Braskem | December 05, 2022
Braskem (B3: BRKM3, BRKM5, and BRKM6; NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK), the market leader and pioneer in the production of biopolymers on an industrial scale, has been investing regularly in new technologies and digital innovation for more than five years. The move is crucial to further consolidating the company's leadership position in the chemical industry, leveraging its innovative and competitive edge to generate sustainable impact and results.
Braskem has been increasingly investing in digital technologies to boost competitiveness and productivity, drive growth across existing businesses, and accelerate gains in innovation and sustainability. Since 2018, when the company's digital transformation began, Braskem has been making direct investments in technology. This year, around US$7 million were invested in the digital transformation portfolio. "Braskem plans to grow investments to develop and streamline its strategic, operational areas. Our technology spending spans from preparing the entire infrastructure needed for the safe and reliable functioning of our assets to initiatives that transform the industry," explained Daniel Sales, Vice President of Investments and Digital Technologies at Braskem.
Investments made in recent years enabled the company to advance in applications that make the industry smarter, safer, more independent, and more connected. Currently, digital strategies are transforming Braskem's entire value chain, estimated to generate around US$90 million yearly, making up the recurring gains reported through the program Transform for Value. The company already has more than 25 transformational initiatives. It is developing more than 70 digital products for industry 4.0 and the supply chain, commercial, research, and development areas, among others.
An example is using data science to improve decisions, such as predictive maintenance, quality control, and process optimization. Moreover, the operations planning process was impacted by the deployment of data platforms designed to help decision-making, such as demand forecasts. Investments have also been made in products that improve the customer experience using tools based on design concepts and customer experience best practices.
Improvements in people and process management
Braskem developed SPEAR, its own iterative and collaborative approach to managing the inevitable changes in work processes caused by the new digital tools. The method brings greater flexibility and collaboration to market best practices in change management and has been used to drive the adoption of dozens of digital products at Braskem.
An integral part of this digital transformation process has been promoting agile working methods and acquiring skills associated with developing digital solutions. Over 3,000 team members gained data science, agility, and design thinking knowledge in five years. Braskem has developed most of these solutions in-house, with its teams working in quick feedback cycles, which enables them to learn and adapt to changes efficiently. The development cycle for digital products - from conception to deployment of the new solution - is shorter than a year, which often enables the company to capture the benefits quickly.
"Our team members have been an important part of this digital transformation movement. They are invited to get involved directly in developing digital products that will transform the way they work or to send suggestions for problems to be solved through new technologies and acquire new skills for future work. One example is that our specialists have already developed more than 100 machine learning models in recent years."
-Guilherme Baeta, Chief Digital Officer of Braskem.
Investments in innovative businesses
Apart from investments in digital innovation, Braskem is diversifying its investment portfolio by creating new business models and incubating internal startups, developed from ideas generated within the company. The mission of these digital businesses is to anticipate market changes that affect the company and the industry in general. More than half the startups under development are linked to the company's commitments to sustainable development.
An example of betting on innovative new businesses is the launch of Oxygea, a startup hub that will receive approximately US$150 million in investments. The initiative will foster disruptive innovations through different mechanisms for interacting with startups, always focusing on sustainability and digital transformation. The hub is based on two pillars: Venture Builder, a tool for structuring and incubating new businesses, including those conceived inside Braskem, and Corporate Venture Capital (CVC), for investments in more mature startups. Of the total amount, US$50 million will be allocated to the incubation arm and US$100 million to the investment arm.
One of Oxygea's main goals is to create and accelerate the development of new solutions and products that are inexistent in the market. For this, it plans to foster entrepreneurship and innovation while strengthening Braskem's relations with the ecosystem of startups focused on sustainable technologies. The hub will allocate funds to ideas with transformative potential considering their competitive advantages.
