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LANXESS: Driving User Adoption in Self-Service Analytics

It has been a busy three years since Lanxess rolled out TrendMiner as its self-service analytics tool for process data.

“Activation is only the first step. To get the full potential from self-service analytics, you have to ask yourself, ‘How can TrendMiner be a gamechanger for your daily work?’”

Today, LANXESS has moved well beyond the early days of its Explore Program. Its advanced software users have eliminated silos, created an ambassador program, and developed workflows. The company also has TrendMiner fully integrated with its PI system.

Its vision? To become a fully data-enabled, data-inspired company.

“Our goal is to have data analytics embedded in all our work functions,” said Sebastian Recker, digitalization engineer at LANXESS, during the TrendMiner user event TrendLab 2021. “We have to enable our personnel to work with the data, to understand the data, and to analyze the data to make better business decisions.”

Driving User Adoption: Benefits of Self-Service Analytics

LANXESS approach

The objective was to empower all TrendMiner users. LANXESS wanted them to embrace the use of self-service analytics. To accomplish this and accelerate its digitalization journey, the company additionally decided it needed to:

  • Create a sole source for all lifecycle data to enhance quality and efficiency of data and data use, 
  • Digitalize processes that are manual, e.g., operational checklists,
  • Set up a process data structure and use templates across different equipment and processes, and 
  • Monitor energy.

“Activation is only the first step,” said Recker. “To get the full potential from self-service analytics, you have to ask yourself, ‘How can TrendMiner be a gamechanger for your daily work?’”

Driving User Adoption: Self-Service Analytics Ambassadors

LANXESS wanted to do more than just roll out a new tool. It created the TrendMiner Ambassador Program to establish a single connection for users to get information about it.

“If we find an interesting use case, we integrate it into the plant,” said Christoph Bros, a digitalization technician at LANXESS. “The analysis of what went wrong begins right after the problem is identified. That’s why we think TrendMiner should be as close to production as possible.”

Bros said the program is broken up into three steps that allows them to enable and discover the functionality and value of self-service analytics. 

  • Setting the Scene: Identify plant ambassadors and train the envisioned ambassadors, 
  • Situation Identification: With an ambassador, find a challenge inside the plant and describe the situation with a use case template, 
  • Brainwork: Determine if the use case is optimal for the situation and determine the learning value for the employee, and 
  • Sharing: Make the information available to all software users for help with a similar problem or provide inspiration for another purpose.

“We talk to the employees, and when we think we have a good workflow, people can share it,” he said.

Driving User Adoption: Digging Deeper with Self-Service Analytics

One of the ways LANXESS expanded its capabilities was integrating its PI asset framework into TrendMiner. To achieve this, it created a TrendMiner template inside the PI System Explorer.LANXESS and PI

“We can look at batch processes in the PI system, but its functionalities for discontinuous processes are limited,” said Leon Getrost, a LANXESS digitalization technician. “So, we decided to do the analysis in TrendMiner. Now, if we look at a batch step that has exceeded its time limit, for example, it’s possible to directly look deeper into the corresponding process data.”

LANXESS is exploring the possibility of integrating Excel charts and built-in notebooks as it continues its self-service analytics journey. 

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