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Cognitive Computing in the Chemical and Petroleum Industries
Quadra Chemicals is a Leading Canadian Marketer and Distributor of Industrial and Specialty Chemicals and Ingredients. We combine our market focus with strong relationships with our suppliers and customers .
Article | February 25, 2020
The global chemical industry currently represents one of the largest worldwide interacting sectors delivering essential materials to several major industries including pharmaceuticals, agriculture, manufacturing and construction, and automotive. This is an indicator of the fact that any major changes in the chemical industry could also significantly affect these related sectors. Procurement is an unceasing challenge for companies across various sectors, and procurement in the chemical industry is no exception.
TEN YEARS AGO, fellowblogger Paul Hodgesand Ifirst highlighted the leading rolethat changing demographics would play in reshaping petrochemicals supply and demand. We have been emphasising the importance of demographics ever since.
Demographics have, of course, always been a critical shaper of economies throughout human history. But during the last 70 years, there have been such major changes in demographics that the study of demographics must be at the very heart of your company’s strategy.
The Babyboomer generation in the West led to a surge in demand as the rapid increase in babies born in the 1950s and early 1960s joined the workforce from the 1970s onwards.
This helps explain high levels of inflation during that decade because too much demand was chasing too little supply. Another driver of inflation was the Middle East embargos against oil exports to the West because of the West’s support for Israel.
Then came the 1990s and first the integration of Eastern Europe into the global economy. This helped dampen inflationary pressures because of the plentiful supply of workers in the east willing to work for low wages in export-focused factories. This reduced the cost of finished goods in the West.
Next came Deng Xiaoping’s critically important“southern tour”in the early 1990s and China’s gradual integration into the global economy. China increasingly leveraged its very youthful population to again make cheap goods to export to the West.
Hundreds of millions of young people were willing to migrate from the countryside to China’s coastal cities to work in export-focused manufacturing plants. The world began to talk about the “China price” and how it was further depressing global inflation.
With Brexit officially underway, the UK has entered the transition period during which arrangements affecting the chemical industry will be made. The chemical sector produces around £50 billion worth of exports annually, and 60% of this goes directly to the European Union . 75% of our chemical imports also come from the EU , making Brexit a critical time for the sector. The future of trading is yet to be established. Now is a pivotal period during which the chemical industry, stakeholders and the government need to work together to determine this future, in order to allow for a continuation of chemistry enabled growth.
Polyurethanes have long been known to produce coatings that exhibit high toughness, abrasion resistance, enhanced aesthetics, and durability. Solvent-based polyurethanes have traditionally set the performance standard for high durability coatings. However, environmental considerations for low-VOC alternatives and reduced exposure to solvents has stimulated the development of alternative technologies based on waterborne polyurethane systems.
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