Thousands of Professionals Gather at the 2017 Chem Show to See What’s Next for Processing Technology


The biennial Chem Show was held at the Javits Center in New York City last week, and will return November 19-21, 2019.

The 2017 Chem Show welcomed more than 5,100 registered industry professionals to the leading event for processing technology at the Javits Center in New York City last week. Plant managers, executives, engineers, equipment manufacturers and other industry personnel across a broad range of chemical process industries (CPI) gathered for the three-day event to put the future of processing technology on display, and learn and share new ways to optimize their plant operations.

“The theme of the Show this year focused heavily on the evolution of the CPI. The world is quickly becoming more connected -- we’re seeing how this is changing the way the industry operates, and how things like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and innovative new technologies are emerging to improve productivity, increase efficiency, cut costs, reduce waste and help companies be more sustainable,” said Clay Stevens, manager of the Chem Show.

“Between the equipment on display, seminars, rapid-fire technology sessions and discussions with exhibiting technical experts, every Chem Show visitor should leave with at least one new way to save money, save energy, save time, and improve their process business,” Stevens added.

The Future of Chemical Processing

During the three days the Show was held, exhibitors led 39 free Best Practices and Technology Seminars to provide answers to the practical challenges that chemical engineers and plant managers face every day, linking new technologies and solutions to products and services on the Show floor.

One session, hosted by Rockwell Automation’s Brian Zakrajsek, area manager of process solutions, showed just how the IIoT, open networks, big data and analytics are going to transform the industry into a connected enterprise. Zakrajsek said enabling smart assets and connected devices brings data from the facility floor to business systems through an open network, creating a more complete picture of the equipment and operations. He emphasized that gathering information is just the first step, pointing to big data and analytics. Through analysis, facilities can achieve many benefits, such as increased asset utilization, sustainability and environmental friendliness, improved operational flexibility, safety and security, and easier compliance with regulatory requirements.

Seminars dove into a variety of trends and innovations, covering topics including using interactive operations software to improve communication and information sharing plant-wide; reducing maintenance costs, optimizing workflow processes, and improving overall efficiency with predictive modeling software; and implementing new technologies to improve plant safety, to name a few.

In addition to the well-attended seminar sessions where attendees were given a glimpse into what’s coming next for processing technology, attendees took advantage of the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the 279 exhibiting companies from around the world and talk to product experts who designed and/or built much of the equipment on display, ask questions and find ways to customize products to meet their needs. Attendees were also able to see live demos and experience products first-hand for a better understanding of the technologies and solutions available.

Recognizing Innovation

For the second time, editorial staff from the Show’s long-standing exhibitor, Chemical Engineering Magazine, presented the 44th Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award at the Chem Show on Wednesday, November 1st. The award honors the most-noteworthy chemical engineering technology that has been commercialized anywhere in the world during the two previous years. All of the award finalists had innovations that aimed to improve the future of chemical processing.

On Wednesday, November 1st, the winner was announced at the Chem Show. CB&I and Albemarle won first place for their solid catalyst alkylation process. The AlkyClean technology eliminates the use of liquid acids for the production of motor fuel alkylate, and thus eliminates the hazards and operating issues associated with handling liquid acids. The common thread linking all of the finalists was their shared passion for, and innovations in, new chemical processes that can improve operational efficiency, reduce energy and chemical costs, minimize waste and emissions, and enhance sustainability.

A Successful 2017 Chem Show

Both long-standing exhibitors and those experiencing the Chem Show for the first time echoed similar sentiments regarding its position as an important and valuable event for CPI professionals.

A representative from Julabo, an exhibitor since 2008, emphasized the unique opportunities at the Show, stating “we meet companies [at the Chem Show] that we couldn’t meet anywhere else. We’ve gotten a lot of high-quality leads, and we’re going to be really busy following up after the Show.”

First-time exhibitor Peter Blokhuis, owner of Gizmo Engineering, said their cost to exhibit at the Chem Show was already paid for after just the first hour due to strong sales leads. “Our products cut across many industries, and to exhibit in all of them would be expensive. Chem Show has the right audience for our products. We’re getting high-quality leads and communicating directly with those making or influencing purchasing decisions,” Blokhuis said.

Exhibitors and attendees can look forward to the 2019 Show, which will take place on November 19-21 at the Javits Center in New York City.

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