Big Data Is Making The Chemical Industry More Sustainable

Featuring autopsy analysis and biometric strategies helped to solve many crimes. Even municipalities are employing big data to collect the crime hot …

Big data is mostly referred to as high volume and variety of data which had hidden insights. The retail industry is benefited by acknowledging customer satisfaction and with the help of facial recognition technology buyer experience is improved. Featuring autopsy analysis and biometric strategies helped to solve many crimes. Even municipalities are employing big data to collect the crime hot spots and employ police to reduce the crime rates. Besides all these industries big data is being employed into chemical industries as well. Big data is changing the way in which companies are involving marketing, supply chain, production. It not only reduces the cost but also improves the overall production. Generate large amounts of information in real time about products, devices, and customers. This information, when collected, stored and analyzed, can provide deeper insight than before. It can also help break down traditional silos supply chains, accounting and finance, factory flooring, sales and marketing that are common in many companies.

Along with the increase of production, the risk is reduced in chemical industries with the advent of big data. The recent survey by Accenture reveals that 94% of the chemical executives is believing that digital technologies are changing the way of approach to their business. For making the digital technology to be effective we need to have the infrastructure in place.

Here are few of the specific areas in which big data is making a huge difference:

1.Production:

Companies can make better real-time decisions regarding the scheduling and usage of assets with the help of big data. The data generated from thousands of machines, monitors which are equipped with sensors is to be collected. This data can be used to reduce wastage, for improving accuracy and managing the consumption of energy. Maintenance issues are detected by these tools which alert employees for reducing downtime.

2.Safety and Regulation:

Long term remedies can be developed with big data in case of any security issues. The root cause of the issue is to be analysed and prevent the reoccurrence. The data generated about the incident is used for further studies and to bring knowledge to the public.

3.Pricing and Portfolio:

Chemical pricing strategies will rely on outdated data and are also complex. By analyzing profits, market estimates, and availability of raw materials, companies can make better decisions about the products and the value they offer. This information can help companies explore new markets for existing or new products too. With Big Data and analytics, companies can utilize accurate and timely pricing information from various sources, including sales information, to provide competitive and profitable pricing solutions for customers. Data on consumption, sales, and unit costs help companies also evaluate inventory of available products.

4.Research and Development:

Forecast, customers and market trends with better data help to reduce the time for marketing. With real-time intelligence, new products can be accelerated. The company’s resource planning platform (ERP) allows companies to integrate and utilize data from all chemical companies. Bringing all these insights to bear requires a powerful tool for capturing, storing, analyzing, and reporting information.

For the drastic improvement of productivity and profitability, many leading chemical producers are revolutionising the process of big data. manufacturers connect many equipment sensors on the shop floor to increase asset utilization through predictive analysis, the ability to predict equipment failures now keeps our factory running safely and efficiently. The amount of data generated from variable pump speeds, valve vibration analysis, tracking agitator torque, temperature and pressure with a generator operating every minute are surprising. With a new generation of educated talent entering the chemical industry, the core concept of optimization is not only applied to the supply chain, but also to product prices, portfolio planning, logistics and commodity management. All changes to supply chain management, asset utilization, and advanced optimization algorithms define cases of Big Data use in the chemical industry.

With the help of smart manufacturing chemical companies will be more benefited:

1.Detection Alarms:

Gases which are at lower explosive levels like oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide are to be monitored at every moment.

2.Load Forecasting:

To meet the demand and supply of energy and power, the raw materials are to be forecasted on a regular basis. The raw materials are like air, water, gas and many important minerals.

3.Phase diagram prediction:

Using computer codes phase diagrams are to be generated which is used to show thermodynamically different phases.

4.Energy Management:

Multiple dynamic operations are to be performed in a chemical plant. For improving energy efficiency technologies like soft sensors which can process a number of data points and also enables the control of nonstandard variable processes.

5.Safety Management:

Collecting and testing of samples are doing previously but with the introduction of Industry 4.0, it monitors the real-time data. For example, piezoelectric composite paints are used to sense cracks or mechanical vibrations of a chemical tank which reduces production risks.

Chemical industries will have numerous impact of regulations.REACH platform is being adopted, various international regional models. Some chemical products are mostly hazardous both the manufacturers and the shippers have to ensure the genealogy of the entire product during its complete lifecycle. Many chemical operators are to be employed and trained for ensuring the quality of the chemical products. The tasks they carry out, and even their physical existence, can now be monitored to ensure that certified operators perform tasks and non-qualified personnel are not physically present. Big data is making the quality check simple and fast with 100% accuracy.

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Apple Mentions Blockchain Guidelines In Conflict Minerals Report To The SEC

According to the Conflict Minerals Report that was published yesterday, February 15th, Apple is working on forming blockchain guidelines as part of its …

According to the Conflict Minerals Report that was published yesterday, February 15th, Apple is working on forming blockchain guidelines as part of its Responsible Minerals Initiative which was filed to the United States Security Exchange Commission. In the document, Apple wrote about its ethics and business practices in sourcing minerals that are used in the production of its electronic devices. The tech giant announced that it was committed to meeting the globally recognized standards. Part of the document stated:

“We are dedicated to going beyond the requirements in our mission to exceed globally acceptable due diligence standards so as to protect people in our supply chain.”

