CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR THE INDUSTRY
Author: Alexander Madl
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Introduction to the Article
The following article provides an overview of the technologies relevant to Industry 4.0. It also highlights possibilities for developing digital transformation strategies. By Dr. Alexander Madl, Transform Chemistry Innovation.
Exciting times lie ahead for the German and European coatings industry as it contends with a wide range of changes: uncertainty surrounding the political framework, relocation of global growth centres to Asia, the emergence of new competitors from the Middle and Far East, greater regulation of the chemical markets, changes in customer needs, and increased volatility in the raw materials and energy markets.
In addition, ongoing digitalisation is providing the catalyst for what is termed the fourth industrial revolution. This is the first industrial
revolution to have been proclaimed before it has actually taken place. Uncertainty is spreading. What exactly does digitalisation mean for the paint and coatings industry? What is genuine and what is hype? Which promises can be kept, which ones will make for poor investments? Is there a right time to jump on the bandwagon? Or is it maybe wiser to wait and see?
The fact is that technological progress in the areas of digital data capture, exchange and processing is accelerating exponentially and laying the groundwork for ever-increasing interconnectedness. Whereas it took 75 years for the telephone and 13 years for the colour television set to each reach 50 million users, it took only 4 years for the Internet and just 19 days for Pokemon-Go . The problem is that people have difficulty dealing with exponential
concepts. We are linear thinkers! How can good business decisions be made in such a rapidly changing environment as this? What opportunities does the digitalisation of the paint and coatings industry offer? Where are the risks?
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