Industry 4.0 for the Real World – Industry 4.0 is a catchphrase and buzzword that you can no longer afford to ignore – Industry 40 Real World humans machines interact

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Industry 4.0 for the Real World

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Industry 40 Real World humans machines interact

Industry 4.0 is a catchphrase and buzzword that you can no longer afford to ignore. This fourth phase of the Industrial Revolution isn’t just about the increased digitization of manufacturing. It’s not just about advances in automation either. Industry 4.0 could change how your company competes and whether or not you’ll continue to win. Industry 4.0 isn’t just about technology. It’s about profitability.

What Is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is a term that most manufacturers recognize, but that few can fully define. The media hype doesn’t help. The fact that manufacturing experts have different definitions adds to the confusion. For the purposes of this article, we’ll define Industry 4.0 as a family of technologies that use a cyber-physical interface to improve how humans and machines interact in order to add business value.

Which technologies are part of the Industry 4.0 family? Here’s what we’re including:

  • Robotics and advanced human-machine interfaces
  • The Industrial Internet and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Big Data and cloud computing
  • Simulations and augmented reality
  • Horizontal, vertical, and customer system integration
  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
  • Cybersecurity

Unfortunately, some of these “family members” are also buzzwords whose meaning has been diluted by misuse and overuse. There’s also a common misunderstanding that Industry 4.0 is revolutionary because it’s about the digitization of manufacturing or the use of automation. Remember: neither digitization nor automation are new. What’s revolutionary is how they’re being used together – and with people.

Smart Factories and Warehouses: Three Examples

Let’s look at some examples of Industry 4.0 in the real world.

Harley Davidson is an iconic motorcycle manufacturer that consolidated operations from 42 old buildings into one new factory. The company’s York, Pennsylvania facility uses digital control systems, automated guided vehicles, tablet PCs, and wireless digital signage. This facility has reduced production cycles from a fixed 21-days to a six-hour horizon. Worker injuries are also down by 91%.

General Electric is a multinational conglomerate with roots that reach back into the nineteenth century. At its gas turbine plant in Greenville, South Carolina, GE uses advanced manufacturing equipment with sensors, industrial networks, and advanced software for data analysis. Thanks to these investments, GE’s smart factory realized a $100 million productivity savings across the entire facility in three years.

Knapp AG is a German logistics company that has developed a human-machine interface for picking. Workers wear a headset with an integrated camera and see-through display. The camera captures serial and lot numbers for real-time stock tracking. The headset presents workers with item information and lets them keep both hands free for picking. This human-machine interface has reduced error rates by 40%.

How Industry 4.0 Drives Value

As these examples show, Industry 4.0 isn’t just about new technologies. It’s about getting business value from these investments. According to McKinsey & Company, a worldwide management consulting firm, Industry 4.0 provides options, or “levers”, for value drivers – anything that can be added to a product or service to increase its value to customers. This table explains.

Value Drivers Industry 4.0 Levers
Resource / Process Smart energy consumptionIntelligent lots

Real-time yield optimization

Asset Utilization Routing flexibilityMachine flexibility

Remote monitoring and control

Predictive maintenance

Augmented reality for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO)

Labor Human-robot collaborationRemote monitoring and control

Digital performance management

Automation of knowledge-work

Inventories Batch sizeReal-time supply chain optimization

On-site 3D printing

Supply / Demand Match Data-driven design to valueData-driven demand production
Quality Digital quality managementAdvanced process control

Statistical process control

Time to Market Rapid experimentation and simulationConcurrent engineering

Customer co-creation / open innovation

Service / After-Sales Predictive maintenanceRemote maintenance

Virtually guided self-service

Industry 4.0 and You

According to the Boston Consulting Group, a majority of larger manufacturers (53%) see the adoption of Industry 4.0 as a priority. Yet a sizable percentage of smaller companies are uncertain about what Industry 4.0 really means. Unsurprisingly then, approximately one-third of smaller manufacturers (34%) do not have plans to develop or implement an Industry 4.0 strategy.

Is your company ready for Industry 4.0? What are you doing about this fourth phase of the Industrial Revolution? Are you considering specific technologies? Maybe you’ve implemented some aspects of Industry 4.0 instead. Regardless of where you are in your journey, we hope this article has been helpful. We also invite you to share your thoughts by commenting on this blog entry.

