Recap: 2015 Industrial and Manufacturing Technology Predictions

Posted by Greg Goodwin on Wed, Dec 31, 2014 @ 11:02 AM

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Year End 2014 BlogHard to believe as it is, tomorrow the calendar flips to mark the beginning of 2015 and the second half of the current decade as well. And as we seal off a year of interesting conversations, events, technology developments, mergers & acquisitions, and other industry activity, we’re excited to look forward to another year of evolution (and possible revolution) across the industrial landscape.

Over the past week or two, we’ve been posting predictions and prognostications of what’s to come across areas such as Quality Management, Asset Performance Management (APM), Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), Industrial Energy Management (IEM), and the Internet of Things (IoT). For those who missed the individual, coverage-specific posts we’ll recap and summarize below.

Quality Management

While risk is nothing new and certainly an integral component of Quality Management initiatives, as we said last week, risk is likely to take on additional mindshare and importance in 2015, as notable product recalls in 2014 caused substantial revenue loss, and, perhaps more importantly in this day and age of social media prominence, crushing blows to reputation and brand image. As Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS) capabilities evolve to include risk management as a dedicated tool with advanced analytics, and changes are implemented to the core ISO 9001 standards, quality and risk management will become ever more inextricably linked. Read the full post here.

Industrial Internet of Things

Creeping from buzzword up to legitimate applications, IoT will build upon its momentum and conversation domineering in 2015. Perhaps most importantly, there will be major progress in developing the much needed agreement on standards and platforms within IoT in 2015. This is of course crucial to expanding the reality of IoT application from a logistical standpoint and in spurring investment from solution providers and end users looking for a signal that there is common ground on which to build. We also see 2015 as a year in increased smart connected local operations as well as shifts to new business models (such as “servitization” or “capacity as a service,” as these terms are emerging) as the number of partnerships between traditional IT/telecom and industrial automation vendors begins to grow, allowing OEMs to explore new capabilities and revenue streams for business. Read the full post here.

Environment, Health & Safety

Building upon the increased importance of mobility within Quality Management solutions, we see 2015 as a continuation of this trend in EHS, as mobile capabilities within EHS software move from nice-to-haves, to crucial for competition. Echoing the further integration of risk we see in the future for Quality, the same is true for EHS, as the marketplace has begun to accept the importance of business risk in EHS management, underscored by high-profile disasters. Another theme we expect to see coming out of the vendor space in 2015 is the realization and increased development around offline solutions. This may take the form of creating, uploading, and reconciling disparate spreadsheets, or improving synchronization capabilities to reconcile both live and offline data equally. Additionally, wearables will grow in prominence and importance in the new year. Read the full post here.

Industrial Energy Management

Our IEM predictions may be tempered comparatively because so much depends on the volatility of energy costs, which are subject to larger geopolitical events and government regulations. One thing we do see is the convergence of IEM, APM, and EHS among forward-looking organizations to drive real savings, as energy needs to be treated as a resource the same as raw materials and labor to achieve Operational Excellence. Additionally, as many of the earliest examples of nascent IoT technology (M2M) were in the energy sector, we expect IEM an important area in showcasing the potential for IoT and its value, which we’ll build upon a little more below. Read the full post here.

Asset Performance Management

LNS Research expects to see APM as a bellwether for the effectiveness of many of the technologies discussed above, including Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, and the Internet of Things. As the place where the rubber hits the road in manufacturing and production, we expect to see numerous case studies in the APM space on how these technologies are driving tangible benefits across organizations. Specifically, we expect to see IoT improve upon condition-based and reliability-centered maintenance (CBM/RCM).

As an early adopter of mobility solutions like smartphones and tablets/other handheld devices, LNS Research predicts that the market is at a point where any APM solution lacking a credible mobile strategy will suffer significantly. Additionally, as already alluded to above, APM is an area already receiving ROI with emerging technologies in the form of downtime reduction, improved productivity and higher product or service quality. Being mainly driven by improved data collection and analytics, we expect this to continue as well in 2015. Read the full post here.

What Are Your Thoughts on the Year Ahead?

These are just a few predictions on the year ahead of us based on what we’ve seen in 2014. But we want to hear from you and what’s relevant in your industry as well. What are the biggest trends and concerns you see facing your organization?

Internet of Things in Manufacturing

Tags: Big Data, Internet of Things, Information Technology, Mobility