Crystal Ball 2021: A Push Towards Holistic Artificial Intelligence

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), a premier global market research company, “Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are top of mind for most organizations today, and IDC expects that AI will be the disrupting influence changing entire industries over the next decade.” Given the important role that Artificial Intelligence will play in digital disruption in the coming decade, it’s important to define what AI really is.

There are many buzzwords in the AI space leading to confusion in the marketplace and a deep misunderstanding of what AI is and what it is capable of achieving. AI is not one thing, it’s a generalized term for software or a platform that can imitate human intelligence and can be applied in a virtually limitless number of ways. Buzzwords like, neural networks, deep learning, natural language processing and machine learning can all roll up into the tight little bow of Artificial Intelligence and they are the building blocks which an AI platform uses to “learn” for itself.

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AI can be applied in many different ways. We see AI being applied in our everyday lives if we have a smartphone that uses facial recognition to unlock, an Amazon Alexa to tell us the news and through social media, take TikTok’s notoriously smart algorithms that make the platform so addictive. AI is all around us, even commercially, though the commercial space has been slower to adopt AI technologies.

The commercial space has predominantly taken a more ‘piecemeal’ approach to adopting digital technologies, yet to fully capture the benefits of true artificial intelligence due to the use of discreet solutions, like advanced analytics or automation only to target a piece of their full process. There are many use cases of automation on manufacturing lines or chatbots in the customer services department but what about a holistic end-end approach?

Enter the first AI prediction for 2021

Holistic, end-end Artificial Intelligence, like Elutions’ Maestro, will replace the currently isolated approach to adoption of discreet digital technologies.

Crystal Ball Predictions 2021: This Article Emphasizes Holistic AI

Leaving behind solutions, touted as AI, that only addresses one piece of the process, like predictive maintenance, and adopting true AI that is self-learning, self-adapting and applied in an end-end approach to drive and even automate actionable intelligence across the entire value chain is the way of the future. The piecemeal approach may have worked in the past but with the new normal we are living in businesses need to begin thinking about their processes as if they were living, breathing beings.

Let’s think about it this way, if an overweight patient goes to the doctor and they are experiencing knee pain, a pain killer or a cortisol shot might address the pain right away and in the short term, but what about addressing the root cause? The doctor can see the full picture and knows that for sustained change, the patient will have to lose weight to rid themselves of their knee pain.

Now, let’s apply this analogy to a manufacturing plant, the plant is the patient and Holistic Artificial Intelligence is the doctor. A discreet solution, one that perhaps only addresses maintenance, is only able to impact one specific point in the manufacturing process, this solution can only prescribe a painkiller. However, an end-end solution is capable not only of detecting the root cause of a maintenance issue, but also addressing the pain point, it’s chain effect on the process, prescribing and in the case of Maestro, automatically implementing a holistic solution.

A great approach for businesses to best take advantage of AI, whether they are a University, Manufacturer or an Oil and Gas corporation is to focus on outcomes and addressing pain points. Businesses must focus deeply on their individual challenges and use Artificial Intelligence to address them as a whole. For example, many manufacturers experience asset downtime and plant failure as a major site challenge, a challenge that can be addressed and significantly reduced, if not eliminated entirely, with a holistic end-end AI approach.

In 2021 we will see a rapid increase of AI adoption to address a host of challenges across the entire value chain. Let 2021 be a year of digital transformation with Elutions as your partner. To learn more about specific case studies of Maestro Artificial Intelligence applied, please contact us.

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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.

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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.

Source: Internal Research

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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AI & COVID-19: Optimize

To maintain operations at the onset of COVID-19, corporations took swift, unprecedented action to counteract the pandemic’s sweeping impacts on market demand, workforce, supply chain, short-term costs and liquidity. For many corporations, this involved redirecting investment from long-term initiatives to short-term remedies. For others, expediting the execution of long-term strategies was critical to survival.

Corporations that chose to accelerate, rather than delay, their digital transformation initiatives are now leveraging Artificial Intelligence to enhance employee safety and security, reduce short-term costs and improve liquidity. In the mid-term, that same investment will allow them to stabilize revenue, further reduce OPEX, prioritize CAPEX, and lay the groundwork for competitive advantage.

How will Artificial Intelligence empower corporations to build resilience and optimize performance amidst supply chain disruption?

Elutions’ highly-automated and autonomous Artificial Intelligence solution, Maestro, integrates value chain systems and infrastructure to dynamically coordinate activity and optimize net performance, improving OPEX, CAPEX, yield and revenue.

The following Artificial Intelligence use cases are paramount to building resilience and optimizing performance in industry:

  • End-to-End Operational Alignment & Planning: By overlaying and interconnecting enterprise systems, assets and processes with AI and automation, corporations gain granular visibility and foresight into enterprise-level performance and risks, and unparalleled agility in aligning operational parameters, activities and decision-making across processes, enabling otherwise unachievable improvements in operating costs, yield and revenue.

  • Dynamic Process, UCP & Yield Optimization: By enabling dynamic, system-driven performance prediction and operating parameter adjustment at each stage of production, automated Predictive Preventative Maintenance work-order creation at the asset-component level, and automated alternate control sequencing in the event of a sensor, asset or process failure, corporations autonomously optimize process efficiency and product quality while avoiding unplanned downtime, minimizing the Unit Cost of Production, maximizing effective capacity, throughput and yield, and stabilizing revenue in line with design capacity.

  • Predictive CAPEX Planning & Budgetary Prioritization: By autonomously modeling asset health, availability and use-life, business-casing the margin impact of replacement vs continued O&M, and prioritizing CAPEX projects in line with their projected impacts on safety & security, uptime and margin, corporations plan and allocate CAPEX with unparalleled precision, efficiency and flexibility, optimizing IRR.

  • Value Chain Visibility, Scenario Modeling & Strategy Execution: By overlaying and interconnecting value chain systems and processes with AI, corporations gain unprecedented visibility and foresight into value chain performance and risks, certainty in strategic planning via scenario modeling, and oversight in execution, altogether allowing corporations to proactively manage rather than reactively respond to value chain opportunities and disruption.

Beyond mid-term resilience and performance optimization, corporations have placed their bets on Artificial Intelligence to thrive in the long-term. Stay tuned for more market intelligence on how AI is helping corporations gain competitive advantage.


Up Next for NCW: Digitization and Chemical Manufacturing


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