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Jun 9, 2021 7:15 AM

Digitalization cooperation: MAN Energy Solutions and thyssenkrupp to work on autonomous operation of turbomachinery

Digitalization cooperation: MAN Energy Solutions and thyssenkrupp to work on autonomous operation of turbomachinery

  • MAN Energy Solutions and the thyssenkrupp business unit Uhde to use AI to conserve resources and boost efficiency

  • Autonomous operation of compressor trains for nitric acid plants and other applications

MAN Energy Solutions and the thyssenkrupp business unit Uhde are looking to drive forward the development, testing and marketing of autonomous turbomachinery systems operation for the nitric acid production industry and have signed a cooperation agreement to this effect. The two major German companies will use artificial intelligence (AI) to aid decision-making in nitric acid plant operation. It will involve taking real-time account of data such as product price, yield, efficiency, emissions, energy costs, process stability, and forecast maintenance requirements.

"Combining human expertise with artificial intelligence is a milestone for the process industry. Autonomous operation of turbomachinery offers advantages in efficiency, machine availability and health, as well as emissions reductions. AI algorithms ensure that machines and plants run reliably and at the optimum operating point at all times. This leads to fewer failures, greater efficiency and lower operating costs. In the final development stage, human intervention is only necessary for maintenance – which in turn leads to lower travel costs and reduced emissions. The development of autonomy thus combines the two strategic targets of digitalization and decarbonization," explained Dr. Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions. "MAN Energy Solutions already holds a leading market position when it comes to the unmanned operation of complex compressor trains. Through our cooperation with thyssenkrupp, we hope to further consolidate our lead."

Dr. Sami Pelkonen, CEO of the business unit Uhde said, "As one of the leading suppliers of nitric acid plants, our cooperation with MAN Energy Solutions will soon open up a whole new world of possibilities for operating the plants in a way that is both intelligent and resource-friendly. Our technology and digitalization competences will be a perfect match in achieving this."

Within the framework of this cooperation, the AI algorithms and advanced automation systems developed by thyssenkrupp Uhde and MAN Energy Solutions, as well as a digital controller for MAN turbomachinery systems, will be further developed, tested and interconnected to form a joint digital technology solution that is market-ready.

"In the 2020 pandemic year, MAN Energy Solutions was able to remotely commission complex compressor trains using digital technologies based on MAN CEON. The company has also already successfully demonstrated the continuous unmanned operation of its turbomachinery systems with its subsea compressor systems in the Norwegian Sea," added Jörg Massopust, Head of Digital Sales & Alliances at MAN Energy Solutions. "Together with thyssenkrupp, we now want to take the next step and enable the development from unmanned to autonomous operation. We later plan to apply the experience gained together in the nitric acid industry to other segments."

Thore Lohmann, Head of Operating Unit Fertilizer and Methanol at thyssenkrupp Uhde, concluded, "Digitalization is a topic that is becoming increasingly important. Our focus here is on the use of artificial intelligence to improve product characteristics, consumption figures and maintenance intervals, as well as increased automation. That's why our cooperation with MAN Energy Solutions fits perfectly with our strategy."


About thyssenkrupp’s Business Unit Uhde:

thyssenkrupp’s Uhde business unit combines unique technological expertise and decades of global experience in the engineering, procurement, construction and service of chemical plants. We develop innovative processes and products for a more sustainable future and thus contribute to the long-term success of our customers in almost all areas of the chemical industry. Our portfolio includes leading technologies for the production of basic chemicals, fertilizers and polymers as well as complete value-chains for green hydrogen and sustainable chemicals.


thyssenkrupp, Business Unit Uhde
Christian Dill
Communications Manager 

Tel.: +49 231 547 3334

Celebrating 100 years of thyssenkrupp Uhde:


About MAN Energy Solutions:

MAN Energy Solutions is paving the way to a climate-neutral global economy. Whether industrial production, the energy industry, or the maritime sector, we think holistically and are tackling the challenges of tomorrow today – so our customers can create value in a sustainable manner. Our technology portfolio contains the experience gained with a more than 250-year-old tradition of engineering MAN Energy Solutions is based in Germany and employs approximately 14,000 people at over 120 locations worldwide.  Furthermore, our customers benefit from the global service-center network offered by MAN PrimeServ, our brand for after-sales service.


Contact MAN Energy Solutions:
Roberto Rubichi
Communications Manager
P.: +41 44 278 3325