Toulouse
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Toulouse Graduate School of Chemical, Materials, and Industrial Engineering (ENSIACET – French: École nationale supérieure des ingénieurs en arts chimiques et technologiques) is one of the largest educational institutions for chemical engineering and technology in Europe.
As part of the networking, we visited the laboratories and held meetings with the head of the chemical engineering laboratory, the head of the crystallization laboratory and the head of the biotechnology laboratory to discuss possible collaboration related to the application of PAT in advanced process control.

Published: 27.09.2022
Ružička Days
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We participated with two poster presentations at the 19th Ružička Days, Today Science – Tomorrow Industry conference, held in Vukovar, September 21–23, 2022. Josip Sacher presented the results of his research on determining the optimal cooling profile of a batch cooling crystallizer (PDF).
Željka Ujević-Andrijić presented her research on data-driven estimation of critical quality attributes in industrial processes (PDF).

Published: 26.09.2022
Project CeSaR at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology
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In the framework of the CeSaR project at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology undergraduate and graduate students improve their practical and soft skills using advanced software to simulate, optimize and control industrial processes through adapted laboratory exercises.
In our laboratories student can widen their knowledge of process modeling and control, as well as they are introduced to the techniques of process analytical technology (PAT).

Published: 10.06.2022
Practical trainings for Siemens employers
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During May practical courses with the application of interactive real-time process simulators for Siemens Croatia employees were held at our department.
Participants acquired knowledge of advanced process control, process diagnostics and optimization, as well as process measurements, equipment’s and unit operations. During the courses, real-life examples of industrial processes were interactively analyzed using advanced software packages for real-time process simulations (PiControl Solutions and ChemCad software package).

Published: 27.05.2022
Visit to Siemens and usePAT
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On April 4th & 5th our team visited Siemens Living Lab and usePAT in Vienna.
Team of PAT experts in Siemens Living Lab introduced us with their concepts and system for PAT tools integration.  We presented the CrystAPC project and proposed further possibilities for integrating our research within SIPAT platform.
UsePAT is a startup that develops and produces ultrasonic devices for the improvement of in-line process monitoring techniques. We had a tour of the lab and got to see their technology in use.

Published: 08.04.2022
Crystallization laboratory set-up and Blaze device installation
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Recently we have finished construction and startup of our advanced crystallization laboratory.  With the support of Blazemetrics company and laboratory equipment suppliers, we installed the state-of-the-art process microscope for research and development of crystallization processes. Installed Blaze 900 is a laser microscope with integrated Raman optics specialized for particle signal measurement.  The device will speed up process development and monitoring by giving accurate data on Raman spectrum of particles, crystal shape and crystal size distribution in real time.

Published: 07.03.2022
XIV Meeting of Young Chemical Engineers
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We presented our research at the International Conference XIV Meeting of Young Chemical Engineers held in Zagreb on February 24th and 25th. J. Sacher presented research Improvement of granulometric properties of crystals by constant supersaturation feedback control (PDF). We also presented the posters: Comparison of linear calibration models for predicting glycine concentration (PDF); Fouling deposition monitoring using neural network models with estimated unmeasured process variables in crude oil pre-heat heat exchangers (PDF).

Published: 28.02.2022
27th HSKIKI – Meeting of Chemist and Chemical Engineers
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We participated on Croatian Meeting of Chemists and Chemical Engineers held from October 5th to 8th with  three poster presentations: Development of the calibration model for real-time measurement of glycine concentration in glycine-water system using ANN (PDF); Influence of antisolvent addition on crystallization kinetics and granulometric properties of fosamprenavir calcium (PDF); Fouling detection in industrial heat exchanger using recurrent LSTM neural network model.

Published: 11.10.2021
PhD thesis: Soft sensors for advanced isomerization process control
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Srečko Herceg, master of mech. eng., successfully defended his doctoral thesis Development of soft sensors for advanced control of isomerization process.
Models were developed for the continual estimation key product quality indicators in a refinery isomerization process using machine learning methods.
Evaluation of the developed models and their implementation in the process control system showed their reliability in estimating of the component contents. The soft sensors will serve primarily as a replacement during the process analyzers’ failure and service periods, as well as it will be a part of advanced control of isomerization process.

PDF

Published: 30.09.2021
Rockwool factory visit
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On September 29th we visited Rockwool Adriatic factory specialised in production of stone wool, fire, heat and sound insulation for use in buildings and industry.
After introductory presentations we followed with a tour of the production line. A large number of different products and many control loops employed in factory requires good process understanding and coordination.  
Our visit initiated a collaboration between the Faculty and Rockwool Adriatic and we accordingly look forward to future cooperation and projects.

