Archive for Chemical Industry

Dow Chemical Works on a Transactional Process Automation Strategy

Robotic process automation (RPA) has gotten a good deal of attention. RPA is process automation software that is used to automate high volume, repeatable tasks. The process automation Dow is investigating and developing extends to higher level decisions for which robotic process automation is not well suited. What Dow is doing, however, is RPA taken to a whole other level.

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Digital Twins Support Supply Chain Optimization

Digital twin is the phrase used to describe a computerized (or digital) version of a physical asset or process. The digital twin contains a sensor or sensors that collects data to feed the asset model. These concepts have implications for complex production scheduling.

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One of the World’s Best Supply Chains

BASF does not get credit for having one of the world’s most intelligently constructed supply chains. They should. Core to their design is what they call the “Verbund” concept. This allows the byproducts from one product to be efficiently used as raw materials in the next.

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Facility Safety: What Could Go Wrong? Can You Answer These Four Questions?

An oil depot is an especially hazardous form of warehouse. The standards and processes involved to ensure safety in these facilities may be too onerous for many industries. Nevertheless, understanding the most rigorous safety processes, and being able to appropriately adopt them to less hazardous facilities, is a worthwhile exercise. This article examines facility safety and lessons learned from the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot fires.

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BASF Uses Real-time Visibility to Drive Supply Chain Excellence

BASF uses real-time visibility to improve their service capabilities. They implemented a solution from MacroPoint, a Descartes company, to improve their delivery reliability as well as improve the productivity of the transportation providers they use to service the North American market. But implementing great technology is not enough. Getting the most out of software also requires dealing with both internal and partner cultural issues and improving processes. According to Bill Wehrle, the Director of Supply Chain for isocyanates and inorganics in BASF’s Monomers strategic business unit, the journey that BASF has been on to improve their supply chain’s reliability started eight years ago.

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Supply Chain Planning in the Chemical Industry: Complexities Abound

Supply chain planning in the chemical industry is difficult because of the complexities associated with this industry. Optimization depends on models. The models for the chemical industry tend to be much more complex and detailed than in most other industries.

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Strategic Planning is Critical to Dow Chemical’s Supply Chain

When it comes to bulk shipments of commodities, strategic planning is even more important than day to day operations. Without careful advance planning, logistics personnel can never hope to effectively manage logistics operations when they are stuck with a suboptimal supply chain network.

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5 Best Practices in Chemical Logistics and How to Implement Them

For chemical manufacturers, knowing what you don’t know about your transportation process can be your greatest asset. But many logistics customers are reluctant to admit their shortcomings. One of the biggest weaknesses we see in new clients is a lack of control over the shipping process, the data and the decision points. That’s why it’s critical for chemical companies to work with third-party logistics providers that are able to develop customized programs tailored to their […]

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Why now is a good time to let the experts manage your chemical supply chain.

It wasn’t very many years ago that energy experts predicted natural gas production in the United States was in a state of permanent decline. It was a generally accepted position that the U.S. would be forced to rely on more and more foreign imports to supply the fuel needed to generate electricity, heat homes and provide the integral component necessary to the manufacturing of products such as fertilizers, plastics and chemicals. But now, unexpectedly, production […]

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Dow Chemical’s Distribution and Transportation Risk Management Program

Large chemical and oil and gas companies are, in general, far more advanced in their supply chain risk management practices than companies in other industries. But my coverage of this area convinces me that Dow Chemical, in particular, is one of the most advanced companies in the world in supply chain risk management. Dow Chemical has revenues of $57 billion and employs 54,000 people around the world. It makes and ships agricultural, plastics and chemical […]

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