Mondi highlights human factors in digitalisation of packaging and paper at WeAreDevelopers Congress 2019

Wed, 4. December 2019
Digitalisation, Careers
digital transformation, IIoT, data science, AI, digitalisation
by Newsroom

Mondi CDO Martin Gutberlet and data scientist Jillian Augustine were among the presenters sharing insights on digital transformation at top European conference for developers interested in Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and the Internet of Things


Vienna - Over 2000 professionals from more than 50 countries came together at the WeAreDevelopers 2019 Congress in Vienna, Austria, last week to share the latest ideas in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud, Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Speakers from Mondi Group’s digital transformation team, Mondi DX, presented on opportunities and challenges for the packaging and paper industry with the onset of rapid digitalisation and AI integration.

Mondi Group Data Scientist Jillian Augustine gave a Main Stage talk about data-driven process optimisation at Mondi, describing how the packaging and paper group develops soft sensors for its paper machines. Soft sensors are virtual sensors in the form of machine learning models that enable continuous prediction in areas such as quality, leading to significant efficiency gains and waste reduction.

Audience members could ask speakers questions using an interactive live polling platform.
Mondi data scientist Jillian Augustine made paper and packaging come alive on stage with her talk on industrial IoT.

Jillian emphasised that even in a new world of soft sensors driven by petabytes of moving data, “human collaboration and communication are essential to successfully utilising the data in industrial process automatisation.”

In building its machine learning models, Mondi’s data team works in close collaboration with technical experts in operations, selecting the most important features using algorithm-driven recursive feature elimination. Models are compared and the most reliable one is chosen through cross-validation. After that, the model is deployed.


Mondi is rolling out soft sensors at multiple sites. “For us, a key point in a successful digital transformation is when a model, which we roll out as a pilot project in one mill, becomes the standard practice for all operations,” Jill said.

Mondi Group CDO Martin Gutberlet spoke from the Business Stage about Mondi’s digital transformation journey. A key success factor, he said, is involving the whole team in decision-making, as well as in defining processes driven by AI. “AI is just one of the few methods for data analytics. It can change business processes, and even some parts of business, but it doesn’t always fit and isn’t always an appropriate solution.”


AI, machine learning, and data engineering are central to automatisation and building diverse technical infrastructure. However, no matter how automated a process can become, the human experience and human intelligence must remain central, Martin said.

Mondi DX was established in early 2019 to drive digital transformation across Mondi Group. Strategic focus areas include digital operations and production, digital customer experience, and new ways of agile working.

Mondi CDO Martin Gutberlet (second from right) spoke alongside other industry experts in a business panel about using AI to redefine traditional business models.

The Mondi DX team along with diverse Mondi colleagues and guests attended WeAreDevelopers 2019. Says Martin: “It is all about the team going out there to events like this and deciding for themselves: this could be a potential colleague, or partner, or this is a great idea for a future project.”

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