SAN FRANCISCO—Manufacturing analytics software developer Sight Machine recently announced the availability of a next generation Manufacturing Data Platform (MDP), along with its first set of industry-specific tools for paper and tissue, packaging, and chemical manufacturers. Sight Machine’s SaaS platform uses real-time data analytics and AI to unlock continuous improvement and create what the company called “rapid, concrete gains in productivity, profitability, and sustainability for manufacturing companies.”

Sight Machine said in a release that despite investments in automation and other technologies, manufacturers have struggled with declining productivity in their plant operations. Productivity of the U.S. manufacturing sector grew by an average of 2 percent annually from 1992 to 2004, but declined by an average of 0.3 percent annually from 2004 to 2016, the company said, citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Methodologies like lean manufacturing and Six Sigma helped boost productivity from the 1970s through the early 2000s, but the potential gains have largely been achieved, according to Sight Machine. These methods typically focus on individual machines or processes, using limited snapshots of historical data, the company said.

“Manufacturers have squeezed out most of the gains available from optimizing individual machines and processes,” said Sight Machine CEO and Co-Founder Jon Sobel, in a statement. “The largest opportunity for today’s manufacturers to gain competitive advantage is from data, specifically through real-time, system-wide optimization. We are investing in industry-specific solutions that accelerate the ability of manufacturers in industries such as paper and tissue, packaging, and chemicals to revolutionize operations and achieve continuous breakthroughs in productivity, profitability, and sustainability.”

Sight Machine offers a platform that is said to provide real-time, system-wide visibility and analysis, along with in-house expertise on turning insights from manufacturing data into action. Its manufacturing data platform models entire production lines, plants, and enterprises, allowing customers to find the root causes of quality and productivity problems across complex production processes. They can then  identify the investments with the biggest impact on earnings, the company said.

Sight Machine was founded in 2011 to apply big data analytics to solve manufacturing problems. Since then, the company has grown from a focus on solving individual production problems into a platform for continuous improvement. Its new MDP puts more capabilities into the hands of corporate executives, factory management, and line workers, giving them the power to make data broadly impactful, the company said.

Along with MDP, Sight Machine has made available industry-specific tools for the paper and tissue, packaging, and chemicals sectors. The company said that it provides tools especially designed for the machinery, processes, and output specific to each industry, including the predictive and prescriptive analytic tools needed to drive system-wide continuous improvement. Building on the initial three sectors, Sight Machine is now developing tools for additional industries.

“Because achieving continuous improvement centers on the processes and equipment specific to each industry, Sight Machine is aligning its development, go-to-market, and sales strategies with the needs of each industry we serve,” said Sight Machine Chief Revenue Officer Keith Hartley. “At the same time, we continue enhancing our core Manufacturing Data Platform, which houses the data connectivity, data pipeline, and data modeling functions that our new vertical solutions are built upon.”

Sight Machine is also introducing services to help manufacturers deploy MDP and use it to achieve rapid, concrete gains in productivity, profitability, and sustainability. The services are provided by Sight Machine’s expanded teams of experts in data visualization, data science, data architecture, and continuous improvement.

“With their descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics, Sight Machine’s MDP and our vertical solutions enable the decision making and action that drive continuous improvement,” said John Merrells, head of product and engineering at Sight Machine. “Our platform is complemented by the industry’s most experienced team in using data to transform manufacturing, which we deploy to guide our customers along this journey.”

Sight Machine ( is optimized to run on the major cloud platforms including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and AWS.

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