PDF

Published: 29.09.2021
Cooperation with KNOW-Center
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A cooperation agreement was signed with the KNOW-Center from Graz, Austria. The collaboration began with a Erasmus remote internship of two of our students on big data project.

We look forward for further cooperation in scientific and professional projects in data-driven business and artificial intelligence application.

Published: 22.07.2021
Pharmaceutical flow chemistry system in Pliva/Teva
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In cooperation with experts from Teva TAPI R&D in Zagreb, we have designed and implemented a process control system and software solution that enables continuous monitoring and control of flow chemistry reactors in real time.
The system consists of hardware equipment, devices and a software application for process monitoring and control using a graphical interface with which optimal working conditions are maintained.

Published: 06.04.2021
Cryst APC – Crystallization Advanced Process Control
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The Grant Agreement for the project Cryst APC – Crystallization Advanced Process Control is signed. The project is launched on December 15, 2020, and will run for 36 months.
The purpose of this research is to develop a system that allows continuous monitoring and optimal control of the crystallization process. The developed system will have a wide range of applications - from scientific research to the transfer of technology to semi-industrial and industrial scale.
During the project implementation, state-of-the-art equipment will be installed in our laboratory. We expect this project will remarkably increase the potential of our research and cooperation with the process industry.

Published: 16.12.2020
Laboratory set-up for flow measurement and control
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During the Covid-19 crisis lock-down (March to May), we installed a brand new laboratory exercise for flow measurement.
The exercise is equipped with variable area, differential pressure and orifice meter, vortex, magnetic, ultrasound transit-time and Coriolis flow transmitters. It also possible to measure and analyse the pressure drop along the piping, as well as the control valve operation.
The set-up is connected to our laboratory control system. In addition, a SCADA system for acquisition, control and subsequent analysis of measurement data has been developed and put in the function.

PDF

Published: 15.06.2020
Meeting of Young Chemical Engineers 2020
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During the Meeting at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology in February in Zagreb, we presented three papers. Poster presentations deal with the development of a Calibration Model for Continuous Particle Size Distribution Monitoring, Support Vector Machine-based Soft Sensors for the Isomerization Process and Identification and Prediction of the Fouling Formation in Heat Exchangers.

Published: 21.02.2020
Determination of the foaming tendency of diesel fuels
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In December we completed and installed system for testing the foaming of diesel fuels at the INA Central Testing Laboratory in Zagreb.
Instruments and apparatus meet the requirements of NF M07-075 standard for testing method. The system is equipped with two photoelectric cells, a pressure gauge, three solenoid valves for control, a vacuum pump, glass beakers and a engraved cylinder.

The electrical cabinet contains a controller and all necessary I/O communication.
Software application is installed to automatically run the experiment and generate testing reports according to the standard.

PDF

Published: 23.12.2019
Heat transfer laboratory set-up
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Heat transfer processes are often encountered in the industry and it is necessary to pay attention to the process design and performance.
Designed in our laboratory, we install set-up for thermal process dynamics analysis. Dynamic process models are developed based on experimental data to teach the fundamentals of process control and controller tuning.
With the set-up a number of experiments can be performed to determine the static and dynamic characteristics of the process and control loop behaviour. Based on the performed experiments, student now can calculate parameters and optimize the controller performance.

PDF

Published: 18.11.2019
Our participation at the European Congress of Chemical Engineering
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In September we presented our research at the 12th European Congress of Chemical Engineers in Florence. We participated with a poster presentation titled Fouling Detection in Industrial Heat Exchanger Using Neural Network Models as part of the mini symposia: Energy and Chemical Engineering.
The heat exchanger performance is assessed by comparing results of heat transfer coefficient of clean and fouled systems. The performance criteria of developed models together with residual monitoring indicate that the neural networks effectively detect fouling formation.

Poster presentation (pdf)

Published: 27.09.2019
Predictive diagnostics in the INA/MOL refinery plant
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During the first part of 2019, we conducted a pilot project for predictive diagnostics of heat exchangers for INA/MOL Rijeka Refinery.
On-line monitoring system was designed and established for the heat exchanger diagnostics at hydrocracking plant. Machine learning optimized models are developed for predicting degree of fouling. Monitoring system will be used for maintaining operation efficiency and predictive maintenance.

Published: 22.07.2019
Summer school of robotics
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Organized by the Student Section of the Croatian Society of Chemical Engineering and Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology (LAM) the Summer School of Robotics was held from July 8 to 10.
During the first day lectures on topic Industry 4.0 were given to introduce participants to the world of robotics, sensors, additive manufacturing and to its application in the industry. Second day, each of the participants had the opportunity to disassemble and assemble simple mBots and become familiar with the programming of robot functions. On the third day of school, the participants were divided into teams and participated in a mini-competition in which they applied the acquired knowledge.
With 30 participants from various institutions, the interest of young professionals was considerable as well as an opportunity for networking and encouraging interdisciplinary work among students.

