Chemical Industry is a significant contributor in the global economy. It is also the primary industry for several other important sectors like pharmaceutical, automobile, cosmetic, and agriculture. However, chemical companies need to rapidly adopt innovative technologies if they want to stay competitive in a changing world. However, how exactly can these technologies be used and what are the benefits? Read on to know about:
- Applications of AI and IoT in the Chemical Industry
- Key Benefits of the adoption of the new technology
- Top Organisations using these technologies
If we had to name the two most significant technological advancements of the last decade, then chances are most of us would say Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, more commonly known as AI and IoT respectively. In short, AI is the concept of creating intelligent machines that can simulate human behaviour and thinking capability. Whereas IoT is a network of Internet-connected objects that can collect and exchange data without human or computer intervention. To know more about AIoT, read our previous article here
IoT in the Chemical Industry market is expected to reach USD 79.9 billion by 2024. This growth amounts to a CAGR of 9.7% starting from USD 48.9 billion in 2019.IoT in Chemical Industry –Market Report
Applications Of AI and IoT in Chemical Industry:
The IoT in Chemical Industry will be dominated by the enabling technology segment. The enabling tech is needed for optimized chemical production, risk management and to improve efficiency. Some of the prominent applications of AI and IoT are:
Hazard Detection Alarms: A lot of industrial catastrophes can be avoided by reliable monitoring of hazardous gases, leakages, and predictions for potential malfunctions. Using machine learning and IoT enabled equipment, it’s possible to predict fluctuations of toxic chemicals and future anomalies.
Preventive Maintenance and Equipment Management: AI-enabled systems can predict machinery failure and offer suggestions for asset management. AI systems can gather real-time data from a central database and thus reduce interruptions of pumps and motors.
Prediction of Phase Diagrams: Deep learning technology has made it possible to predict material phases based on factors like temperature, triple point, and pressure. This enables the chemical companies to better understand melting, sublimation, condensation of thermodynamically different phases.
Raw Material Demand Forecasting: Using the predictive modeling of AI and IoT, companies can better meet demand and supply of air, natural gas, oil, water, and other raw materials.
Benefits of adopting AI and IoT:
Automated, self-learning and interconnected systems offer several benefits to Chemical Companies. Accenture, in its comprehensive report, has listed the pros of AI and blockchain in the chemical industry. Following is a list of the most prominent advantages of adopting these technologies:
Increased Efficiency and Productivity: AI and IoT decrease production costs via operational optimizations and increase competitive advantages. Real-time monitoring and predictions also prevent wastage of resources.
Data Management and Analytics: AI can help the company have a better understanding of the needs of the consumer. This helps in the relevant optimization of products thus leading to market success. Better analytics also means that the untapped potential of supply chains can be used to increase the business of chemical companies.
Climate Friendly Operations: The chemical industry consumes 10% of the total global energy and is responsible for 7% of total Greenhouse gas emissions. By using AI and IoT enabled systems, companies can better regulate the conditions for low emission of hazardous chemicals.
You may also like: How to grow a career in eco friendly jobs
Top companies implementing the technology:
Chemical giants across the globe are pioneering the transition towards a digitalized chemical industry. From Virtual Assistants to automated research, this is how the technology is being implemented by the topmost chemical companies:
BASF SE: BASF is a German Petrochemical giant and is known for its plastics and petroleum products among others. It had annual revenue of USD 71.1 billion in 2016. BASF has recently announced its interests in Systems That Learn (STL), a research initiative of MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
BASF has implemented AI for its custom Automobile Paint Colour Matching initiative. It allows users to get a personalized vehicle colour and saves the company time and extra investment for each custom colour.
BASF has also automated more than 94% of its payment with AI technology besides collaborating with computing giant Hewlett Packard (HP). HP will produce a new supercomputer for BASF to carry out complex modelling and simulation for research purposes.
The DOW Chemical Company: This chemical behemoth collaborated with 1QBit, a machine learning and computing company based in Canada, in June 2017. Together, they aim to use quantum computing tools to research material chemistry.
DOW also collaborated with software company TeslaGen in 2016 to develop a biological design platform. The collaboration can result in the automation of molecular biology research for the company’s scientists. Automation will boost the production of new crop protection products and seed varieties thus helping farmers all over the world.
Royal Dutch Shell Chemicals: Shell’s a key player in the chemical sector with annual revenue of almost USD 300 million. It has come up with a Virtual Assistant (VA) that is powered by AI. The VA is currently operational in 150+ countries and can speak several languages including Mandarin, German and Russian. It has helped the company reduce its expenditure on the Customer Support Service by providing them with quick solutions for common queries. According to the stats published, the Shell VA was able to correctly answer 74% of the issues and understood an amazing 97% of the questions posed to it.