Digitization and technological transformation are two of the most popular buzzwords of the day. Beyond the jargon, however, there is a real need for next-generation technologies that drive businesses, industries and boundaries. As we all know, one of the most conservative and slow industries really needs to innovate and produce results faster than ever before. In today's digital world, speed has become a strong competitive advantage that even chemical companies cannot ignore.
The chemical industry is known for its systematic business approach, and as such, it faces a unique challenge of strategically using its processes and business models to digitize.
How digitization benefits the chemical industry:
Digitalization can transform the chemical industry by fostering innovation, according to industry experts. Digitalization can also speed up innovation, and predictive analytics can reduce costs -- by reducing waste and errors in experimentation -- at a time when chemical manufacturers are trying to streamline their processes and mergers and acquisitions. If supported by the right strategy and the required digital capabilities, digitalization can provide significant value throughout the supply chain process. Here are some of the potential benefits that digitalization could bring to the chemical industry:
A chemical manufacturer can scale up their operations and gain end-to-end financial visibility by enabling digital chemical plants. This integration provides further benefits, including better waste management, optimization of production networks, and better workforce safety. A good example is BASF, which uses computer modeling to reduce energy and waste. They developed software solutions to handle the complex requirements of batch and semi-batch systems. By developing a detailed kinetic model of its batch foamed polystyrene process and applying dynamic optimization techniques, BASF was able to reduce batch time by 30%, resulting in significant energy savings.
Better supply chain management
Managing the supply chain has always been a major problem in the chemical industry. Yet by going digital, companies can enjoy an unimaginable level of transparency. They have easy access to chemical supply sources and other intermediaries. Digital supply chains also benefit suppliers by enabling them to reach customers in new markets and geographic regions.
Achieve new levels of productivity
Digitization offers a great opportunity to improve efficiency and productivity across the industry value chain. Today, under the pressure of fierce competition and profit, operational excellence has become an important goal of chemical enterprises. Specifically, enterprises with structural cost disadvantages will inevitably achieve operational optimization. Digital promises operational excellence!
Digitization accelerates the rate of innovation, helping companies increase RD productivity and design new products and solutions.
Digitalization offers plenty of opportunities for innovation, expansion and growth. Due to its inherent periodicity and largely commoditized existence, the chemical industry still lags behind in adopting the digital agenda. Companies need to adopt an operating model that synchronizes their business plans and digital solutions. They really need to focus on streamlining processes and positioning their value chains within this new ecosystem to achieve a higher level of efficiency and transparency.