Call for change

To address the issue of global warming, the world needs to lower its carbon emissions. Climeworks, a Swiss company specializing in carbon dioxide air capture, filters CO2 directly from ambient air through an adsorption-desorption process using Direct Air Capture (DAC)—the world’s first commercial carbon removal technology. This Swiss eco-tech has a bold vision: to filter 1 percent of global CO2 emissions from the air by 2025. To make the impact they are aiming for, they need to scale their offering.

To confidently grow their business, Climeworks wants to refine their operations and technology, stabilizing and improving performance, productivity and the plant lifecycle; increasing efficiencies; and lowering operational costs to drive competitiveness.

To achieve this, they need a digital plant solution.

Climeworks knew that digitization and access to local, plant, and production data could give them a better understanding of key production, operations and maintenance issues. This could improve cost and output efficiencies, driving competitiveness.

When tech meets human ingenuity

With digital technologies, Climeworks can directly address its specific objectives, optimizing operations and performance.

Accenture proposed the implementation of a digital plant solution, which helps improve the performance of industrial plants and facilitates the move from reactive to proactive issue management. It makes use of intuitive dashboards and predictive analytical models and applications to improve insights from industrial plant data and enhance decision-making.

Climeworks selected Accenture to assist it based on our unique market experience; our Industry X engineering knowledge; our strong, multi-year relationship (we are Climeworks’ official Innovation Partner); and our proposal of a co-funding model as part of our Accenture Development Program which supports organizations working for good to create a positive social impact in the world.

A digital plant solution would help directly address Climeworks’ specific objectives, namely:

Real-time monitoring and detection of anomalies related to critical plant components.

Correlating CO2 production outputs and forecasts with weather and other factors.

Optimizing energy consumption.

Optimizing plant operation to balance plant performance, cost, and plant life cycle.

Optimizing service maintenance.

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With digital technologies, the company would be able to access local weather and other data, and control their plants remotely. With digitization and access to local, plant, and production data, they could gain a better understanding of the influences on CO2 production, improve maintenance of their CO2 filter system, and improve cost and output efficiencies.

The goal was to implement a pilot Digital Plant solution at Climeworks’ plant in Hinwil, Switzerland. This plant pumps extracted CO2 into a nearby greenhouse, making the vegetables grow 20 percent faster.

Once proven, the Digital Plant solution can be implemented at Climeworks’ new plant, ORCA, in Iceland. This plant aims to petrify and store around 4,000 tons of CO2 in the soil per year, using the Carbfix process which turns CO2 into stone.

A valuable difference

This project will help drive transformation at Climeworks. The digital plant infrastructure lays the groundwork for Climeworks to gain better control of their plants in the field, optimize their operations, and improve maintenance.

It will initially assist Climeworks to meet three key objectives:

  • Develop analytics models to enhance decision-making. The decision models will support optimization of select Climeworks key performance indicators, as well as identify potential anomalies.
  • Identify and formalize Climeworks assets that can be leveraged in a data-driven digital plant strategy. This includes the creation of a master document list, defining a data collection approach, developing an event classification regime, and the centralization of existing knowledge and data.
  • Create a cloud-based (Microsoft Azure) digital plant user interface for Climeworks, giving them the ability to use analytics to visualize core functionality (e.g., asset summary, time to failure, production forecasting, and energy consumption statics).

A digital plant will give Climeworks’ workforce—from leadership to management, operations and services—access to the data and insights they need to make better decisions, improve planning and plant performance, and work together to achieve key business goals.

Meet the team

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