SK ecoplant, the plant engineering and construction arm of SK Group, announced that it will build an artificial intelligence (AI) incinerator solution, using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enhance efficiency and reduce pollutants emission at incinerators. Using advanced AWS cloud’s machine learning (ML) capabilities including Amazon SageMaker, a service that helps to prepare, build, train, and deploy ML models quickly, the AI incinerator solution will reduce the pollutants generated from incinerating waste by using incinerator data to optimize operations. SK ecoplant’s solution is expected to cut their emissions of daily waste by an annual average of two tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), which causes acid rain, photochemical smog, and fine dust; and two tons of toxic carbon monoxide (CO), which is the equivalent to reducing the NOx emitted by 950 cars and the CO emitted by 160 cars per year.
Existing incinerators rely heavily on the experience of operators to control the incineration process and manage emissions. Using AWS, the AI incinerator solution will be capable of automatically collecting and analyzing incinerator operations data, including CCTV footage and programmable logic controller (PLC) data from equipment sensors, to improve the productivity of incinerators and give guidance to operators. SK ecoplant will deploy ML models that analyze incinerator maintenance data, including pressure levels and vibrations, to identify abnormal machine behavior and detect equipment failures in advance, which increases incinerator uptime. With the AI incinerator solution, operators will also be able to check equipment data, give operational guidance, and monitor maintenance schedules, which saves management costs. The AI incinerator solution will minimize the consumption of resources and the generation of landfill waste during the maintenance process.
As part of building of an eco-friendly business ecosystem, SK ecoplant will make the AI incinerator solution available to domestic and overseas incinerator operators as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution via AWS Marketplace, a digital catalog with thousands of software listings. Selling the AI incinerator solution in AWS Marketplace will enable SK ecoplant to create new revenue opportunities by helping customers digitize the waste treatment and incineration sector, making it more environmentally friendly. SK ecoplant also plans to provide the AI incinerator solution to the company’s subsidiary emcorp, which specializes in managing environmental facilities.
Jae Yeon Cho (CDO), head of DT Group at SK ecoplant, said, “Through innovative digital technologies, we have found a breakthrough to addressing problems in the incinerator business that hadn’t been solved due to limitations in technology and investment. We expect our AI incinerator solution will play a pivotal role in making the waste treatment process more environmentally friendly and improve efficiency in the incineration business. “
“SK ecoplant is leveraging the broadest and deepest suite of cloud capabilities to create a digital solution that makes incineration more sustainable,” said Kee Ho Ham, Managing Director of AWS Korea. “I am excited that AWS is part of SK ecoplant’s journey to build a cleaner waste treatment market around the world.”