Dow-DIP supports SMEs towards a Circular Economy by using environmentally-friendly IoT
Bangkok - July 21, 2019 - Dow Thailand, along with the Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP) at Ministry of Industry, the Thailand Environment Institute, the Plastics Institute of Thailand and the Faculty of Engineering at Thammasat University, launched the “2019 Dow for sustainable industry” project to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to use the Circular Economy concept and technology to develop production to be more environmentally-friendly in order to become sustainable businesses in the Industry 4.0 era.
Mr. Chatchai Luanpolcharoenchai, President of Dow Thailand, a leader in materials science, said the “2019 Dow for sustainable industry” project will accept applications from SMEs wanting to improve their production efficiency by using the internet of things (IoT). The focus will be on business operators in the plastics and food industries changing their production processes. Dow, the DIP and its partners will send experts to analyze machinery in the factories and install tools that will help machines in the production line to systematically report their quality of work, which will help increase production efficiency. Experts will also provide advice and knowledge for staff on to develop expertise in environmentally-friendly production. The whole process will take around 7 months and will include guidelines and tools for each industry to progress towards Industry 4.0.
“Dow is committed to sustainable business and gives importance to the environment. We have experts with both the knowledge and the technology to provide support. Dow is therefore joining hands with its allies to increase the potential of SMEs in all stages of production, whether it is improving machinery, reusing waste from the production process or increasing the value of products, which will help lower costs and energy use, as well as benefitting from using resources according to the Circular Economy concept,” said Mr. Chatchai.
The project with the DIP and other partners is in its 8th year and is related to the Industry Ministry’s “Big Brothers” project that aims to support SMEs in terms of developing competitiveness, especially focusing on production using environmentally-friendly resources according to the Circular Economy concept, which is an international business model, to help push Thailand’s industry towards sustainability under the Thailand 4.0 strategy.
Throughout the past 7 years, a total of 40 SMEs have participated in the project to develop around 6,000 personnel who understand and give importance to the environment in the workplace. This has created positive outcomes for communities in terms of the environment, such as lowering the release of greenhouse gasses by around 1.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide per year, which is the equivalent of planting 150,000 trees; lowering production costs and energy costs by up to 144 million baht per year and improving the livelihoods of over 922,000 people in nearby communities with a better environment.
Mr. Decha Chatutananant, Deputy Director-General at the Department of Industrial Promotion, said the project for sustainable industry focuses on encouraging all sectors to use the Circular Economy concept and system integration technology as tools for business, with the goal for the business sector to become more aware of environmental quality management, environmentally-friendly growth, and the benefits of lowering pollution for people’s health. This concept will focus on product design that is easy to process and reuse to optimize the use of resources, as well as solve problems related to the overuse of resources. The production process will also give importance towards the efficient use of raw material in production by using technology in production, such as Machine Visualization, which is in line with the DIP’s 3-Stage Rocket Approach, as well as train business operators and advisors to use the concept of Lean Management for Environment for sustainable and environmentally-friendly business.
“For the fourth stage of the project, I am pleased to learn that the project aims to develop an Industry 4.0 manual by starting with the plastics and food industries before expanding to other industries, with the ultimate goal of providing guidelines to develop Industry 4.0 standards. The DIP, as a government agency, is ready to join hands with Dow Thailand, the Thailand Environment Institute, the Plastics Institute of Thailand, Thammasat University and other partners to provide advice on efficient operations for companies participating in the project. This will play an important role in raising the standards of Thai industry, which will in the future drive the country’s economy.
Mr. Montri Chamnanrot, Acting President of the Thailand Environment Institute, said the project has been ongoing since 2011, with the aim of encouraging SMEs to manage the environment in a sustainable manner, as well as use innovation and technology along with lean management for the environment to lower waste occurring during the production process. The project also involves services in environmental and energy management and safety increasing the value and efficiency of SMEs towards Industry 4.0 by following the country’s 20-year industrial development strategy, which is the change from traditional SMEs to smart enterprises or smart SMEs. The outcome will be an increase in competitiveness of business operators moving towards Industry 4.0 and Circular Economy.
Dr. Kriengsak Wongpromrat, President of the Plastics Institute of Thailand, said the Plastics Institute is contributing to the project by using IoT sensors connected to machinery. This allows users to look at real -time information in the cloud and become aware of any issues occurring during the production process through electronic devices such as computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. This will help identify and analyze problems, as well as develop information systems in the workplace, which will help shift plastic businesses into Industry 4.0.
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Thira Jearsiripongkul, Dean of Thammasat University’s Faculty of Engineering, said providing knowledge and training for SMEs on how to use IoT systems and LEAN management to increase production efficiency and reduce waste, costs and environmental problems, as well as increase the work efficiency of workers are ways that government agencies and private companies successful in modern management can help SMEs use technology to increase quality and output in order to grow Thailand’s industrial capacity. However, business operators might need time and support from different sectors to promote understanding and change methods.
The launch of the project also included a panel discussion on “The Circular Economy and Thai Industry 4.0”, with representatives from government agencies, the private sector and experts on the Circular Economy, who expressed their views and explained the importance of developing businesses using the Circular Economy concept, which Dow has given priority to and adopted in its business operations worldwide. Dow has supported setting up a fund for the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) to develop and implement appropriate solutions for waste management and waste recycling by using them as raw materials in the production of various products by using innovation and technology. Dow is therefore committed towards creating sustainability for the Thai environment.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines one of the broadest technology sets in the industry with asset integration, focused innovation and global scale to achieve profitable growth and become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company. Dow’s portfolio of performance materials, industrial intermediates and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for our customers in high-growth segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care. Dow operates 113 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 37,000 people. Dow delivered pro forma sales of approximately $50 billion in 2018. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.