Chemical Manufacturing Trends
By Embracing Its Challenges, the Chemical Industry Will Continue to Thrive
In this blog series, we will explore the key challenges facing the chemical manufacturing industry. We look forward to providing you with valuable insights and best practices to address these challenges.
Throughout its 150-year history, the chemical manufacturing industry has produced products that enhance our daily lives, and its innovation has been a key driver of economies across the world.
Now a $3.9 trillion market, chemicals is one of the United States’ largest manufacturing segments, and one of the top exporting sectors of U.S. manufacturing. The industry’s more than 13,000 firms produce more than 70,000 products, and in 2017, directly employed more than 529,000 workers.
Nevertheless, in 2021 and beyond the chemical manufacturing industry faces unprecedented challenges. Consumer demands are changing; they want more versatile products and want those products to be produced using sustainable practices.
Four Key Chemical Industry Challenges
However, those aren't the only challenges with which chemical manufacturers are dealing. To maintain the momentum the chemical manufacturing industry enjoyed in the past decade, its leadership must address the following key challenges:
- Scarcity of raw materials. Responsible stewardship of resources is not only what many consumers now expect, it’s good business. But minimizing waste and efficiently managing inventory can be complicated and often requires implementing new technology.
- Rapid new-product development. Rising demand for new and improved products makes it imperative that chemical companies quickly develop and test new products.
- Growing demand for sustainable products and practices. Consumers increasingly demand conscientious choice of materials, but meeting those demands can be difficult, particularly as regulations evolve and change.
- Regulatory requirements that vary across states and regions and are constantly changing.
To meet these challenges, the chemical industry must embrace technology that enables greater efficiencies. At the same time, they must assume a leadership role in addressing sustainability, working with governmental and regulatory agencies to craft new policies, restrictions, and requirements.
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