Chemistry 4.0 – myth or reality?



Camelot Management Consultants, Germany

For years, we have been told that digitization would deeply transform business models in the chemical industry. But is the world of Chemistry4.0 already materializing or is it still a mere vision? Or, as some still think but rarely say, is Chemistry4.0 more a hype, like the e-commerce hype of about 20 years ago, that will implode once the business cycle deteriorates and the willingness of companies to spend money for fancy innovations fades away?

Chemistry4.0 is indeed emerging, although more gradually than expected. Only now digital technologies that have been existing for years or decades are mature enough to create added value for chemical businesses. The idea for example, to steer product allocation in chemical value chains with the help of IT, is not new at all. Statistical programming languages like R or Python that can be used to model typical decisions in value chain management have been known for almost 30 years. 

But only today and with the help of users like Google or Facebook are their function libraries powerful enough to enable the modeling of entire value ...