Key Trends in the Digital Transformation of the Chemical Industry

Key Trends
The chemical business is intricate, with numerous sub-sectors dealing with various challenges. Thus, there are some differences in the sector's main areas of digitalization. For instance, while specialty chemicals with smaller batches but larger profit margins are concerned with improving quality, large factories are concentrated on accelerating throughput speed.

To be able to react to quick and repeated changes in demand, supply, and working circumstances, however, every plant must optimize output, reduce waste, improve safety and sustainability, and become more nimble. Therefore, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud computing are expected to be the three most popular applications for digital transformation during the coming two years.

Key Trends


Production Optimization

The first and most valuable use cases of digitalization in chemical plants center on production optimization through improved equipment performance, process automation, remote and predictive monitoring, and simplified maintenance.

Chemical factories, which often provide basic chemicals for use as end products in other sectors, have a special responsibility to maintain consistently high product quality. However, doing so can be challenging given the significant variations in raw material supply and quality. In addition, as process engineers can change the mix on the fly in reaction to fluctuations in quality, feedstock, or ambient temperatures, better data and analytics enable finer and more frequent adjustments.


Lowering Waste

The main advantage of digitally transformed plants so far has been cost reduction. The price volatility of raw materials is a problem for the chemical production sector because customers naturally want constant low prices. Minimizing waste is critical since facilities must contend with rising energy costs.

Analytics tools that monitor fluctuating raw material prices aid factories in negotiating the best deals with suppliers and preparing in advance for price spikes. The risk of oversupply is reduced since plants can prepare the proper quantities of various products thanks to more precise demand predictions.

Sustainability, Compliance, and Safety

The chemical industry is heavily regulated as a result of the quantity of hazardous chemicals and the number of end-use industries that rely on it. Businesses are adopting digital transformation to boost safety awareness, reduce emissions and dangerous flare incidents, and guarantee a transparent and accurate audit trail.

Plants that quickly adopt digital solutions for remote monitoring, supply chain visibility, waste reduction, production optimization, raising their safety profile, and opening up new opportunities will profit from higher profits and increased revenue, whereas those that hesitate for too long risk failing in the long run.

Spotlight

Silvateam s.p.a.

Silvateam brings together the knowledge of six companies, Silvachimica S.r.l., Ledoga S.r.l., Silva Extracts S.r.l. and Silvateam Energia S.r.l. operating in Italy, Indunor S.a. and Silvateam Peru S.a.c. in South America. The company has many commercial offices and warehouses, such as Mark Produtos Químicos Ltda in Brazil, Silvateam USA in the United States and Silvateam Guangzhou Science & Technology Co. Ltd in China.

OTHER ARTICLES
Chemical Management

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Article | May 13, 2021

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Spotlight

Silvateam s.p.a.

Silvateam brings together the knowledge of six companies, Silvachimica S.r.l., Ledoga S.r.l., Silva Extracts S.r.l. and Silvateam Energia S.r.l. operating in Italy, Indunor S.a. and Silvateam Peru S.a.c. in South America. The company has many commercial offices and warehouses, such as Mark Produtos Químicos Ltda in Brazil, Silvateam USA in the United States and Silvateam Guangzhou Science & Technology Co. Ltd in China.

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Chemical Management

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LyondellBasell and MSI Technology, LLC announced they have entered into an agreement for MSI Technology to serve the LyondellBasell Polybutene-1 (PB-1) resin line into consumer packaging applications for North America. MSI Technology is also the sales representative for the LyondellBasell Plexar product line. The expansion of the relationship is a strategic fit relative to the markets MSI Technology serves today. MSI Technology will use its technical sales approach combined with its current specialty product portfolio to enhance offerings to customers in consumer packaging. LyondellBasell PB-1 resins are commonly used in consumer packaging applications for easy-open packaging and film modification for seal initiation temperature providing Broad seal-peel temperature range Consistent and reproducible peel performance Adjustable peel force to end-use requirements Similar initiation and propagation peel force "Whitening" with "Smooth & Clean" peel surface Good seal integrity Easy processability Usable in blown film, cast film, extrusion coating and sheet extrusion "At LyondellBasell, we're passionate about creating solutions for everyday sustainable living," said Palmer Giddings, vice president Polymers at LyondellBasell. "Collaborating with MSI Technology on innovative packaging solutions is a major step forward in achieving that goal." "We are thrilled to expand our collaboration with LyondellBasell," said Brian McCaghy, president of MSI Technology. "The PB-1 resins align perfectly with our mission to provide specialty polymers and solutions to the packaging industry." The PB-1 resin line is part of MSI Technology's product offerings. The company also provides clients with access to dedicated sales and technical service specialists who provide guidance on technical resin selection to meet customer requirements. About LyondellBasell We are LyondellBasell – a leader in the global chemical industry creating solutions for everyday sustainable living. Through advanced technology and focused investments, we are enabling a circular and low carbon economy. Across all we do, we aim to unlock value for our customers, investors and society. As one of the world's largest producers of polymers and a leader in polyolefin technologies, we develop, manufacture and market high-quality and innovative products for applications ranging from sustainable transportation and food safety to clean water and quality healthcare. About MSI Technology, LLC MSI Technology specializes in the sales, marketing, and development of specialty polymers. Our product lines include: Plexar tie-layer adhesives (manufactured by LyondellBasell), SPS peelable sealants, and SpeciPurge purging compound. MSI Technology and its sister company, Soarus LLC, are located in Arlington Heights, IL. Soarus markets Soarnol™), ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH), (manufactured by Mitsubishi Chemical Group) into North and Latin America. The two companies together provide sales and technical service for specialty polymers focused on the packaging market.

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Chemical Management

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Chemical Management

Charter Next Generation Launches GreenArrow™ Cavitated Recycle-Ready PE Films For Confectionery Applications Using Void Technologies'

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