The challenges faced by chemical manufacturers vary based on the market sector they serve. But the same core organizational needs are shared - from industrial to consumer goods, to life science and other markets.
You need to accurately plan and budget for consistent order fulfillment. You need to manage formulation for a product catalog that could be changing or expanding. You need to reduce waste by analyzing resource intake and product output. Those products can call for very specific storage conditions due to physical or legal requirements. In fact, the entire process demands strict adherence to a litany of changing rules from multiple regulatory agencies.
Find the right chemical manufacturing software for your industry to ensure your processes and end products and consistent, compliant and profitable.
See our buyer’s guide for more information:
What is Chemical Software?
Chemical software will centralize formulation, inventory management, order tracking, batching and quality control for your business and simplify compliance auditing.
Chemical Software Features
||Track ingredients used in the formula, batch scaling calculations, and encode parts of the formula to keep it secret.
||Manage compliance from a variety of regulatory agencies. See detailed information on regulatory compliances that chemical software helps manage.
|Quality Control/Quality Assurance
||Assists in testing samples of the product throughout the manufacturing process against the normal values to track variations
||Store and retrieve important documents in a variety of file formats. Document management software will help you stay within regulatory compliance requirements.
|Chemical Inventory Management
||Keep track of your current stock levels and purchased materials. Chemical manufacturing software keeps inventory records in accordance with regulatory compliance standards.
|Tracking Yield Variances
||Chemistry software keeps track of your predicted yield vs. actual yield for every batch you manufacture. This helps you take corrective action if the yield is too low or too high. Depending on the type of chemical you manufacture, regulatory agencies need to be notified if the batch yield is large.
||Chemicals you manufacture or ingredients you use often need to meet specific storage requirements. Chemical software will ensure your products and materials are stored at the correct temperature, humidity level, or other pre-defined specifications by notifying you when there is a variance.
|Shipping Requirements Management
||Chemical manufacturing software tracks shipping requirements and creates special shipping labels when needed.
|Material Requirements Planning (MRP)
||Advanced chemical manufacturing software features MRP functionality which includes shop floor control, purchase planning, demand forecasting, and equipment maintenance scheduling.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) regulated chemicals manufactured, processed, or imported. Chemical software helps ensure your records are compliant and can help with creating pre-manufacture notice (PMN) documents as needed.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - If you manufacture chemicals for food & beverage or pharmaceutical industries, you might need to comply with FDA regulations like the 2002 Bioterrorism Act. Chemical manufacturing software will help you track ingredients in accordance with FDA regulations.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - Safety Data Sheets (SDS), formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), need to be in compliance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Chemistry software will ensure your SDS is in the correct format and display the necessary information including hazards identification, first-aid measures, chemical composition, accidental release measures, handling & storage, personal protective equipment (PPE), reactivity, and toxicological info.
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) - Chemical software helps keep records and documentation in accordance with HACCP Principle 7. If you manufacture chemical products for agricultural industries, you likely need to be in compliance with Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) HACCP sections 326.6(b) or 381.606(b), as well as section 417.5 for record-keeping compliance.
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) - If you manufacture explosives or products used in explosives, you need to have reporting in place that is compliant with ATF regulations. Your reports also need to include information about theft or loss of the product.
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) - If you make or use ingredients in the manufacturing process that are regulated by the DEA under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), chemical software will ensure you meet reporting and documentation compliance.
- Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) - Chemical software helps create reports in compliance with cGMP.
Benefits of Chemical Software
- Manage regulatory compliance - Chemical software helps you maintain regulatory compliance by storing and organizing product and manufacturing process data and can automate reporting.
- Real-time sensors keep products stored properly - Some chemical products need to be stored within certain parameters. Sensors monitor humidity, temperature, and lighting, so you can be alerted in real-time when it isn’t within the threshold.
- Automated adjustments - Some chemical software systems can automate small adjustments to temperature or dosage, or even stir as needed. This saves you time to focus on other tasks instead of having to continually monitor and make tweaks throughout the manufacturing process.
- Improved supply chain efficiency - A chemical manufacturing ERP solution can handle supply & demand planning, allowing you to save money by purchasing and manufacturing only what you need.
What Does Your Business Need?
Small and medium-sized businesses: Small and medium businesses should find chemical software with formula management, so you can scale batch sizes and keep your products consistent. Compliance management is also useful to ensure you adhere to government and state regulations. Consider a chemical software solution that integrates with QuickBooks or another accounting software system you have in place.
Large businesses: Chemical manufacturing facilities that are part of a large organization need chemical software that integrates well with the company’s ERP software or other systems that are currently in place. Some manufacturers should look for chemical manufacturing ERP software that features material requirements planning (MRP), chemical inventory management, yield variance tracking, shipping requirements management, storage planning, formula management, and compliance management.
Common Pain Points
- Volatile commodity pricing - The pricing volatility of materials and commodities used in chemical manufacturing makes it difficult to plan costs of future manufactured products. For example, natural gas is used by many chemical manufacturers and prices fluctuate regularly. Chemical software can help you plan product quantities based on supply and demand as prices fluctuate.
- Recalls & quality audits - Chemical manufacturers need to be able to act fast in the event of recall as well as maintain strict quality compliance regulations. Chemical software will help you manage regulatory compliance and provide batch traceability to quickly identify contaminated or recalled batches.
- Raw material availability - Raw materials needed for manufacturing can be harder to come by depending on things like seasonality and cost. Chemical software can include seasonal demand planning functionalities, so you know when to manufacture certain products.
- Reworking or reblending products - If your product batch doesn’t meet specific standards for quality control or doesn’t meet the customer’s requirements, your products might need to be reworked, reblended, or completely scrapped and remade. A chemical manufacturing ERP solution can help with costing and inventory management as you correct the error.
- Circular economy & sustainability - More chemical manufacturers are taking into account supply levels of non-renewable resources and environmental impact of the manufacturing process. This focus on sustainability and a circular economy have chemical manufacturers looking into renewable energy, reducing waste, and minimizing emissions.
- 3D Printing - Large chemical manufacturing companies are beginning to use 3D printing for molecular modeling, creating expensive or complex laboratory equipment for a lower cost, and creating replacement parts for plant assets to reduce maintenance costs. One of the largest chemical producers, BASF, invested $25 million in 3D printing software.