BEI Hits the Road to Learn about Modular Manufacturing

A delegation from the Bioeconomy Institute and other organizations took to the road this summer to learn more about modular manufacturing. The team visited Roeslein & Associates, Inc. of St. Louis, a leader in engineering, modular fabrication, and construction of industrial plant facilities.

[PHOTO]BEI Roeslein tourJohn Demoulin (center), director of sales and marketing at Roeslein & Associates Inc., (center) leads a BEI team on a plant tour to explore modular manufacturing and its application to biomass processing.

The visit was part of BEI’s new initiative to study modular chemical processing systems and their potential to economically produce fuels and chemicals. These mass produced systems would be ideal for stranded and dispersed energy and carbon resources, such as widely distributed biomass or fossil fuels that are currently uneconomical to process and transport.

Modular Manufacturing for Bioprocessing

At the meeting, CEO Rudi Roeslein and his team described modularization, unitization, prefabrication, and other related concepts and what they’ve come to mean at the company. They also gave an overview of some the company’s modularization projects. The meeting included discussions of the future challenges of modular manufacturing and a tour of Roeslein’s plant, led by John Demoulin, director of sales and marketing.

The vist came on the heels of the “Energy Manufacturing Workshop 2015” workshop held by BEI in Denver in May 2015. This national event brought together representatives from research, industry, and government to explore the topic. For more information about modular manufacturing, including a report from the workshop, see Modular Manufacturing for Bioprocessing for more information.

The BEI team included director Robert C. Brown, deputy directors Jill Euken and Ryan Smith, scientists Lysle Whitmer and Andrew Friend, and director of  graduate education for the BRT program Jacqulyn Baughman. Also attending was BEI associate and assistant professor of mechanical engineering Mark Wright. Participants from other organizations included Igor Slowing, Ames Laboratory;  Charles Freeman, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and Dane Boysen, Gas Technology Institute.

Bioeconomy Institute trading card