KDS Software Reveals New Insights to Make Plastics More Sustainable With Pentaho


  • A complete analytics tool was needed to help customers understand the underlying causes for their business outcomes of production processes to enable smarter decision-making.


  • Gain competitive advantage through an intuitive data platform that reveals insights for better operational efficiency and sustainability, including potential optimizations for machine setup, proactive re-use of scrap material, and reduction of material and energy consumption.


  • Enabled machine data capture and analytics for advanced process optimization.
  • Delivered cost reductions of over 10% per average production order through material and energy savings.
  • Created efficiency gains that reduce production order cycle times by up to 20%.
  • Accelerated speed to insight for operational decision-makers by 85% with automated reporting on machine data.
  • Identified and unlocked competitive advantages in plastics manufacturing.


Challenge : Facilitating Data-Driven Decisions

Kirchhoff Datensysteme Software GmbH & Co. KG (KDS Software) is a leading European provider of business software applications for plastics compounders and recyclers, which enables its clients to manage one million metric tons of annual production volume through its solutions.

Christopher Brendel, Managing Director at KDS Software says: “The plastics manufacturing industry needs to adapt to increasing sustainability requirements around the world, higher prices for resources such as crude oil, and rising energy prices, especially in Europe. As a result, efficient processes for plastics compounding and recompounding are becoming important for nearly all of our clients. We wanted to expand the operational and analytical features of our Poly.ERP and Poly.MES solutions to support more sustainable plastics production.”

KDS Software identified the need for a comprehensive data analytics tool that would empower customers to gain a deeper understanding of their operations and boost efficiency. For this new tool, the idea was to cover every area of analytics, from data consolidation and transformation to advanced analytics reports and real-time dashboards for data-driven decision-making to improve bottom-line results in profitability and sustainability.

The embedded Hitachi solution empowers our users to dive deep into their operational data. Now, plastics manufacturers can easily visualize operational key performance metrics in many different ways, spot patterns, increase efficiency, improve sustainability, and unlock competitive advantages through bottom-line profitability.

Solution : Delivering Flexible Analytics to Generate Insights and Streamline Operations

To add user-friendly analytics capabilities to one of its core business suites, KDS Software built an analytics application known as Poly.MIS. Built on Pentaho Data Integration Enterprise Edition and embedded Analytics, Poly.MIS leverages established best practices for data engineering to integrate a wide range of data sources quickly and easily.

The close collaboration between KDS Software and Hitachi was key in making the Poly.MIS application successful. The joint team explored new possibilities and features. KDS Software became part of the Pentaho user community and was able to gain valuable insight from their experiences.

“Thanks to our OEM partnership with Hitachi, we can offer a tailored yet flexible data analytics solution for plastics compounders and recyclers,” explains Christopher Brendel. “The open architecture of Pentaho Data Integration means we can easily aggregate data from Poly.ERP and Poly.MES and combine it with data streams from other tools and devices. And we can use a visual flow chart interface to develop these data pipelines, which speeds up the delivery of new metrics and reports.”

Business users rely on the data analyzer tool to understand key plastics manufacturing processes better and streamline business operations across all departments. “We can add real business value with the embedded analytics engine,” confirms Christopher Brendel. “We provide built-in reports that include gross profit analysis, idle time detection of production equipment, and inventory statistics. We offer different views on central business information aggregated by days, weeks, or months to support decisions on every level. Increasingly we’re also integrating forward-looking projections and sustainability analytics to enable more effective planning with sophisticated forecasting techniques.”

Outcome : Increasing Productivity and Strengthening Competitiveness

Thanks to KDS Software’s partnership with Hitachi, Poly.MIS customers can access advanced analytics features that integrate seamlessly with the look and feel of the Poly.ERP solution.

“By working with Hitachi, we can offer integrated data analytics features cost-efficiently,” says Christopher Brendel. “With our deep industry expertise, we can build standard reports that customers can use out of the box. By delivering key metrics directly to decision-makers’ inboxes, we can reduce time to insight by 85% compared to manual analytics with spreadsheets. And we can provide our customers with more than 100 scheduled reports to help them optimize daily operations without delays.”

KDS Software and its customers also value the flexibility of new ad-hoc reporting capabilities. By making data more accessible, business users can answer questions for themselves with self-service analytics tools. As a result, Poly.MIS customers create on average about 130 new reports every year. This clearly shows that they rely less on IT support and can respond much faster to business challenges.

“The embedded Hitachi solution empowers our users to dive deep into their business data,” notes Christopher Brendel. “Plastics manufacturers can easily visualize their key performance metrics in many different ways, spot patterns, increase efficiency, improve sustainability, and unlock competitive advantages.”

As a next step, KDS Software wants to expand its data dashboards. The company plans to build on Hitachi software to visualize the capacity increases that customers can achieve with more efficient planning.

“We are developing new planning algorithms to help our customers boost their production volumes to encourage more sustainable operations with less waste of resources,” says Christopher Brendel. “In our pilot project we have seen that we can increase capacities by up to 20% with smarter planning. It is crucial for us to be able to highlight such gains to our customers using attractive graphics and charts.”

With factories becoming more closely interconnected, KDS Software aims to integrate Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) data into its analytics platform.

“We see huge potential for our customers to optimize their operations with machine data and real-time dashboards,” explains Christopher Brendel. “As a business, we want to be part of that. Our goal is to grow and increasingly connect to existing third-party ERP and production systems.”

Finally, to manage the larger data volumes coming from production equipment and sensors, KDS Software is now considering taking advantage of the  Industrial DataOps suite.

Christopher Brendel concludes: “Many of our customers could do much more with their data. Through our partnership with Hitachi, we can make business processes easier to understand, helping our customers increase their sustainability and competitiveness. We want to build on our success and extend Poly.MIS further by taking full advantage of Hitachi analytics solutions.”