OPTIX™ Applied Intelligence

Solenis’ OPTIX Applied Intelligence provides real-time quality measures that remain robust and accurate in the face of ever-changing process conditions that occur on a paper machine. OPTIX is a unique adaptive analytics platform built with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities available today. This secure, cloud-based tool utilizes physical paper property measurements, papermaking process knowledge, and process data to deliver real-time predictive and prescriptive analytics that enable a step change improvement in mill optimization not previously feasible.

Paper mills that implement OPTIX Applied Intelligence realize a number of clear benefits:

  • Enhanced quality measurements with less error and variability
  • Decreased operating costs by optimizing basis weight, chemistry usage and feedstock mixing
  • Minimized process variability through step-wise process changes
  • Improved quality consistency resulting in less downgrading
  • Increased line speed without compromising quality

How It Works

Solenis’ OPTIX platform applies robust data science techniques to turn complex, multidimensional relationships into accurate real-time predictions of physical paper quality measurements. OPTIX is built on a flexible platform that can be customized to accommodate every mill’s unique processes. Using the cloud-based portal, operators gain access to a continuous live-feed of critical quality measurements. The OPTIX platform incorporates a number of adaptive analytics technologies and concepts:

  • Predictive “Soft Sensors” — OPTIX provides a real-time, mathematically driven measurement of paper quality metrics that cannot be delivered using any other method. Real-time predictions provide high-frequency data every 15 to 30 seconds. For the first time, papermakers can have a real-time quality profile of machine-direction properties for the entire length of the reel.
  • Machine Learning — Due to the ever-changing environment of the papermaking process, it is crucial to continually update predictive analytics platforms. Using the machine learning capabilities built into the platform, OPTIX measurements remain robust and accurate in the face of changing machine conditions. Adaptive predictive models allow for more informed, on-the-fly process changes, rapid change detection, and process control optimization without requiring periodic model tuning.
  • Prescriptive Recommendation Engine — Using deep learning and advanced data analytics methods, OPTIX prescribes real-time actionable insights for optimizing the manufacturing process. Operators can apply data-driven recommendations to maintain manufacturing conditions or target optimized machine efficiency.
  • Model Diagnostics — Each OPTIX model comes equipped with a self-diagnostic prediction accuracy monitor. The platform evaluates the model accuracy using a metric related to the difference between the prediction and actual value of the quality measurement.

Value-Driven Results

Improved process visibility provided by OPTIX enables access to value-creating opportunities not previously available. Paper mills that implement OPTIX can expect a range of results, including:

  • Reduced Error — OPTIX real-time predictions have inherently less error than lab measurements. When predictions are used in place of lab measurements to make quality-control decisions, the system variability decreases because the testing error is no longer transferred into the process. Read our case history describing how a mill used OPTIX to significantly reduce error.
  • Reduced Variability — Using real-time predictions, operators can make optimal adjustments to key process variables to positively influence key quality parameters. By avoiding typical reactions to overfeed basis weight and/or to overfeed chemistry and/or to reduce speed, mill personnel can reduce overall variability.
  • Improved Quality Consistency — Real-time monitoring of product quality allows for informed decision-making. Reduced process variability and early adverse event detection reduce the risk of product downgrade and ultimately improve product quality.
  • Adverse Event Detection — OPTIX predictions offer insight during process upsets, and prediction trending can be used to identify adverse events in the manufacturing process. Additionally, mills can take advantage of the relationships identified by OPTIX to uncover manufacturing anomalies and clues for root cause analysis.
  • Increased Production Volume — OPTIX enables papermakers to optimize basis weight, which allows for reduced drying time, increased line speeds and, ultimately, increased production.
  • Learning and Training — The data visualization capabilities built into the OPTIX platform make it possible to “see” process relationships that were previously invisible. This creates opportunities for new and seasoned operators to gain a deeper understanding of the papermaking system.

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