Predictive Maintenance Using Big Data And IoT In Polystyrene Foam Products Manufacturing

Polystyrene foam products manufacturing companies are increasingly adopting big data and IoT (Internet of things) technologies to enhance plant efficiency and productivity. IoT is a network of physical devices embedded with sensors, software, electronics that continuously exchange data. Sensors attached to the equipment monitor quality and performance, and continuously transmit data to a computer for viewing by operating personnel. Big Data analytics includes collection, organization and analysis of large data sets to discover useful information. Predictive maintenance using big data predicts snags and defects, thus significantly reducing downtime and costs. Additionally, IoT and big data analytics helps monitor energy consumption patterns in manufacturing plants and enable companies to take measures to reduce power consumption. Major polystyrene foam products manufacturing companies such as Dow Chemicals and BASF are integrating big data and IoT technologies to implement preventive maintenance techniques, increase operational efficiency, and reduce costs.

The global polystyrene foam products manufacturing market is expected to grow from $62.4 billion in 2018 to $75.1 billion in 2023 at an annual growth rate of more than 3.5%. Steady economic growth forecast for many developed and developing countries will likely boost public and private investments in the polystyrene foam product industry. Technological advances such as big data analytics and Internet of Things being implemented by polystyrene foam product manufacturers are contributing to market growth and will drive the market in the forecast period between 2018 to 2023.

Polystyrene foam products manufacturing companies are also increasingly investing in recycling technologies relating to polystyrene foam products. Polystyrene is not easily biodegradable and it is a major environmental pollutant. Companies in this industry are developing new technologies to recycle polystyrene foam, to reduce raw material costs and to comply with stringent environmental regulations relating to polystyrene foam products. For instance, in 2017, Pyrowave and Ineos Styrolution America LLC formed a strategic partnership to implement Pyrowave’s Catalytic Microwave Depolymerization (CMD) technology for recycling of polystyrene packaging material. Similarly, in 2017, GreenMantra Technologies received an investment of $2.2 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) for construction of a demonstration plant to convert waste polystyrene into modified styrene polymers, which will be further used for manufacturing foam insulation and in other such applications.

According to a survey conducted by Pollara in Vancouver, Canada, in 2018, 83% of respondents reported that they were recycling the disposable cups and containers they were using, which included polystyrene foam products. The respondents for the survey included 500 residents of Vancouver.

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