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Colour Tone launch new generation of NIR detectable masterbatches – Colour Tone has launched a new generation of near-infrared (NIR) detectable masterbatches – Colour Tone generation NIR detectable masterbatches

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Colour Tone launch new generation of NIR detectable masterbatches

by Grace Nolan

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Why biotech innovator Novozymes uses the SDGs as a catalyst for growth – Novozymes president and CEO Peder Holk Nielsen is optimistic that the world has the willingness and the technology to tackle climate change – Biotech innovator Novozymes SDGs catalyst

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Why biotech innovator Novozymes uses the SDGs as a catalyst for growth
Heather Clancy

Biotech innovator Novozymes SDGs catalyst

Novozymes
Big bags of enzymes are packed and ready for delivery at the Novozymes warehouse in Bagsværd, Denmark.

Novozymes president and CEO Peder Holk Nielsen is optimistic that the world has the willingness and the technology to tackle climate change.

But he worries that too many well-intentioned companies are wasting time taking action because they’re looking for perfect solutions for the long term rather than embracing good ones that have the potential to make a smaller impact more quickly.

“You can get into the mood where this is such an overwhelming task that you can’t make a difference and therefore you go on doing the same thing as you’ve always done,” Nielsen told me during a chat last week. “Or you can tell yourself, ‘Let’s concentrate on where I can make a difference, and then let’s make a difference.’ I would put to you that if every company did that, then we could actually solve most of these problems. It’s no harder than doing that.”

Nielsen’s own company, Danish biotech firm Novozymes — which develops chemicals and enzymes used for bioenergy, food and agricultural applications, household care products and production processes — has taken that sentiment to heart. And then some.

Since 2015, the company’s business strategy has been explicitly aligned around catalyzing technologies that will play a role that exploit the “inventory of business opportunities” embedded into the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into reality. Using the SDGs as a talking point helps Novozymes put it strategies into context for national governments, cities, investors and other key stakeholders, such as its roughly 6,200 employees.

Indeed, a “significant” portion of the compensation for Novozymes’ top 200 executives is tied to the company’s ability to grow revenue related to catalyzing a low-carbon future, while meeting its own corporate sustainability targets, Nielsen said.

“Sustainability is not a corporate department in Novozymes; it’s a part of what we do, it’s the strategy,” he said. “I think that’s an important distinction to make.”

To be clear, the company isn’t trying to tackle all 17 SDGs. It has honed its focus to five that explicitly play into its business:

  • No. 2 – Zero Hunger
  • No. 4 – Quality Education
  • No. 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
  • No. 13 – Climate Action
  • No. 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

“I would advise executives to concentrate only on those where they think they can make a positive impact and try not to mess up on the others,” Nielsen said.

Novozymes is the global leader in industrial enzymes, controlling an estimated 48 percent of the market and holding more than 6,500 granted and pending patents, according to the company’s annual report. The organic revenue growth for its bioenergy business was 11 percent in 2017, while its food and beverage business grew 9 percent. Right now, about 65 percent of its business companies from developed economies, and Nielsen views the SDGs as a way of starting more serious dialogues in emerging nations.

One example of how the SDG lens shapes Novozymes’s strategy is its partnership with the NICE Group, one of China’s largest detergent companies — and one of the biotech company’s biggest customers. In 2017, two companies began collaborating on a research and development project to help NICE create far more concentrated formulas of its products.

“If we can encourage half the market to switch from conventional to concentrated detergents, we will save huge amounts of energy in terms of transportation and packaging,” said Hu Zhengyu, chief engineer of NICE, in Novozymes’s latest sustainability report. “That will be a leap forward for sustainable development.”

Another example of how Novozymes uses the SDGs for guidance on investment decisions is its BioAg Alliance with Monsanto, an initiative focused on developing new pesticides and herbicides that are made from naturally occurring microbes. The products are already being used on more than 80 million acres of farm land; the goal is to reach 250 to 500 million acres worldwide by 2025.

“We have great new products on the market that will help farmers produce more crops in a sustainable way,” said Colin Bletsky, Novozymes’ vice president for BioAg, in a statement about the initiative last year. “We continue to increase our understanding of how plants and microbes interact, and this is reflected in our strong pipeline. It will help propel biological solutions from agricultural niche to industry mainstream over the coming decade.”

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European propylene spot values pegged at premium to contract price in tight market – The European propylene spot market continues to show signs of tightness, with spot prices heard pegged at a premium to the industry-settled May contract price – European propylene spot contract price

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European propylene spot values pegged at premium to contract price in tight market

London (Platts)-

European propylene spot contract price The European propylene spot market continues to show signs of tightness, with spot prices heard pegged at a premium to the industry-settled May contract price, according to market sources.