According to the filing, Apple is one of the participants who is helping to develop blockchain guidelines for the Responsible Minerals Initiative. These guidelines are a compilation of a set of principles, terms, and concepts channeled towards the deployment of blockchain technology in the mineral supply chain. The goal is to ensure that all companies involved do due diligence to protect the end users. In March 2018, the drafting process for the guidelines started.

The Responsible Minerals Initiative also intends to educate businesses about blockchain technology as it relates to the supply chain industry, and local communities. It examines the potential of this emerging tech.

Apple Comes Under Scrutiny

In 2018, the tech giant, Apple, came under scrutiny because of its plans to source cobalt in ways that were considered inhumane. Cobalt is a mineral that is used for the creation of smartphones and it is gotten from Congo. Amnesty International, at the time, said that the human rights bar in the supply chain sector is low. So, even if Apple is highly ranked as one of the tech companies that pay attention to human right abuses in the supply chain, this doesn’t mean it is free of blame.

The Responsible Business Alliance’s Responsible Minerals Initiative was established in the year 2008. It is made to of 360 companies including Apple, the electronics giant, Acer, the computer manufacturer, and Best Buy, the American electronics store. These companies and all the other companies in the alliance work on the improvement and development of due diligence mechanisms in the mineral sourcing supply chain.

Blockchain Technology In The Supply Chain

Having a standard for due diligence in the supply chain industry has become more important in recent time. Many public and private entities are already implementing blockchain technology in supply chains on a global scale. In January, IBM entered into a partnership with MineHub Technologies. The goal of the partnership is to create a blockchain platform that will be used to improve the management of supply chains in the metals and mining industry. The platform will eliminate the inefficiencies of the global minerals supply chain. It will also reduce the need for manual data processing and excessive paperwork. It will increase the transparency between all the parties involved in the supply chain process.

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In February, the Food and Drug Administration in Chongqing Yuzhong, a Chinese district, announced that it was making plans to deploy a blockchain that would strengthen the supervision of drugs and food in the supply chain to ensure quality.

Do you think blockchain technology can boost transparency in the supply chain for major companies around the world? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Apple Notes Blockchain Guidelines in Recent SEC Filing

Tech giant Apple has mentioned its work in forming the Blockchain Guidelines of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) in a filing with the United …

Tech giant Apple has mentioned its work in forming the Blockchain Guidelines of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) in a filing with the United States Security Exchange Commission (SEC). The document, entitled “Conflict Minerals Report” was published on Feb. 15.

In general, the document pertains to Apple’s business practices and ethics in sourcing minerals for its various consumer electronic devices. Apple states that it is “committed to going beyond the minimum requirements in order to meet and exceed internationally accepted due diligence standards and protect people in its supply chain…”

Last year, Apple came under scrutiny for its plans to source cobalt — a necessary mineral for smartphones — directly from mines in Congo. While Apple is ranked highly among tech companies in terms of human rights abuses in its supply chains, “the bar is low,” according to human rights watchdog Amnesty International.

Per the recent filing, Apple participates in the development of blockchain guidelines for the RMI, which are designed to determine a set of principles, concepts and terms for the deployment of blockchain in mineral supply chain due diligence. The drafting process for the guidelines was initially launched in March 2018.

In addition, the RMI intends to help businesses understand the nature of blockchain technology, its application in the industry, and its potential impact on supply chain actors and local communities.

Established in 2008, Responsible Business Alliance’s Responsible Minerals Initiative is a multi-industry initiative that comprises over 360 companies including Apple, computer hardware manufacturer Acer and American electronics store Best Buy. Members purportedly contribute to the development and improvement of due diligence mechanisms and resources in mineral supply chains.

Companies and public entities around the world have been exploring the use of blockchain technology in their supply chains. Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration of the Chinese Chongqing Yuzhong District announced plans to deploy blockchain for strengthening the supervision of food and drug quality assurance.

Last month, IBMpartnered with MineHub Technologies to develop blockchain solution to improve supply chain management in the mining and metals industry. The solution targets the inefficiencies of the global market, including excessive paperwork, manual data processing and lack of transparency between supply chain parties.

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GS1 Will Have A Role To Play In Supply Chain Blockchain Applications

Blockchain provides one mechanism for sharing information between supply chain trading partners. Because of the IT security, unchangeable records, …

Industrial Blockchain Applications Need Data StandardsGS1 & ARC Advisory Group

Blockchain provides one mechanism for sharing information between supply chain trading partners. Because of the IT security, unchangeable records, and decentralized governance, the technology is getting a lot of attention. But just as clear thinking depends upon carefully defining terms, effective supply chain collaboration requires a defined vocabulary. Business is just easier when you speak the same language as your customers, suppliers and partners.

GS1 is the leading provider of these standards. GS1 is a not-for-profit organization that develops and maintains global standards for business communication. GS1 US is the domestic organization serving US-based companies, while more than 110 other branches operate around the world. The best known of these standards is the barcode. GS1 barcodes are scanned more than six billion times every day.