Published: 15.07.2019
Visit to Siemens Living Laboratory
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We spent a useful day at the Siemens Living Laboratory on April 16 in Vienna in company with our colleagues from Pliva/Teva TAPI and our kind hosts.
The Living Lab is a unique pilot plant for the development and demonstration of automation solutions. The focus is on the process industry: in particular the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. In a combination of laboratory, production plant and control room, answers to current questions about Pharma 4.0 are given including extensive discussion on application in the pharmaceutical industry.

Published: 22.04.2019
Optimization of batch production at PLIVA/TEVA API plants
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The purpose of current project in pharmaceutical API production is to optimize control performance during batch production. The main goal is to improve temperature control strategy in order to optimize overall batch process control. The results are reduced temperature oscillations and optimized heating/cooling sequences which bring improved and easier monitoring and control, a shorter batch run cycle and extends equipment’s service period.

Published: 05.11.2018
Visit to Siemens Industrie park Karlsruhe and Höchst Industriepark in Frankfurt
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On October 11 & 12 we visited Siemens sites in Karlsruhe and Frankfurt. It was an unique opportunity to see the state-of-the-art process control equipment production and met Siemens expert team to discuss current trends in the process industry and automation. Furthermore, we have visited the Höchst industrial park in Frankfurt with Siemens process and safety engineering laboratories and experienced R&D stuff.


Our visit and contacts are step forward in the cooperation which has already begun in Zagreb by opening our process control laboratory and organizing education and trainings.

Published: 19.10.2018
Osisoft PI EMEA 2018
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OSIsoft EMEA Users Conference was held in Barcelona in September with a series of customer presentations, thematic panels, demonstrations of software tools and interactive workshops. The emphasis was on advanced analytics and machine learningenterprise infrastructure and business intelligence.

Within the academic session we give a presentation titled Using the PI System in Chemical Engineering Education and Research.  The emphasis was on predictive maintenance of the process equipment and our laboratory process control system.

During the event we have established contacts with academic programme stuff and discussed with the PI experts on using of real plant data and solving industrial problems.

Published: 01.10.2018
ACHEMA 2018 fair in Frankfurt
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In June we were a part of the biggest world forum on chemical engineering and process industry – ACHEMA.

During the event we, jointly with our USA partner PiControl Solutions, gave a presentation titled Multivariable Identification and PID/APC Optimization for Real Plant Application in the section: Plant control and optimization.

The presentation covers closed-loop system identification, controller tuning and advanced process control using simple and affordable software package.  The presentation was attended by more than 50 process control specialists, plant managers and other fair visitors.

Published: 20.06.2018
Real-time monitoring and control of crystallization process
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In cooperation with our partners MKP Ltd. and industrial experts we are developing real-time monitoring and control laboratory crystallization system.

The goal is implementation of PAT (Process analytical technology) techniques to employ real-time measurement of relevant process variables for the crystallization process control (e.g. supersaturation, number of crystal particles, crystal size distribution, polymorphic form). Real-time measurement will allow better understanding of the process and open up opportunity for advanced process control.

Published: 20.04.2018
Heat Exchanger Diagnostics
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Due to reduced energy efficiency caused by fouled heat exchangers in industrial plants there is a need for detection of fouling formation. Models  of artificial neural networks for detecting the fouling have been developed. The models are intended for fouling detection and heat transfer coefficient calculation for preventive and predictive maintenance of the industrial shell and tube heat exchangers. By monitoring the efficiency of the heat exchanger, it is possible to systematically plan the maintenance and determine the optimal cleaning time.

Published: 30.03.2018
Laboratory photobioreactor in Centre for Marine Research
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In a cooperation with our spin-off company Comprehensive Water Technology (CWT) we designed photobioreactor system for Ruđer Bošković Institute – Center for Marine Research in the town of Rovinj.
Photobioreactors are installed for the purpose of algae production process development under the controlled condition (temperature, pH and light intensity). Produced algae are attended to be used as a raw material for biodiesel production.
CWT designed control cabinet and the photobioreactor set-up, while LAM designed the control system by application of Siemens S7-1200 PLC and PC-station SCADA software. Developed system enables continuous monitoring, control and data acquisition for later analysis and research. 