The company also has Braskem Labs, its startup acceleration program, which reached its eighth edition this year. Its goal is accelerating businesses that create positive social and environmental impact through chemicals and plastic across diverse industrial and economic sectors. Since its creation in 2015, over 110 startups have been accelerated, and around 30% have struck business deals with Braskem or co-sponsors. Last year, 45% of the solutions accelerated by Braskem Labs focused on the circular economy. Braskem Labs is a partner of Quintessa, an impact accelerator that is present in all phases of the program.
Another notable initiative is the partnership with AgTech Garage, a hub of agrotech located in Piracicaba, one of Brazil's most important agribusiness regions. The company will connect startups with other AgTech Garage partners to foster the development of sustainable and innovative plastic solutions for agribusiness through open innovation.
With a strategy centered on people and sustainability, Braskem is engaged in contributing to the value chain to strengthen the Circular Economy. Braskem's 8,000 team members dedicate themselves every day to improving people's lives through sustainable solutions in chemicals and plastics. With its corporate DNA rooted in innovation, Braskem offers a comprehensive portfolio of plastic resins and chemical products for diverse industries, such as food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, health and hygiene, and more. With 40 industrial units in Brazil, United States, Mexico and Germany, Braskem exports its products to clients in over 71 countries.
Ring Container Technologies | November 10, 2022
Ring Container Technologies, a leader in the plastic container manufacturing industry, today announced that the company received a gold medal sustainability rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains. The rating puts Ring among the top 5% of all companies assessed.
The objective of the EcoVadis methodology is to measure the quality of a company’s sustainability management system through its policies, actions, and results. The assessment focuses on 21 sustainability criteria that are grouped into four themes: Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement. Ranking in the 98th percentile, Ring was only one point shy of achieving a platinum rating.
From last year’s honors to this year, the company’s score increased by 20 points, from silver to gold status. As an industry leader in sustainability practices, Ring’s proprietary technologies have been recognized for reducing food waste, minimizing material and energy usage, and being fully recyclable.
“EcoVadis’ trusted, standard rankings reinforce Ring’s commitment to investing in making products and innovations more sustainable and eco-friendly, The progress made within the company throughout the last year is evidence of that. Our customers rely on Ring not only for their shipments on time and in full, but also for sustainable solutions. We are proud to deliver on that.”
-Brian Smith, Ring Container President and Chief Operating Officer.
In addition to a high-ranking EcoVadis performance, Ring is involved in several other initiatives to support environmental protection. Last year, the company pledged a 20% energy intensity reduction, on average across all plants, by 2028 through the Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program. And across the country, 100% of plants have committed to Operation Clean Sweep to keep plastic debris out of waterways.
To date, the EcoVadis database counts more than 90,000 rated companies in 175 countries and 200 industries. Approximately 750 multinational enterprises, representing over 47,000 procurement and sustainability professionals, have selected EcoVadis to assess and monitor their global supplier base or selected business partners.
About Ring Container Technologies:
Ring Container Technologies is a multinational corporation headquartered in Oakland, Tennessee. Focused on developing container technology solutions for its customers for more than 50 years, the company has grown to be an industry innovation leader and one of the largest plastic container manufacturers in North America. With a commitment to be fiscally, socially, and environmentally responsible, Ring Container Technologies strives to advance innovation while exceeding expectations by design.
Reell Precision Manufacturing | November 25, 2022
Reell Precision Manufacturing, a world leader in innovative small package motion control, is pleased to introduce the latest addition to its popular SJ Series of multi-axis friction hinges, the SJ500.
The SJ500 is Reell's largest spherical joint hinge. It is available with torques from 4.0 - 8.0 N-m, making it ideal for positioning today's larger monitors and display devices, as well as industrial applications and many other components requiring precise multi-dimension position control in the industrial, medical, office, and consumer electronics marketplace.
All Reell SJ Series hinges have the capability to swivel from side to side with a 60º range of motion, tilt back and forth with a 60º range of motion, and rotate with a full 360º range of motion. They utilize Reell's patented SphericalTorq™ clip technology to perform consistently for a life of 50,000 adjustments. All SJ models have a durable glass-filled molded nylon housing and black finish, presenting an attractive and stylish appearance, while the all-metal shaft, ball, and torque elements are manufactured from nitrided and hardened steel for durable performance.
