Digital Technology Integration in Chemical Industry - WorldOfChemicals

Need for Chemical Companies to go Digital

Category : Process
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

The chemical industry is vast with a plethora of industries that produce a wide range of products across many different sections. In the past, large chemical companies particularly the producers had a monopoly over the market. These large companies focused on operational efficiency over adaptability and flexibility. Today, niche players dominate the market with their focus on consumer demand. These players have elicited incumbents to evolve through the adoption of digital technology at the business core and at the same time manufacture small batches to cater to individual customer needs, selling services, experiences and outcomes.


The chemical industry has been revamped through globalization. The industry dynamics have been changed with new markets, competitors and regulatory problems. This has caused firms to shift towards mergers and acquisitions to stay competitive and propel growth. It has become possible for such firms to integrate all the operational systems into a single system.

 

What is Digital Technology?

 

Digital technology revolves around digitized information that is recorded in terms of binary combinations which only comprise of digits 0 and 1, which are also known as bits. They represent words and images. Digital technology enables the compression of enormous amounts of information on small storage devices that can be stored and transported. Digitization quickens data transmission speeds. Digital technology has altered the way people learn, communicate and work.

 

Adoption of Digitization

 

It is easy to observe the impacts and challenges arising from the changes in the industry. Chemical companies should identify new forms of revenue streams including outcome-based models and innovative services. In order to execute this, they should address an ageing non-digital workforce to find a way to captivate new talent that embraces the digital workplace. This new talent would be the silver lining in leveraging technology to offer core business value. Companies should leverage large volumes of data to have a better interpretation of their operations and their customers.

 

The future of the chemical industry is no longer dependent on the concept of the best product model. It is based on the development of an ecosystem on enhancing the customer experience.

 

Role in Manufacturing

 

Majority of chemical plants generate a huge amount of data continuously but discard most of it. Instead, managers must collect the data and analyze it to show ways to achieve higher yields, lower energy utilization and more efficient maintenance. These easy wins can be achieved through existing IT and process control systems, on the other hand, companies that expand the kinds of data they collect would be able to capture further gains.

 

Best Digital Technologies and Approach

 

  • Digital technology along with the data it brings, holds monumental promise for the chemical industry. These technologies play an important role in driving business value.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) – Amplifying potential gains sensors to record data from manufacturing, storage and distribution.
  • Cloud – Medium to support a system of record for customers and suppliers 
  • Analytics – To guide in decision making rooted in the business context
  • Machine learning – Contribute to predictive maintenance of operational equipment
  • Blockchain – Track transactions for assets, products and materials.

 

Technology alone isn’t the solution. In the chemical industry, it is the use of technology versus the correct digital strategy that holds the real value. This requires a focus on the implementation of a true digital core that enables a single system of record through the business. A corporate mindset is required as well that embraces adaptability, agility and innovation. It requires a customer-centric mindset and a design thinking perspective.