EIDI Data Use by ChemCo for Specialty Chemical Manufacturing
ChemCo is an international specialty chemical producer of premium polymers, specifically polyurethanes, polycarbonates, and specialty products to customers worldwide. ChemCo employs more than 15,000 people globally. In this section, you will learn how they improved production, reduced energy consumption, and how they go about continuous business and sustainability improvement.
Using Technology to Combat a Decreasing Market
In the twenty-first century, chemical producers have been selling their products to reduced demand and a higher supply for specialty chemical products, with increased competition from Asian companies. In addition, there are several other headwinds. It has become increasingly difficult to use low-cost, geographically convenient feedstock producers, as many countries' manufacturing base has been shrinking, with most of the chemical center clusters now residing in the Middle East, Far East, and Gulf Region. It is also infeasible to change suppliers based on cost because companies cannot transport some of these feedstocks, such as chlorine, over great distances.
Perhaps equally as challenging, in the last decade, many national and international organizations have increased environmental regulations for the chemical industry by a substantial margin. This requires greater emphasis on sustainability and emissions, material handling, and safety issues, which ultimately drives up the cost of manufacturing.
On top of all that, customers are demanding higher quality and more information from their suppliers. ChemCo leadership realizes that they can't just relax and say the entry hurdles to all markets are so high and they'll just keep doing what they have been doing.
The preceding challenges have compelled ChemCo to better utilize digital technology to innovate in three areas:
- 1. Optimize how ChemCo does its day-to-day business. This entails optimizing chemical processes, keeping plant assets at peak performing conditions, and improving the end-to-end chemical supply chain through enhanced business practices, reducing supply chain costs, and successful interconnectivity of plant ОТ systems with business IT systems.
- 2. Augment growth based on how customers do business with ChemCo, developing new strategies and technology to enhance the customer experience.
- 3. Develop innovative analytics and models using emerging technologies.