Global Product Line Manager Jim Brown is excited about the introduction of the SJ500. "The SJ500 expands the capability of our popular SJ platform with increased torque options for larger applications. We can now provide our easy adjustment, smooth feel, and secure holding power to a wider range of customer applications in lighting, monitor mounts and industrial equipment."
AboutReell Precision Manufacturing:
Reell Precision Manufacturing provides high-quality innovative solutions to transmit torque, control angular position and protect delicate components from excessive force. Combining the world's most precisely controlled torque technology with the industry's most experienced engineering team, Reell provides a perfect product fit for customer application. With facilities on three continents, Reell's responsive global customer service and world class manufacturing ensures exceptionally easy ordering and on-time delivery.
UST | December 19, 2022
UST, a leading digital transformation solutions company, has announced a collaboration with Intel and SAP to assess and enable the Industry 4.0 digital transformation journey for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in northern Malaysia. The collaboration will further accelerate the transformation of local businesses into 'intelligent enterprises', empowering them to deliver the streamlined and automated Industry 4.0 experiences necessary to thrive in a modern growth-oriented economy.
The technological innovation of Industry 4.0 has created exciting new opportunities for manufacturers, who are embracing new solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning. Industry 4.0 is already transforming how companies manufacture, improve and distribute their products. Manufacturers are integrating new technologies, including Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and analytics, AI, and machine learning into their production facilities and throughout their operations. However, according to data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), Industry 4.0 adoption amongst Malaysian firms sits at less than one percent. This is significantly behind international standards, creating a gap that must be overcome if Malaysian firms are to remain competitive in the long term.
The collaboration combines the resources of prominent market leaders across a range of sectors including industry domains, processes and technology. As part of the partnership, UST, Intel and SAP will collaborate to establish a Customer Experience center at a local UST Innovation Lab that will help share ideas on digitizing customized solutions. In addition, the UST Innovation Lab will host a cutting-edge experience center where SMEs can receive consultation and transformation plans for their businesses.
There is significant demand in Malaysia's Northern Corridor for innovation-oriented solutions which enhance productivity, create jobs and offer upskilling opportunities necessary to make the region a preferred manufacturing hub. By leveraging UST 'Innovation Labs', it is possible to accelerate idea development utilizing globally connected infrastructure, platforms, tools and teams.
"This high-profile collaboration will unite industry leaders in the hardware and software sectors to accelerate the development of meaningful Industry 4.0 solutions. By working together, all three companies will contribute towards achieving the essential business goals of Malaysian SMEs while helping them plan for the future."
-Amar Chhajer, Country Head Malaysia, UST.
Both Intel and SAP are dedicated to working with UST to accelerate the rollout of Industry 4.0 systems and solutions. Intel has established itself as a market leader by providing an extensive ecosystem of secure and scalable building blocks for industrial IoT solutions that bring intelligence to operating assets and reveal insights from data. Intel Xeon, Core & Atom based Industrial PCs & IoT devices, Intel Vision products & Movidius VPUs, are a few of the wide solutions and technologies from Intel for industrial IoT. Similarly, SAP works to develop innovations which bridge the physical and digital worlds to make intelligent and autonomous systems possible. By partnering with these dynamic companies, UST is making it possible for enterprises to realize the full benefits of next generation technology.
For more than 22 years, UST has worked side by side with the world's best companies to make a real impact through transformation. Powered by technology, inspired by people, and led by our purpose, we partner with our clients from design to operation. Through our nimble approach, we identify their core challenges, and craft disruptive solutions that bring their vision to life. With deep domain expertise and a future-proof philosophy, we embed innovation and agility into our clients' organizations—delivering measurable value and lasting change across industries, and around the world. Together, with over 30,000 employees in 30+ countries, we build for boundless impact—touching billions of lives in the process.