S&P Global Platts last assessed the European spot price of polymer grade propylene for delivery 3-30 days forward at Eur998.50/mt (about $1,197/mt) Friday, up Eur2/mt on the day, and Eur7/mt on the week.

In the week to Friday, spot prices of polymer grade propylene were pegged at a 3%-5% premium to the May CP. The last time propylene traded at a premium to the CP was in 2017, according to Platts data.

Sources said the market was tight with talk of unconfirmed supply problems in Northwest Europe and ongoing planned turnarounds in Europe.

“There is no product available,” one source said.

A vessel carrying 5,000 mt of propylene was heard going to Northwest Europe from Houston.

“Demand is healthy at the moment and if market players want to get material, they will have to pay higher prices or wait until June when the market is expected to be more balanced,” a second source said.

In the US, talk of tight supply with ongoing planned turnarounds and improved downstream demand have also pushed up spot prices which have been climbing since April.

US spot prompt-month polymer-grade propylene was last assessed at a three-month high of 49.50-50 cents/lb ($1,090.98-$1,102/mt) FD USG Friday.

In the meantime, the European petrochemical sector is still opting for high volumes of naphtha as cracker feedstock in Q2, as demand for heavier co-product yields and flexibility issues at crackers have sustained demand.

On Friday, European physical propane cargoes were assessed at a discount of $133.50/mt to naphtha cargoes, $30.50/mt shy of their lowest point in nearly three years on April 24.

According to some sources, while a wide propane discount should encourage increased amounts of LPG cracking over naphtha, the latter remains supported because end-users have already hit their maximum intake of LPG.

“There is a certain limit of LPG utilization, right now cracking capacities have reached their maximum and can’t increase it further, but there are still requirements yet to be filled,” said one source.

At the same time, recent tightness in the crude C4 and butadiene markets in Europe has meant olefin producers have an interest in using a feedstock that produces a heavier product yield.

On a weight basis, heavier feedstocks such as naphtha, yield higher amounts of C4s and butadiene than lighter feeds such as ethane and propane.

An oversupplied ethylene market and tighter propylene market, will only add further incentive for end-users to crack naphtha as the heavier feedstock yields less ethylene than LPG and more propylene than ethane.

Cracking light feedstocks yields more ethylene and less propylene, butadiene and pygas. Cracking 1 mt of ethane produces 0.8 mt of ethylene. Similarly, 1 mt of propane produces 0.4 mt of ethylene. This compares with just 0.3 mt of ethylene from cracking 1 mt of naphtha.

Ethylene is presently oversupplied as downstream polyethylene has not picked up as much as anticipated.

Platts polyethylene contract prices have yet to increase this month, despite the rise in the ethylene contract price.

The ethylene spot price is currently trading at an 11% discount to the MCP.

–Philip Reeder, philip.reeder@spglobal.com
–Lara Berton, lara.berton@spglobal.com
–Daved Chohan, daved.chohan@spglobal.com
–Edited by Jeremy Lovell, jeremy.lovell@spglobal.com

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Shima promotes knitted applications in technical textiles – Leading computerised knitting machine manufacturer Shima Seiki, of Wakayama, together with its US subsidiary Shima Seiki USA, will participate in the Techtextil North America exhibition in Atlanta, GA, this month – Shima knitted technical textiles

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Shima promotes knitted applications in technical textiles

Leading computerised knitting machine manufacturer Shima Seiki, of Wakayama, together with its US subsidiary Shima Seiki USA, will participate in the Techtextil North America exhibition in Atlanta, GA, this month.

On display will be the company’s latest technological contributions aimed at promoting knitted applications in the field of technical textiles, designed and produced on Shima Seiki’s line-up of advanced computer design systems and computerised flat knitting machines.

Shima knitted technical textiles

The company will exhibit its latest SVR123SP shaping machine which features a dedicated loop presser bed mounted above the rear needle bed. This permits full use of inlay technique for the production of hybrid fabrics that feature both knit and weave characteristics, suited to various technical applications, the company explains.

At Techtextil North America, the SVR machine will operate together with the Yarn Unwinding Option that yields optimum yarn feed and tension for use with technical yarns that are otherwise difficult to handle. Together they will be producing knitted fabrics for automotive interior applications for upcoming mobile office and living room scenarios arising from self-driving cars.

Shima knitted technical textiles

Also on display will be the company’s Wholegarment knitting technology that is capable of producing knitted items in their entirety without the need for sewing. Wholegarment smart garments will be presented as proposals in wearable technology for biomonitoring in the sports apparel industry, as well as remote monitoring for the medical and caregiving industries.

