Yokogawa Acquires Digitalization Startup Fluence Analytics

Yokogawa Electric Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) has announced the acquisition of Fluence Analytics, Inc. (Stafford, Texas, USA), a startup company that provides real-time analytics solutions to polymer and biopharmaceutical companies worldwide. 

Since signing investment and collaboration agreements in August 2021, the two companies have been exploring potential business opportunities. Through this acquisition, Fluence Analytics says it will integrate its operations with Yokogawa’s existing business and further enhance its technological capabilities. Starting immediately, Fluence Analytics will operate as Yokogawa Fluence Analytics.

Fluence Analytics is described as a global leader in polymerization reaction monitoring and control, and its automatic continuous online monitoring of polymerizations (ACOMP) product is said to be the only commercially available system that can measure and analyze multiple polymer properties in real time. 

According to the company, ACOMP’s data streams provide new insights into material properties that enable customers to optimize and control polymerization processes. In turn, this leads to improved product quality, greater yields, and less energy consumption and material waste. Based on the average size of a polymer reactor, the ACOMP system is estimated to deliver $1.5 million in value per year.

Initial agreements between the two companies in August 2021 generated strong interest from global chemical companies seeking to transform their operations with automated digital technologies. As such, Fluence Analytics says it is currently developing a next-generation ACOMP product, which will become part of Yokogawa’s OpreX offering. 

The two companies are now exploring how to integrate the next-generation ACOMP with Yokogawa’s advanced control solutions and the digital technologies of KBC, another Yokogawa Group company. Yokogawa says its global network will perform engineering and system integration tasks and provide after-sales field services for the ACOMP system.

“Polymers are used in nearly every aspect of modern society in the form of plastics, rubber, paint, and so on,” says Kenji Hasegawa, a Yokogawa vice president and head of Yokogawa Products Headquarters. “Combining Fluence Analytics’ ACOMP system and other technology with our industry know-how will enable us to work with our customers to digitalize and automate polymerization processes that are currently monitored and adjusted manually.”

“This will assist customers to improve worker safety, profitability, and environmental performance,” Hasegawa adds. “We also plan to apply this technology to polymer re-use. We believe this is truly a game-changer for the industry.”

In addition to ACOMP, the Fluence Analytics portfolio includes an innovative lab instrument designed to dramatically accelerate and optimize the development of novel biotherapeutics. The instrument enables the rapid assessment and real-time monitoring of the stability of therapeutic proteins, peptides, and other biopolymers under various thermal, mechanical, and chemical stress conditions.

“Combining forces with Yokogawa Electric enables us to capture the full value of our unique data sets, and we can’t wait to deliver this added value to our customers,” says Jay Manouchehri, CEO of Yokogawa Fluence Analytics. “Together, we will enable autonomous operations and digital transformation in the polymer and biopharma industries.”

Source: Yokogawa Fluence Analytics, www.fluenceanalytics.com