Drew Hays
Lanxess leveraging analytics

Seeking Digital Supremacy

Jan. 23, 2020
Chemical company invests in added analytics capabilities in quest to become digital leader.

In today's new digital economy, specialty chemical company Lanxess has a lofty goal: It strives to become the digital leader in its industry. It is pursuing this goal by empowering its people, allowing better knowledge transfer and facilitating everyday work, to remain a strong partner for customers in the digital age.

As part of the process, Lanxess recently implemented a self-service analytics system for time-series data in many areas of its global plant fleet. Almost two thirds of its roughly 120 plants were equipped with the self-service analysis platform TrendMiner from Software AG, including all major production sites in Germany, Belgium, the U.S. and India.

Production employees can now autonomously analyze manufacturing processes and measurement data, detect patterns and trends in these data, and thus detect production irregularities.

“We measure success ultimately by operational efficiency, profitability and employee efficiency,” Lanxess Account Manager Thijs IJsseldijk tells IndustryWeek. “Related to TrendMiner, it is converted into the adoption and usage of the tool in combination with the operational improvements made through using TrendMiner.”

Thus far, Lanxess has significantly increased its capacity utilization, optimized resource efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. The digital transformation also serves to further develop employees, according to Lanxess CDO Jörg Hellwig. "Competences in the field of digital data analytics will be essential for chemists and chemical engineers in the future,” he says.

Lanxess kicked off its digitalization initiative in 2017 with the establishment of a dedicated business unit. The key areas of activity of the initiative are the development of digital business models, the introduction of new technologies along the value chain, the development and use of big data and the embedding of digital skills among employees.

Besides TrendMiner, Lanxess is using Palentir as a data lake analytics engine for its data scientists. Results from TrendMiner can be fed into Palentir and vice versa.

“Lanxess has high ambitions and TrendMiner will have to align over the years to keep enabling Lanxess to reach its goals,” says Edwin van Dijk, TrendMiner’s vice president of marketing. “We started out great with the two CEOs talking about alignment of their respective strategies. We will continue to monitor progress and needs, to keep successful.”

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