Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence and the Chemical Industry
In the previous articles in this series, we discussed the importance of the Chemical Industry to the global economy and how that industry is poised to benefit tremendously from digitization. Digitization is a vast concept, it encompasses everything from advanced analytics and process controls through to Artificial Intelligence and full automation. Although many experts agree that digitization is critical for the future of the industry, what exactly that means in a business application remains to be seen.
Industrial digital transformation represents a host of possibilities, whether it’s a reference to digital technologies applied in various levels of the process, to the entire process or even to the entire estate. For the purpose of this article, at a process level, Chemical Manufacturing and Artificial Intelligence will be the main focus of digitization in chemicals. Transformational benefits such as increased margins, reduced downtime, sustainable business practices, and more are all achievable in chemical manufacturing through the application of Maestro Artificial Intelligence.
For many corporations it may be tempting to apply digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, at a plant level or in an ad hoc basis and while benefits can certainly be achieved this way, in order to be truly transformative, from our years of experience, estate wide application is a necessity. Estate wide application allows for a full picture of the process rather than a point in time, isolated view of the equipment. The estate wide view gives way to a true understanding of how upstream and downstream processes impact the entirety of production.
The adoption of Artificial Intelligence across the entire estate is pivotal to the growth strategy of industrial chemical manufacturing and to their ability to combat digital-led disruption in end markets.
Long term consequences from the adoption of digital in other industries is being predicted to cause a large ripple effect in chemicals. The ripple effects can be positive or negative, take the following example: Digital technologies applied to the automotive value chain will have tremendous impact on the demand for production of chemical coatings as the dawn of driverless cars is set to increase safety on the roads and decrease the needs for chemical coatings. While a world filled with driverless cars may seem like a distant future, Chemical Manufacturers that produce these coatings need to begin planning for this disruption by applying digital now in order to survive in the future.
We have all learned many lessons about the uncertainty of the future, especially due to the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which manufacturers have suffered extensively from. Where have manufacturers turned in order to correct the course? Digitization. An internal research study revealed that the largest drivers for digitization in the chemicals industry are workforce, changes in utilities/ energy costs, COVID-19 related changes, growth strategy and global industry pressures.
Financial incentive alone, derived from increased production, decreased downtime etc., is a significant reason to go digital. Additional benefits relating to sustainability such as reduced energy consumption and hazardous waste are also key drivers. Reduced research and development cycles are another fantastic benefit that comes from digitization.
The above drivers are the “why” that is causing Chemical Manufacturers to adopt digital technologies at increased rates. But how can they drive benefit, adopt solutions quickly and do it all at scale?
The most important decision in adopting Artificial Intelligence and digitizing is choosing the partner that will transform business operations.
A true partner, like Elutions, will work with the business to establish clear targets, quantify the benefit, develop a governance plan, create a bespoke solution for targeted needs, prioritize speed to benefit and above all remain committed to future growth and surpassing designated targets and goals. Digitization in chemical manufacturing is not a “one size fits all.” Businesses deserve a partner that understands that and is experienced in working together to create the perfect fit.
To learn more about specific case studies of Maestro Artificial Intelligence applied, please contact us.
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