DIGICHEMCompleted 

Industry 4.0: towards a digitized chemical and plastics sector in Flanders

In 2017 Catalisti, the cluster for chemistry and plastics in Flanders, has initiated a study, DIGICHEM, to obtain an overview of the level of implementation of Industry 4.0 in the chemical and plastics sector in Flanders, the related challenges, and required collective actions that must be taken to increase the level of implementation to maintain competitiveness of the sector in Flanders on a European (and worldwide) level.

The DIGICHEM study was executed by Centexbel, sirris and Catalisti in a joint effort in the period February 2018 – January 2019. Within the study, Catalisti, Centexbel and sirris interviewed more than 40 individual companies, analyzed the relevant pre-existing studies and collected information from more than 70 different organizations through collective workshops.

The DIGICHEM study confirmed the importance and great potential impact on following overarching key features:

  • An increased operational excellence, productivity and flexibility within production, supported by a vertical integration within a smart and digitized factory;
  • A horizontal integration, leading to the development of new products and associated services from collaboration in a digitized supply chain.

Depending on their size, their position in the value chain or the products they produce, the route towards Industry 4.0 is different for every business. Adoption barriers are related to building a vision and strategy, digitization of all resources, the coupling with information systems, the organization structure and culture. Understanding the challenges and the barriers allows the development of a dedicated action plan for the Flemish chemical and plastics industry, focusing on the (collective) actions and trajectories that are needed to put more companies on the I4.0 road.

The actions in the action plan will be carried out in the coming years through collaboration of all triple helix partners in Flanders: government, research institutions and industry. The action plan exists of 4 major action lines: ‘Technology scouting and watch’, ‘Experimentation labs’, ‘Learning network’ and ‘Skills, education and legal framework’. The action plan describes both actions to be taken over the coming years and actions that are already ongoing in Flanders.

Catalisti will take the necessary steps and coordinate with all relevant stakeholders in Flanders to implement the various action lines of the plan through strong collaborations.

Download the DIGICHEM end report here.

Project information
Project type: VIS Study
Approved on: 05/12/2017
Duration: 01/02/2018 – 31/01/2019
Total project budget: EUR 124.943
Subsidy: EUR 99.955
Partners: