Siemens Energy/Porsche to advance climate neutral e-fuel
In an announcement made by Volkswagen - parent company of Porsche - the sports car manufacturer has partnered with Siemens Energy as well as other international companies to develop and implement a pilot project in Chile. The project is expected to deliver the first integrated, commercial, industrial-scale plant for making synthetic climate neutral fuels (e-fuels).
It is said that in the pilot phases roughly 130,000 litres of e-fuels will be produced by 2022, with an additional two phases to increase the capacity to 55mn litres of e-fuel by 2024, and 550mn litres by 2026. Porsche will be the primary customer, with other partners including AME, ENAP and Enel.
The pilot project known as ‘Haru Oni’ will take advantage of the excellent wind conditions in Southern Chile to produce carbon neutral fuel. In addition, as part of Germany’s national hydrogen strategy, Siemens Energy will receive a grant in the region of US$9.7mn from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to support the pilot project.
“Establishing a sustainable energy economy is going to require some rethinking. Renewable energy will no longer be produced only where it’s needed, but where natural resources like wind and sun are available on a massive scale. So new supply chains are going to arise all over the world to carry renewable energy from one region to another. That’s especially important for Germany, which – bottom-line – has to import energy if it’s going to meet its nationwide demand. Hydrogen will come to play an increasingly important role in storing and transporting energy. Which is why the German government’s support for the project is an important signal,” commented Christian Bruch, CEO Siemens Energy.
“Electromobility is a top priority at Porsche. E-fuels for cars are a worthwhile complement to that – if they’re produced in parts of the world where a surplus of sustainable energy is available. They are an additional element on the road to decarbonization. Their advantages lie in their ease of application: e-fuels can be used in combustion engines and plug-in hybrids, and can make use of the existing network of filling stations. By using them, we can make a further contribution toward protecting the climate. As a maker of high-performance, efficient engines, we have broad technical expertise. We know exactly what fuel characteristics our engines need in order to operate with minimal impact on the climate. Our involvement in the world’s first commercial, integrated e-fuels plant supports the development of the alternative fuels of the future,” added Porsche CEO Oliver Blume.
In the first phase of the project Porsche will use the e-fuel from Chile in beacon projects including motorsports and in serial production sports cars. Its initial investment will total roughly US$24.2mn.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.