For many years, TrendMiner has been in the business of helping companies to optimize their production processes, increase plant productivity, and improve overall equipment effectiveness. In an exclusive interview with CIO Applications, Bert Baeck, CEO & Founder of TrendMiner, tells CIO Applications about the critical capabilities of the company's advanced self-service analytics solutions for the process industry.
Please give us an overview of TrendMiner
“We provide an advanced analytics software platform - TrendMiner. The aim is to help global manufacturing companies to improve their plant availability, production quality, and overall equipment effectiveness. Our software has three components - search discovery, diagnostic, and predictive analytics based on pattern recognition and machine learning technology. We focus on time series data generated by sensors and actuators in process manufacturing plants, helping all then on-data scientists and engineers operating in a plant.
Our vision is to become the “Google”for the industry. Like Google, we also began with the search technology for time series data where people can navigate and search their stored process and asset related performance data.”
Industries that TrendMiner caters to
TrendMiner caters to chemical, oil & gas, power and pharmaceutical industries, the majority of which involves batch and continuous processes. We will also start exploring discrete manufacturing, which is a cross-vertical industry.
On the challenges that are predominant in the predictive analytics space
Customers need help to understand the potential benefits of self-service advanced analytics. In the process, they find difficulties in calculating the achievable dollar value savings for building business cases or estimating ROI. They also lack the data-driven decision-making culture. Our customer success team help the clients in quantifying value; we monitor gained value and usage of the software. We start with solving day-to-day problems that are saving time for the users and introducing step-by-step predictive analytics.
Working principle of the TrendMiner platform
If a customer has year’s old process data we train them to identify their production issues and provide them with our platform to start searching for root causes to their issues.
We provide subject matter experts with search, diagnostic and predictive power enabling them to continuously improve operational performance and contribute to their organizational objectives
The TrendMiner platform is entirely a self-service analytics tool through which customers can help them because they are the user, there is no need for any integration service to historians or statistical expertise to work with our software. It is a pre-built solution just like an app; a search engine with predictive power that customers use for solving significant questions and problems from their operations.
The search, diagnostic and predictive capabilities enable users to speed up root cause analysis, define optimal processes, and set fingerprints to monitor production. These can be used to send out automated early warnings to control room staff in case of deviation. TrendMiner software also helps team members to capture feedback and leverage knowledge across sites.
TrendMiner is successful today because we provide subject matter experts with search, diagnostic and predictive power enabling them to continuously improve operational performance and contribute to their organizational objectives, such as reduction of carbon footprint, reduce waste, increase product quality and improve plant safety, while improving overall profitability.
Cite a client's success story describing their hurdles and the aid they received from TrendMiner.
An American chemical company, Ashland installed our plug-and-play platform on top of their IP21 historian database where they were storing their process data for several years. TrendMiner helped them to quickly search through historical data to find performance anomalies. They were able to diagnose the problem, find the root cause and the reasons, and started configuring alerts in case the issue might arise again. They could now predict specific issues that are to be expected to happen in the future, proving the value to their entire organization. As the chemical company was shifting its focus from traditional chemicals to more pharmaceutical chemicals, they started producing GMP compliant products. Our platform helped them to increase the on-target production of the GMP products from 70 percent to over 95 percent. This result was achieved without any change to their current data infrastructure, leveraging the data from the sensors in place and training their process experts allowing them to disclose the value.
What is TrendMiner’s Vision?
We are heavily investing in technical alliances with big companies like Microsoft where we are integrating our software with their IoT (cloud) platforms. We will continue to invest in R&D operations for which we are planning fund raisings. For example to further extend the capabilities of our recommendation engine, that suggests possible root cause for specific process or asset behaviour. We believe that the winner will be the product leader and that is the reason we continue to invest significantly in R&D and ease of use.
New markets will be explored, such as discrete manufacturing and drilling analytics in the oil & gas space. Alongside this, we are we are working with our customers to determine how we can provide more value around industry-related aspects. For instance, our platform can help us in getting a safer environment in the plants or understanding the flaws or deficiencies better in terms of energy management.
Currently we rapidly expand our customer base, have customers in over 22 countries and are expanding the use globally within our installed base by stepping into high potential value areas and operations. Moving ahead, we look forward to expanding in the Middle East region, specifically in Dubai, Qatar, and Oman and we will also start to explore the Asian markets where we already support our globally operating customers.