Tools & Technologies

By Keith Albertson

The TrendMiner upgraded production analytics software platform can track entire process lines and offer real-time recommendations to diagnose the root causes behind production process issues.

Analytics upgrade is a gumshoe in your plant

The right analytics software platform can serve as a manufacturer's on-site detective by prowling through its processes for clues, identifying problem areas and sleuthing out solutions to production issues.

The new version of TrendMiner's self-service industrial analytics platform is a Sherlock Holmes on the case, offering extended search capabilities, more descriptive and diagnostic analytics and a new organizational platform. Its algorithms – similar to those used by Amazon to fill supply recommendations based on user behavior – can track entire process lines and offer real-time recommendations to diagnose the root causes behind production process issues.

The platform's latest TrendMiner 2018.R1 release has added the fingerprint deviation tool. Its Recommendation Engine suggests tags based on discrepancies in behavior to sniff out, for example, deviations from ideal performances and those outside best practices. It gives its users more tools to improve performance and boost communication within the operation.

The TrendMiner system reveals myriad data analysis possibilities while investigating a wide range of operational production behaviors. Its new "Work Organizer" supports a seamless method to organize analytical outcomes by projects, asset or other structure. It offers a way to create and manage folders to organize user views efficiently through search capability and share functionality. TrendMiner is used by companies over an array of manufacturing industries, including chemical, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, metals and mining, utilities and power generation.

"The basis for predictive analytics and improving operational performance lies in perfect understanding of the process and asset behavior of the production lines," said Thomas Dhollander, chief technology officer of TrendMiner. "To achieve this, it's crucial to find ways to involve subject matter experts directly by making advanced analytics as easy as possible. This is reflected in further extensions of the Recommendation Engine as well as helping to organize the increasing amount of analytics work."

The latest enhancements, driven by customer feedback, focus on the user experience. Those looking to speed up root cause analysis, for example, can select the active tags when creating formulas or aggregated tags. Thus, when searching for past similar behavior, clearly identifiable filters or "weights" are applied. These enhancements will reduce the time and effort it takes to solve equipment and process performance- related issues.

In addition, TrendMiner recently launched its new ContextHub extension to the TrendHub platform. Context- Hub is a repository, search engine and collaboration platform for context items that can be easily assigned to assets, processes and events. It can be configured to become a new data set that can be both visualized and analyzed and serve as a starting point for time-series analytics.

Keith Albertson is managing editor at IISE.