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AI for SAPs

Together with Algo Artis, Japan’s Nippon Shokubai has developed an algorithm-based means for the production planning of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) based on acrylic acid, and has started operations at its plant in Himeji following all the necessary validations and modifications. This is in line with its ‘TechnoAmenity for the future’ strategy, which was unveiled in April 2021 and will be extended to other products.

The AI used built in the accumulated know-how the company had in SAP production. It means that plans can be made much more quickly than before and will be “more effective, stable and long-term”, while contributing to “a more sustainable supply of SAP, energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions”, the company said.

Nippon Shokubai added that it carries out many product changeovers and produces different types of SAP in varying production conditions. This required a huge amount of labour spent for planning, “There was also a limit to the amount of information a human could consider. Furthermore, there were challenges such as the development of human resources with abundant knowledge and experience.”

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