The numbers on a bar code stand for specific stock keeping units, companies, handling units, and other key supply chain objects and categories of master data. We have been exchanging barcodes since 1974. This was a digital technology long before digitalization became the current buzz phrase.

Blockchain proponents are proud of the immutable records created by the technology. But if what you are entering into the chain of messages is garbage, you have an immutable record of garbage. It is true that the chain helps you more easily prove that a disreputable actor has been gaming the system, but garbage can also enter these message chains based on mistakes. The use of RFID and barcodes based on GS1 standards helps to prevent these errors.

There are 12 categories of master data. Some of the more important supply chain categories can be viewed in the table provided above.

These standards help to identify items and places, while barcodes, RFID and QR codes help to capture this and other data about an item. Internet-based data pools form the Global Data Synchronization Network. These networks provides a mechanism to share data about the identified products and places and their associated attributes with other trading partners.

More recently GS1 created a set standard to share data known as Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS). This standard allows event data to be shared across enterprises so that users can gain a shared view of inventory (raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods) as it transitions between process steps across an extended supply chain.

An example of EPCIS logic is “Product X with serial numbers 111, 112, and 113 were observed at 10:23am on April 2017 at Location ABC, during a ‘shipping’ operation.” Other operations, like packing and mixing operations, are supported in a similar manner. These EPCIS standards were the final leg of the stool to support traceability initiatives. Traceability is one of the blockchain initiatives with the greatest promise.

The first two supply chain initiatives that will go beyond the pilot stage, and become part of everyday business, will occur this November. Those initiatives include a traceability/recall mandate by Walmart with their suppliers of green leafy vegetables; and an initiative within the pharmaceutical industry to support new government regulations surrounding salable returns. Both initiatives will use GS1 standards. And the saleable returns initiative is supported by a new GS1 standard that was only announced on February 6th.

When you look at the GS1 standards a few conclusions are inescapable:

  1. Supply chain initiatives like traceability generate LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of numbers! This is Big Data.
  2. Applications need to be built to parse the Big Data across the chains of messages, extract information, put that information into a process, and then surface key metrics with analytics.

If you are not using GS1 standards, part of the cost of the blockchain project will be implementing these standards. However, for companies not using these standards, there are undoubtedly places within their own supply chains where they could profitably do so. For example, advanced shipping notices (ASNs) rely on GS1 data standards. ASNs sent to warehouses can help logistics operations more efficiently use space in the warehouse, cross dock and efficiently ship fast moving goods, and more productively use warehouse labor.

The jury is still out on blockchain. Blockchain will not be used everywhere for all business messaging. EDI and supply chain networks are not going away. While some of the proof of concepts will fail, even these failures can serve a positive purpose if they cast a spotlight on the growing number, and value, of the supply chain standards supported by GS1.

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Global E-Commerce Policy Has Data Protection As Its Core

“It is evolving now but data — be it storage, cross-border flows, privacy, … related to hosting of servers, big data analytics and M2M communication.

Protection, localisation and cross-border flows of data and privacy will be at the core of the upcoming e-commerce policy. It will also focus on India’s position in global trade negotiations, officials in the know said.

When a group of 76 countries including the US, European Union, China, Japan, Australia and Singapore are working to come up with trade rules for the e-commerce sector, the Department for Promotion of Investment and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has said that the policy has its focus on India’s interest in the World Trade Organization.


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“The policy will be WTO-centric and we have studied the respective policies of the EU, US and China,” according to a news report. “It is evolving now but data — be it storage, cross-border flows, privacy, community data or payments — is the main thrust. All other issues are ancillary.”



While the Department of Commerce, which deals with India’s trade issues, had floated a draft policy in July last year, the DPIIT was made the nodal department for the government’s e-commerce initiatives in September. The earlier e-commerce draft had also suggested that personal or community data collected by “Internet of Things” devices in “public space” should be stored only in Indian servers. It had also suggested a two-year sunset period before making data localisation mandatory.



India has told the WTO the developing countries needed to maintain policy space in certain aspects of e-commerce such as ownership and use and flow of data in “sunrise sectors like cloud computing and data storage” and in the facets related to hosting of servers, big data analytics and M2M communication.



“While a data protection Bill is in the offing, the e-commerce policy will not be contradictory to it. The Bill is based on the Justice Srikrishna committee report that talks of personal data but the e-commerce policy has community data as its core. It talks of the economic rights of data,” an expert on data issues said.

However, recently it was reported that the DPIIT may not include setting up of a sector regulator as it was mentioned earlier. However, the department clarified that it will continue to include the recently updated changes in FDI policy which have affected the business of global e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart.



India’s e-commerce policy will be significant for the sector as nearly half of the WTO member countries may opt for text-based negotiations on global e-commerce rules. At a time when the FDI guidelines in e-commerce policy led global e-commerce players Amazon and Walmart to lose $50 Bn in market capitalisation, together, the new e-commerce draft with a major focus on domestic players may restrict their growth further in the country.


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