Inefficient processes are central time and cost drivers for every company. Process mining allows data-based analysis of business processes, for example using digital log files, and the identification of potential for optimization in the operations. While process mining is already being used successfully in many industries such as online retailing, the manufacturing industry often lacks the large data volumes (Big Data) required for this.
"The manufacturing industry is usually faced with a high number of customer- and product-specific variants. As a result, many processes are not repeated frequently enough, so the amount of comparable data is quite small," explains Christian Stürmer of CONTACT Research. " There is also a lack of required resources in the form of business process management (BPM) to process the results and use them profitably." CONTACT Software is a technology partner in the running joint project Business Process Mining for the Analysis and Prescription of Industrial Core Processes (BPM-I4.0), in which experts from science and industry are working together on solutions for a broad industrial application of process mining. Participants include the Software Innovation Campus Paderborn (SICP), the University of Paderborn, the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechatronic Design (IEM), and the companies GEA Westfalia Separator and Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. Project Management Jülich is in charge of the project, SICP leads the consortium.
|Central overview of the business processes in CONTACT Elements for IoT. Real-time monitoring and evaluation provide transparency for potential improvements in the process landscape. (© CONTACT Software)
The project team designs new digital tools, methods, and algorithms to integrate the required additional data into process mining. These are being applied and validated in a practical manner along the product creation process at Weidmüller and the order fulfillment process at GEA. Further developed CONTACT Elements modules for live process control via KPI systems and for data anonymization provide a holistic picture of the processes. The evaluation using machine learning aims to make weak points transparent and identify relevant fields of application for optimizing the core processes.
CONTACT will use the results to make process mining available as an integral part of its low-code platform CONTACT Elements in the future. " This gives customers the opportunity to flexibly exploit the benefits of predictive process optimization and increase their competitiveness," says Stürmer. In addition to the technical side, the establishment of a central BPM office is another key objective of the project. This provides all the necessary methods, training, and instructions for preparing and analyzing the data, as well as implementing suitable measures to permanently anchor process mining in the organization.
In a webcast on the research project, the participants provide practical insights into the approach for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the process mining methods.