The U.S. Energy Information Administration's annual energy outlook - which was released earlier this spring - anticipated that the industrial sector's energy demand would outpace all other sectors through 2040, and a just-released EIA report projected that bulk chemicals would account for a "large portion of both consumption and anticipated growth," with the value of chemical shipments increasing from $288bn in 2013 to $429bn in 2025.
The recent robust manufacturing performance should continue in the near-term despite marginal declines in some indicators, according to the quarterly MAPI Foundation Business Outlook, a survey conducted by the MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.
Imagine if an enterprise in the United States was able to access vital product line information of a subsidiary plant in India or a crank shaft supplier being able to locate its component in an automobile across the globe or a machine being to self-assemble at the end destination. Technology advancements over the last decade have paved the way for all of the above situations to be executed in repeatable fashion.
Supply chains in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region pose a unique set of challenges for the organizations that rely upon them. With a land mass four times the size of Europe, transportation and distribution issues are complex and challenging. The region's diversity, in terms of regulations and political climate, as well as its sheer size makes it difficult to think of an integrated Asia-Pacific supply chain.
Chemical production is often described, understated as it might be, as a "harsh" operating environment. Machinery, components and workers are subjected to extreme temperatures, pressures and substances as they generate end products that can be used in a multitude of ways.
Over the past few decades, the electronics components industry has seen countless companies pursue production overseas in an effort to reduce costs. OEMs have gone abroad to find the best value-added locations for building boards via offshoring: mainland China, Southeast Asia, and more recently Eastern Europe. However, this trend is shifting.
The supply chain is getting greener and discussions about sustainability are cropping up in more calls and conferences than ever before. What this means for you is that the "green-ness" of your supply chain will soon be a deciding factor for your manufacturer and shipper partners as well as your other customers.