innovation · 11/22/2019

Neste Engineering Solutions and Curious AI take AI-powered NAPCON Advisor into production

Neste Corporation, News, 22 November 2019

Neste Engineering Solutions and Curious AI have started piloting the AI-powered NAPCON Advisor, an application that assists industrial process operators in their daily work. Tests with the NAPCON Simulator and real process plant data have demonstrated accurate long-term process outcomes as well as suggested optimal control actions. The technology now enters into pilot testing and will become commercially available in 2020.

Various industries are going through rapid changes due to increasing global competition and digitalization. In order to stay up to speed, operators working in process industry plants need improved training, situational awareness and decision-making abilities. Digital operator assistant is a promising solution that supports the operators’ daily decision making. NAPCON and Curious AI have partnered to commercialize such a digital assistant by combining NAPCON’s deep process expertise and Curious AI's novel machine learning techniques in the process prediction and automatic optimal action sequence generation.

The tests have shown that the system can predict complex, non-linear real-life processes accurately. The tests also demonstrated that the actions made were safe and efficient. What is more, plant profit for the duration of mode change was higher under the AI suggested actions than with an unaided, experienced human operator. 

"We are excited to see our solution as a part of a high-end modeling product shipping soon. Modeling and especially planning actions for a complex, real-life production process is a challenging task for AI, even today. Curious AI has developed an efficient and robust approach to solving these problems, an approach we call 'system 2 AI'. Our cooperation with the NAPCON team has now demonstrated that real-world processes can, in fact, be handled with machine learning," says Harri Valpola, CEO, Curious AI. 

"NAPCON has a long track record of supporting the optimal operation of industrial processes. Our portfolio covers everything from advanced process control to real-time data analytics and high-fidelity operator training systems. The new NAPCON Advisor is a big step forward in supporting process operators in running the processes safely and economically. With the help of Curious AI's technology, we have created an amazing digital advisor uniquely suited for the needs of the process industry. We are looking forward to bringing it into the market next year," says Jyri Lindholm, Head of Product Management, NAPCON, Neste Engineering Solutions. 

For more information read the whitepaper.

Further information:

Neste’s media service, tel. +358 50 458 5076 / (weekdays from 8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. EET).

Valpola Harri, CEO, Curious AI,, tel. +358401612085.

Neste Engineering Solutions in brief

Neste Engineering Solutions offers high quality technology and engineering services, including engineering, procurement, construction and project management services for the Oil & Gas, Petrochemicals and Bio-industries. Our NAPCON products enhance process industry production optimization, quality and logistics, as well as operator training with simulators and games. We work in close cooperation with our strategic customers and have world-class knowhow in technology development and industrial investment projects. In addition to our head office in Porvoo, Finland, we operate in international Neste locations such as Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Rotterdam, Gothenburg, and in selected customer project sites. Neste Engineering Solutions employ approx. 1500 engineering professionals globally. Read more:

NAPCON in brief

NAPCON developed by Neste Engineering Solutions offers you a wide range of advanced process automation solutions to enhance your production. The dedicated solutions based on extensive process know-how and modern software engineering fulfil your needs on the areas of Production Optimization, Quality Optimization, Safety, Logistics, Business Optimization, Environment and Big Data. NAPCON offers also innovative solutions to train operators with simulators and games. Read more:

Neste in brief

Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates sustainable solutions for transport, business, and consumer needs. Our wide range of renewable products enable our customers to reduce climate emissions. We are the world's largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, introducing renewable solutions also to the aviation and plastics industries. We are also a technologically advanced refiner of high-quality oil products. We want to be a reliable partner with widely valued expertise, research, and sustainable operations. In 2018, Neste's revenue stood at EUR 14.9 billion. In 2019, Neste placed 3rd on the Global 100 list of the most sustainable companies in the world. Read more: