Digitalization Technologies Jolting the Chemical Industry towards Profitability

Chemicals industry is more than one particular factory/industry producing a handful of products; rather it is a collection of various segments all working towards a similar goal of satisfying the consumers of the products and services they are dealing in. For example, manufacturer of base chemicals are dealing in the satisfaction of their immediate end-users who might be the paints & coatings manufacturers. Whereas, the paints & coatings industry might be dependent on their end-users that might be the residents of buildings, manufacturers of vehicles & automotive, packaging industry which require specialized coatings and various other end-users. This vast segmentation of the chemicals industry results in the reduced profit margin ratio due to the various stages and levels of value addition before the final consumers are able to consume the product. This is where the chemicals industry have realized the need for adoption of digitalization and associated technologies to increase the profitability ratio of their particular organizations. The major players of the chemical industry have embraced the collaboration between their organization and various technology firms for the betterment of themselves, their product offerings and their operational cycle; making this idea a very shrewd piece of business. Few technologies that have been adopted by the chemical industry are: Internet of Things (IoT) – Internet of Things in simple terms, is connecting all of the electronic devices with sensors and components creating an inter-connectivity web between all of the devices, sensors and components. This web of connection deals with monitoring the machines, equipments operating in the chemical industry, automating their operations & processing, recording any anomaly while they are manufacturing the chemical products which is then analyzed with the help of a different technology, i.e. analytics. With the usage of this technology, the sensors can monitor & predict which machines & equipments are not performing up to the optimal levels and which machines might be in need for maintenance resulting in predictive downtime & schedule maintenance of these machines. This technology also helps in improved logistics and transportation of assets produced by the particular organization due to the involvement of RFID tags, sensors installed on the assets and the manufacturing facility. This technology also helps in monitoring the energy usage of particular machinery and restricting the energy output provided to the machinery according to the energy compliances and regulations. Machine Learning – Machine learning has been in boon in other industries where the need for workplace automation and investigation of patterns & trends is high where humans might not be able to read into the information available to them. Although, machine learning’s application in chemical industry is still fresh and blooming the benefits in finding the trends and patterns from the information is providing the benefits to the industry already. For example, machine learning recognizes the individual performances, monitoring every action of an underperforming employee or a piece of equipment operating in the organization, finding the trends and reasons behind this underachievement, providing ways & methods to improve their performance. Machine learning also helps in recognition on which marketing strategies are most effective for the organizations, they are also used to monitor which individuals or organizations should the sales team target. They find the aforementioned patterns with the help of facial features detection, speech patterns, text patterns and language used in conversations. Blockchain – Blockchain if, simply defined is a virtual ledger which records the transactions and creates the database of information for every business transaction ever performed in the entirety of supply chain. Ledgers generally are private and confidential whereas blockchain is free to use for every organization or individual in the supply chain. This technological offering allows for collaboration with experts in the community because of its free-to-access nature. This also allows for trading between small manufacturers and major players present in the world. One of the major benefits associated with this technology is ensuring that the products available in the market can be traced back to their origin giving confidence to the consumers who are purchasing the said products that they are not counterfeit. Conclusion Advancements in technological offerings and innovations have drastically transformed the supply chain of the chemical industry, wherein the positive impacts are being termed immeasurable. Even with these benefits, these technologies require having the right mindset and knowledgeable skillset for implementing them correctly in your organization. Whether or not they have focus on making the industry more profitable with the help of these technologies available to them is up to them.