The latest version of Shima Seiki’s SDSONE APEX3 3D design system will also be available for demonstrations in design and simulation of various technical textiles. Its ultrarealistic simulation capability that realises Virtual Sampling allows evaluating countless variations before arriving at a final design, and virtual product samples can be used to streamline the decision-making process by minimising the enormous amount of time and cost normally associated with producing actual samples for each variation.

Exhibition details

Exhibition: Techtextil North America

Date: Tuesday, 22-24 May 2018

Hours: 10:00AM 5:00PM (Final day: 3:00PM)

Location: Georgia World Congress Center, Hall B

285 Andrew Young International Blvd.

Atlanta, GA 30313 USA

Tel: +14042234000

Organiser: Messe Frankfurt, Inc.

Tel: +17709848016

Booth No.: 2323

Exhibited technology

  • SVR123SPSV 14G Computerised flat knitting machine
  • Yarn Unwinding Option – Yarn unwinding device for technical yarns
  • SDSONE APEX3 3D design system

For more information please contact:

Shima Seiki U.S.A. Inc.

Tel: +16096554788

Email: info@shimaseikiusa.com

www.shimaseiki.com

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Korteks showcases innovative products at EVTEKS – Korteks, Turkey’s leading integrated producer of polyester yarns exhibited a range of innovative products at the EVTEKS-24th Istanbul International Home Textile Fair – Korteks innovative products EVTEKS

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Korteks showcases innovative products at EVTEKS

Korteks, Turkey’s leading integrated producer of polyester yarns exhibited a range of innovative products at the EVTEKS-24th Istanbul International Home Textile Fair, held at CNR Expo in Istanbul from 24-28 April 2018.

The Bursa headquartered company, which produces 200,000 tons of yarn annually, exhibited its TAC UV Resistant Polyesteryarns, developed for outdoor fabrics such as tarpaulins, canvas and garden furniture, as well as DRY TOUCH, Zorlu Holding’s certified performance fabric brand.

TAC UV Resistant Polyester 

Dope-dyed TAÇ UV RESISTANT polyester yarns are specially developed to have excellent light fastness properties that make them ideal for fabrics for outdoor use in applications such as awnings, tarpaulins, and garden furniture.

Korteks innovative products EVTEKS

A serious problem with polyester yarns and fabrics that are used in outdoor applications, is that they are seriously degraded by UV (ultraviolet) light, which impairs their structure, weakens them and causes their colours to fade. Because TAÇ UV RESISTANT polyester yarns are specially manufactured to retard such degradation and fading, products for outdoor-use made with them, last longer.

DRY TOUCH fabrics

A patented performance fabric brand, DRY TOUCH fabric’s unique features arise from their yarns – DRY TOUCH is the brand name of a fabric and not that of a yarn. The right to make DRY TOUCH fabrics belongs exclusively to Zorlu Holding, which has licensed a limited number of other manufacturers to use the process.

To ensure quality consistency, Korteks checks the features of DRY TOUCH fabrics at each stage of their production. Finished fabrics are documented and certified, which ensures fabrics will be made to exactly the same specifications the next time an order for them is placed.

Korteks innovative products EVTEKS DRY TOUCH products are uniquely labelled to prevent them from being replicated or counterfeited. Every stage of DRY TOUCH fabric and product manufacture from initial yarns to final goods (including their placement on store racks) is subject to strict oversight to be assure end-user satisfaction.

DRY TOUCH fabrics are made from high-tech functional channel cross-sectioned fibres made at Korteks’s own yarn factory using a patented technology. The combination of advanced technology with functionality results in the creation of high-performance DRY TOUCH fabrics that simultaneously look natural, feel softer, and have better draping features, the company reports.

According to Zorlu, in the tests, DRY TOUCH fabrics were observed to absorb 10 times more moisture than cotton. DRY TOUCH performance fabrics are also said to be suitable for use in a wide range of applications and garments such as sportswear, underwear, denim wear, work wear, and ready-to-wear garments.

Production that protects nature

Korteks says it also fulfils its responsibilities towards the environment whilst producing innovative products. In 95% of the yarns it produces, it adds additional features such as colour, non-flammability to the yarns during production to prevent harm and reduce negative effects on the environment.

Korteks innovative products EVTEKS

Coloured yarns during production are much more environmentally responsible than dyed with yarn dyes or fabric dyes because, when spinning from yarn to fabric, there is no need for water and heat consumption in the painting process, Korteks explains.

