Chemicals – they’re literally everywhere. Born in the stars billions of years ago and exploded into the universe, all physical matter as we know it comprises chemicals. It was during the Industrial Revolution, only 250 years ago, however, when human ingenuity harnessed their true potential to transform life on Earth. And so began the chemicals industry, which completely changed the way chemicals were used. Scientists began engineering the tens of thousands of products that humans interact with daily.
Now, for the first time since breakthroughs in plastics during the late 20th century, the chemicals industry finds itself faced with a transformation that threatens to upend its entire sector. As the Information Age ushered in a new world dominated by digitization, computerization and automation, so too is the chemicals industry feeling the effects of this disruption. This seismic shift within the ecosystem is only accelerating, making chemical processing a sector ripe for investment.
One company is perfectly positioned to help investors and businesses capitalize on the radical advances rattling the chemicals industry: Industrial Process Plants (IPPE).
Established in 1978, IPPE has emerged as a world-leading source of used process plants and recycled process equipment, serving clients in diverse industries. In addition to buying complete plants wholesale, IPPE provides turnkey reclamation and demolition services. The company’s unique business model is perfectly suited to take advantage of new trends sweeping through chemicals.
Significantly improved plant performance and agility is one upshot of the ascent of digital technologies. The equipment used in the manufacture, storage and transportation of chemicals can be retrofitted or equipped with intelligent devices, like smart sensors that can signal problems and predict failure. Leveraging this technology will allow firms to serve both old clients and new ones from developing countries, all at lower costs.
Algorithmic analysis of data will push the chemicals industry to adopt a more customer-facing approach whereby firms integrate information into more customized solutions for their clients. PricewaterhouseCoopers deduces that Monsanto’s 2013 acquisition of software and data science firm Climate Corporation will give the company the capability of working with farmers to employ sensors that monitor soil conditions, satellite imagery, and market price data. This information will allow Monsanto to develop specialized, soil-specific solutions for maximizing a farmer’s crop yield and profitability.
Digital innovations like 3D printing are creating surges in demand within sectors served by the chemicals industry, such as automotive and electronics. Yesterday’s plastics no longer suffice as 3D printing requires new materials with unique or modified properties in order to be fabricated by this highly-advanced innovation.
Enhanced process performance and agility, a pivot toward customer interfacing, and a need for new materials sparked by innovations all result from structural shifts within the chemicals ecosystem caused by digital technologies. This evolution is giving rise to investment opportunities as process plants, equipment, and real estate becomes available. To find out how to capitalize on these and other investment-related resources, visit IPPE today!