MotionMiners is the Startup of the Week 2: Analysis and optimization of manual processes

Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Human flexibility and adaptability continue to play an important role in industrial value creation in the age of digitization. However, the analysis and optimization of manual work steps often proves to be costly and complicated. Our Startup of the Week, MotionMiners GmbH, uses Motion-Mining ® technology to automatically analyze and optimize manual work steps. We spoke with CEO Sascha Feldhorst to learn more about this technology and MotionMiners as a company.

Hello Sascha! Nice to have you here today. Let’s get right into it: What is Motion-Mining?

Motion-Mining ® enables an automatic analysis and optimization of manual work processes with regard to efficiency and ergonomics (e.g. determination of heat maps, travel, waiting and process times as well as unhealthy movement sequences). This all happens with the help of sensor technology and machine learning. As a result, it creates added value on both the employer and employee side.

How does Motion-Mining work?

Motion-Mining ® helps companies automatically analyze the efficiency and ergonomics of manual work processes. Using wearables, beacons (miniature radio sensors) and machine learning, we anonymize and collect process data to reveal hidden optimization potential. This allows process analysis to be performed without the need for a process engineer with a stopwatch and clipboard to document the entire process. Compared to today’s manual analyses (e.g. using REFA), this leads to a reduction in effort and ensures a 40 to 80 times larger data pool. 

If a customer decides to carry out a Motion Mining® project, we equip the work environment with beacons. The employees in the processes get wearables. Following the measurement, we evaluate the collected data using machine learning algorithms. Based on the data, our employees develop individual catalogs of measures and implementation priorities in close cooperation with the customers. In this way, we not only identify ways to make logistics processes more efficient, but also draw up implementation plans that customers can then follow up. If desired, the implementation of the optimization measures can be accompanied by success measurements. 

Motion-Mining ® is marketed in the form of various products and services. In consulting projects, MotionMiners employees analyze and optimize processes with the help of the technology. In addition, a motion Mining-Product solution, Manual Process Intelligence, has also been offered since 2019. The MPI is a combination of a hardware and a software license and enables customers to perform process analyses independently. In addition to fully comprehensive measurement equipment, the offer also includes access to the analysis dashboard. This allows users to create their own measurement scenarios and evaluate data according to selected key figures. They can use the results for their own optimization measures. 

In June 2020, we added the Motion-Mining® Tracing Solution (MMTS) to our portfolio. The MMTS is a combination of an app, micro radio transmitters and an analytics dashboard. While the solution has a lower level of data protection than the federal app, it can realize more accurate location and compliance with hygiene measures. The solution specifically targets business customers. In addition to the contact tracking options in the event of infection, our solution also provides various prevention options.

What is special about motion mining?

In contrast to manual analysis by human observation, where a process engineer manually documents the work processes, process recording using motion mining works automatically. The technology is based on sensors, beacons and a self-developed deep-learning algorithm that converts raw data into process metrics. Currently, multiple activities can be detected and tools and workspaces can also be identified. Our USPs include that measurement technology can be deployed without IT integration and can be set up and taken down with little lead time. In addition, we obtain the KPIs for process efficiency and ergonomics from the same dataset and the anonymity (according to DSGVO) of the employees is maintained at all times.

How have you integrated this form of automated analytics into a business model?

Our main source of revenue is currently still the service/consulting business. In addition, we have been offering our Motion Mining® product solution, Manual Process Intelligence (MPI), since last year. 

We bill the consulting service to customers via a consulting fee. The price varies depending on various factors such as the number of processes, employees, shifts as well as the complexity of the analysis questions. For the product, on the other hand, we charge a basic license fee. However, the license model also includes a usage-based price component. Against the backdrop of the Corona situation, we have also developed a tracing solution, a prevention tool, for use in companies. With the help of an app and additional radio transmitters, users of the Motion-Mining ® Tracing Solution can, among other things, trace infection chains, identify frequently frequented areas, and maintain safety distances and hygiene measures. To support this, the app provides real-time feedback. 

This informs the employee: 

  • If the contact time of 15 minutes is exceeded. 
  • For reminders of regular hand hygiene and ventilation of rooms (through the use of additional sensor technology). 
  • To warn of critical and high-traffic areas for contact reduction 
  • In case of infection to inform further measures

The Motion-Mining® Tracing Solution relieves employees and helps to avoid a company-wide lockdown.

What is your target group?

Our main source of income is currently still the Our current target market consists of various industrial companies. The focus is on companies in the production and logistics sectors. Here, for example, many repackaging, packaging, production and picking activities take place and automation is often not worthwhile due to short contract terms, high business dynamics or low margins. An initial pilot project was recently carried out in collaboration with a hospital. The aim in future is to win more customers from the health care sector. 

Our target group includes the logistics services, e-commerce, wholesale and retail, manufacturing, air freight and healthcare sectors. In addition, our customer base now also includes consulting companies that license the technology and use it as part of their own customer projects. 

At the moment, we are working primarily with companies in Germany. Our goal is to operate more internationally in the next few years. So far, we have sold consulting projects and licenses to Switzerland, the Netherlands and Malaysia.

Where do you stand right now with MotionMiners GmbH?

We are in the growth phase and are moving towards the next scaling stage. Among other things, this involves achieving a larger footprint with individual customers and also further professionalizing the production of measurement technology. We can already show more than 20 customer references, which we have gained in more than 40 consulting projects and from our product business. So far we were able to convince 15 customers to license our technology and have grown from 3 founders to a team of 30 without an investor. However, we are not averse to further growth and cooperation with investors.

Sascha, thank you very much for this exciting interview. We wish MotionMiners continued success, especially for 2021. 

If you want to learn more about MotionMiners, you can check out their Innoloft profile.