Korteks has 2000 employees with sales of US $400 million, and is one of the most important manufacturers of polyester yarns in Turkey. The company has a production facilities covering 335,000 square meters and produces 200,000 tons of polyester filament yarn.

www.korteks.com.tr

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Asia petrochemicals outlook, w/c May 14 -Asian petrochemical prices are seen likely to continue to trend higher this week amid support from bullish crude futures – Asia petrochemicals outlook

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Asia petrochemicals outlook, w/c 

Singapore (Platts)-

 Asia petrochemicals outlook Asian petrochemical prices are seen likely to continue to trend higher this week amid support from bullish crude futures, after discussions last week were mostly higher as the strength upstream buoyed sentiment.

AROMATICS

Asian paraxylene prices crossed the $1,000/mt mark last week for the first time since May 6, 2015, rising $43.33/mt on the week to $1,014/mt FOB Korea and $1,033/mt CFR Taiwan/China Friday amid bullishness upstream.

June ICE Brent futures were up $4.12/b week on week at $77.47/b at the 0830 GMT close of Asia trade Friday.

June/July backwardation in the Asian PX market widened to $9/mt last week and was seen likely to widen further this week due to the startup of a new PX complex in Vietnam. The Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical Complex project in Vietnam is expected to produce on-spec PX in July “subject to a successful commissioning in May,” a Japanese trader said.

Also tracking firm crude, Asian benzene prices were assessed up $27/mt week on week at $868.33/mt FOB Korea Friday amid active trading ahead of June declaration dates for FOB Korea cargoes.

Gains in downstream styrene monomer added support, with SM assessed up $13/mt week on week at $1,404/mt CFR China Friday.

OLEFINS

Asian ethylene prices fell $10/mt last week, pressured by ample spot supply and record low ethylene prices in the US. However, the Asian ethylene market was able to draw some support from bullish crude oil futures.

Spot ethylene demand in Northeast Asia looks rather patchy this week. In Taiwan, the inventory level in Kaohsiung seems to be high due to a shutdown at CPC’s ethylene pipeline. On the other hand, spot demand remains healthy in China due to positive ethylene derivatives margins, such as for SM.

The Asian SM margin hovered in a range of plus $170-$190/mt last week, while the spread between polyethylene and ethylene widened $10/mt day on day to plus $120/mt Friday.

The price spread between ethylene and naphtha hovered at a nine-month low of $570-$580/mt last week, but was still well above the typical breakeven spread of $350/mt, Platts data showed.

Propylene on a CFR China basis was assessed up $20/mt week on week amid firm demand and tight supply. Price gains in the downstream PP market also helped improve sentiment in the propylene market, with sources in China saying they expected propylene prices still had room to rise.

In South Korea, spot availability was heard to have improved as plants restarted after completing annual maintenance.

POLYMERS

Asian PVC was assessed unchanged week on week Friday as activity remained thin ahead of the release of fresh June offers this week.

Asia’s PVC market was seen to have bottomed out and fresh offers were expected to be flat to $20/mt higher than May, reflecting high crude oil futures, according to market participants. PVC exports would likely be limited from Japan and Taiwan as well because of turnaround season.

On the other hand, some market sources said it would be difficult to increase prices for June as India was entering its off-peak demand period due to seasonal monsoons.

Asian polypropylene was assessed up $20/mt last week on the back of bullish futures.

Supply from the Middle East was expected to decline once Ramadan starts next month, market sources said. Despite an estimated 2 million mt/year of new PP expected to start up in 2018, market participants were not worried about oversupply as demand was expected to match or even exceed the new supply.

Producers said spot propylene-PP margins were currently unprofitable at minus $20/mt, but integrated margins were healthy. Margins have increased as rises in polymer resins outpaced gains upstream.

–Tess Tseng, tess.tseng@spglobal.com

–Rohan Menon, rohan.menon@spglobal.com

–Edited by Wendy Wells, wendy.wells@spglobal.com

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-China’s MEG up in anticipations of better supply-demand for Q2 – China’s MEG market has remained rangebound for around two weeks, and domestic spot prices shivered around 7,000yuan/mt – China MEG prices market

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-Sabic reduced the April price of MEG by USD55 per tonne – Sabic, the largest Saudi petrochemical company, has lowered the contract price of monoethylene glycol (MEG) to supply material to the Asian market in April at USD55 per tonne compared to the March price level – Sabic April price MEG

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