Thursday, December 29, 2016

Germany’s Chemical Industry Embraces Industry 4.0 and Digitization

Internet searches find good evidence that the Germany chemical industry is intensely pursuing what is referred to as "Industry 4.0”.  A Deloitte 2016 article provides an excellent overview of what is met by Industry 4.0 and its implications for the chemical industry.  (Click here to read the article – PDF file.)

Implementing Industry 4.0 and increasing digitization throughout their industries is a high priority of the German government.  A study sponsored by the Federation of German Industries and carried out by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants provides good insights into the importance that German industry places on increased digitization in its industry.  You can read a report on this study by clicking here (PDF file).

The process of digitizing industrial processes, which has been going on for a long time, when combined with the concepts and capabilities associated with Industry 4.0 is believed to be leading to a 4th industrial revolution.

German companies support this embracing of Industry 4.0.  Siemens discusses the digital factory, Industry 4.0, and seven facts to know about the future of manufacturing (click here). SAP has an extensive overview on how to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution (click here).  Rexroth Bosch explains how they can support Industry 4.0 (click here).  Pepperl + Fuchs present their perspectives on Industry 4.0 (click here).  These are just a few of the German companies that provide support to companies pursuing Industry 4.0 goals.

German chemical companies are pursuing Industry 4.0-related activities.  At this link (click here), you can read about how BASF is implementing Industry 4.0-related processes.  An Evonik publication has articles on its activities related to big data, digitization, and the “Internet of Things”, all important components in Industry 4.0 (click here – PDF file).

Such benefits as:  better products at less processing costs; more timely delivery of products to customers; lower use of raw materials, with less waste; and decreased energy use, including lower CO2 emissions are driving companies toward Industry 4.0.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Chemical and Metal Shortage Alert – November 2016

The purpose of this blog is to identify chemical and metal shortages reported on the Internet.  The sources of the information reported here are primarily news releases issued on the Internet.  The issue period of the news releases is November 2016.

Section I below lists those chemicals and metals that were on the previous month’s Chemical and Metal Shortage Alert list and continue to have news releases indicating they are in short supply. Click here to read the October 2016 Chemical and Metal Shortage Alert list.

Section II lists the new chemicals and metals (not on the October alert).  Also provided is some explanation for the shortage and geographical information.  This blog attempts to list only actual shortage situations – those shortages that are being experienced during the period covered by the news releases.  Chemicals and metals identified in news releases as only being in danger of being in short supply status are not listed.

Section I.  

Aluminum: China; supply not keeping up with demand
Coking coal: China; supply not keeping up with demand
Section II.   Shortages Reported in November not found on the Previous Month’s List

Steel:  Iran; production not keeping up with demand
Styrene:  Asia; production not keeping up with demand
Zinc:  global; mining not keeping up with demand

Reasons for Section II shortages can be broadly categorized as: 

1.  Mining not keeping up with demand: zinc
2.  Production not keeping up with demand: steel; styrene
3.  Government regulations: none
4.  Sources no longer available: none
5.  Insufficient imports:  none

6.  Supply not keeping up with demand: none