Industry 4.0 and Chemical Industry - WorldOfChemicals

Industry 4.0 and the Chemical Industry

Category : General Chemicals
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Introduction

For centuries, goods like clothes and weapons were manufactured manually or with the help of animals. In the beginning of the 19th century, the art of manufacturing transformed with the establishment of the Industry 1.0, where steam and water powered machines were developed to assist workers in manufacturing. Industry 2.0 was established in the beginning of the 20th century when electricity became the primary source of power. During the last few decades of the 20th century, industry 3.0 came into the scene, which involved computers, robots, and automation. However, these computers were disruptive in nature.


In the 21st century, new technology paved the way for Industry 4.0. This is the period, where computers are well connected and communicate with one another to make decisions without human intervention. Industry 4.0 is referred to as the “fourth industrial revolution”, which corresponds to the present trend of data exchange and automation in manufacturing technologies. It includes the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, cognitive computing, and cyber-physical systems.


Transformation of the Chemical Industry

Chemical industry plays an important role in the manufacture of almost every product. The global chemical industry is a huge industry with annual sales of $5 trillion and more than 20 million people employed. The chemical industry functions as the backbone of many end-market industries such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, automotive and construction. Trends in the chemical industry are likely to impact several other industries.


Industry 4.0 offers advanced technologies relevant to the chemical industry such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, robotics, additive manufacturing, and advanced materials. These technologies together have reached a level of performance and cost that facilitates extensive applications. Moreover, these technologies are now sufficiently advanced to integrate with the marketing processes and core conversion of chemical companies to digitalize operations and facilitate smart factories and supply chains.


Role of Industry 4.0 in Chemical Industry

Industry 4.0 technologies can be used to enhance operations through productivity improvement and risk reduction. Industry 4.0 also helps in growth through its application to create incremental revenue as well as generate new revenue streams.


Through various smart manufacturing techniques such as production simulations, process control, predictive asset management, and the productivity of chemicals can be improved. However, risk reduction involves the management of in-house operations and supply chains in order to respond to the changing customer requirements and to enhance safety and quality.


Energy efficiency can be improved though Industry 4.0 technologies such as virtual software sensors, which can augment data with additional information and facilitate control of non-standard process variables.


Conclusion

Industry 4.0 would likely affect the way chemical companies operate and expand their businesses, as they move away from the conventional revenue model of pay by the ton to provide value-added services and products to their customers. How well and fast companies perform would depend upon the decisions they take now and the initiatives they take up in the coming years.


Companies face different challenges on their path to Industry 4.0. It is crucial that they develop their technology and data landscape for their evolving services, products, and business models to have a competitive edge in the long run. Apart from technology, the swiftness of people and organizations in getting accustomed to change defines how effectively they embrace Industry 4.0.


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