Let’s have a dream. If we had to imagine today the industrial facility of the future, taking into account our experience in heavy industries, in other words highly capitalistic industry, taking into account the global world context with its extreme, quick changes, sustainable development concepts, and including the fact that raw materials and fossil fuels are rarer, we would use the following criteria:
– a safe facility: safe and convenient for its employees, safe for neighboring communities, safe and secure for its customers through the reliability of the performed processes;
– an autonomous facility: using renewable energy resources;
– no environmental footprint: facility without solid, liquid or gas contaminated rejects and without water consumption. Every product exiting the facility is creating value for the stakeholders;
– a facility with a minimized supply chain;
– a flexible facility: able to change production rates, and/or product, and/or raw materials, without operating expenditures (Opex) increase and no additional capital expenditures (Capex), even easily moveable;
– low capital-intensive facility, which could be developed on an incremental mode using microprocesses, including the optimization on the Capex/Opex ratio, as much as possible;
– short construction lead time.
This list is not exhaustive.
Of course, it is easier to list the above criteria than to use them relevantly to design a new facility, especially because some of them are in opposition such as, ...