Published: 05.11.2017
Osisoft EMEA Users Conference 2017
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OSIsoft EMEA Users Conference was held in London in October with a series of presentations, thematic panels, demonstrations of software tools and interactive workshops. The emphasis was on big data, IIoT & Industry 4.0, enterprise infrastructure and business intelligence.


Among others we attended the academic session where we discussed with the OSISoft experts the application in students’ education and for industrial cooperation.

We went from the meeting with an enthusiasm and new ideas for application of advanced predictive technology in the process industry for ​​monitoring and analysis of plant and process equipment performance.

Published: 27.10.2017
Our student achievements during academic year 2016-2017
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Ana-Marija Tomić, Dženita Šola and Andreja Žužić received the Rector's award from the University of Zagreb for their project Analysis and optimizing of plant operation. They have analyzed, diagnosed and optimized control loop performance in the refinery plant.
Fran Jazbec defended his Master’s thesis on Design and simulation of natural gas purification process control in July 2016.
Dominik Načinović presented his Bachelor's thesis on Cement kiln control on September 2, 2017. Dominik has already won one award for his study on self-cleaning concrete.
Luka Tomičak defended his Bachelor's thesis Control valves on September 20, 2017.
Filip Crnković presented his Bachelor's thesis titled Temperature control on September 22, 2017.
Ana-Marija Tomić defended her Master's thesis Temperature control in batch reactors on September 26, 2017. In her work she analyzed, diagnosed and optimized temperature control loops in pharmaceutical batch reactors.

Published: 29.09.2017
New process control laboratory
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Newly equipped process control laboratory was solemnly opened today at our Department.  

After six months of reconstruction the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology in cooperation with Siemens AG and partner company ARP modernized the Laboratory for automation and measurement (LAM).

Within laboratory set-up modern control system with five typical process industry units is put into operation, all supported by the latest generation of SIMATIC PCS7 control system.

The new laboratory in Zagreb offers students, employees and partners the opportunity to train process measurement and control with state-of-the-art equipment.

Using cutting-edge digital systems, the training of future chemical engineers and life-learning education attendants, as well as commissioning engineers and operators, will take place here. 

Published: 09.06.2017
Industrial humidification system for Eriochem S.A.
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During 2016 we designed the industrial humidification system now applied in pharmaceutical company Eriochem S.A., Argentina. The aim of the project was to design automated system for easy, safe and flexible humidification process. The humidification system includes supply water tank, vaporizer, delivery system and flow/temperature control system. Siemens PLC S7-1200 with HMI control panel is configured for process monitoring, control and data acquisition.

Developed industrial humidification process system enables accurate and repeatable production, safe and efficient process control as well as continuous data acquisition.

Published: 01.03.2017
Process control performance improvement at INA Rijeka Refinery
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In January 2017 we have finished one year-long project at the INA Rijeka Refinery which included:

• Detail analysis, diagnosis and optimization of control loops at 3 groups of plants (GP-1, GP-2 and GP-3);
• Installation and implementation of the modern monitoring and diagnostics system, identification and control loop tuning and simulation software.

350 control loops were analyzed and diagnosed. Based on the historical data control loop models were identified. Ultimately, the control loops were tuned using a high-level optimization tool and their performance was tested in the control room.

As the results 12 newly configured and 32 reconfigured control loops increase automation level of the plants. 30 control loops are switched from manual to auto mode.  In 54 control loops we reduced or eliminated oscillation thus increasing the overall plant stability. Sensor or valve problems were detected on 37 control loops. It is estimated that the number of alarms is reduced by 50 %. Finally, variability of the products properties and quality measures are reduced.

Published: 01.02.2017
Optimisation project at INA Rijeka Refinery
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We have just initiated large-scale project with the aim to provide monitoring, analysis and tuning of more than 350 control loops at the Rijeka Refinery process units.
Control loop audit will include diagnostics of the field instrumentation and control valves, define sources of variability and oscillation, and poor control loop performance.

The analysis will be foundation for control loops optimization which will result with decreased number of control loops in manual mode, reduced variability of controlled variables and more stable operation.
Additionally, the implementation of the advanced software package will provide a possibility to perform controller tuning education and on-site optimisation.
It is expected after project completion increased productivity, decreased equipment failures and prolonged service time, as well as increased process safety. All mentioned is a good base for advanced process control real application.

Published: 10.01.2016
Laboratory batch reactor automatization in PLIVA (TEVA) R&D
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The project of laboratory batch reactor automatization and optimisation was carried out during 2015 at the PLIVA R&D department. The aim of the project was to design modern process control system for easy, safe and flexible experimentation.
Developed batch process control system will enable safe and efficient process control, accurate and repeatable experimentation as well as continuous data acquisition for later analysis of experimental results.

More details (pdf)

Published: 10.01.2016