Blackstone’s Acquisition of Sphera Raises the Bar for ESG Software Space

Posted by Peter S Bussey on Wed, Sep 15, 2021

In the world of enterprise business software, a billion-dollar-plus investment is not unusual and perhaps even ordinary. But in the Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) and Sustainability software space, a deal of that size is a watershed event. The recently announced acquisition of Sphera by Blackstone constitutes such an event. It also speeds the transition of the EHS and Sustainability (EHSS) software category to being subsumed under the nascent Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) banner.

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Categories: Sustainability, Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)

From Lighthouse to Center of Excellence

Posted by Tom Comstock on Tue, Aug 31, 2021

In a recent blog post, our fearless leader, President and Principal Analyst Matthew Littlefield, noted that, “Although no one can argue with the technological innovation and productivity gains that lighthouse plants demonstrate, our data shows that including lighthouse plants as part of your Industrial Transformation (IX) program does not correlate to success.”  This post builds on that earlier post and drills into when lighthouse strategies can be effective and what is an alternative strategy more correlated to success.

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Categories: Operational Excellence, Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IX Platform, Lighthouse Manufacturing, Lighthouse Plants

The M&A Rumble in the Jungle

Posted by Joe Perino on Wed, Aug 25, 2021

Four recent M&A announcements have prompted us to catch up on our view of where the industry is heading and follow up on our earlier predictions for 2021. They are:

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Categories: Operational Excellence, Risk Management, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Asset Performance Management (APM), Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity

Operational Risk Management Gets Smart with AI

Posted by Peter S Bussey on Tue, Aug 17, 2021

The way most industrial organizations manage risks in their operations is akin to driving a car forward while looking in the rearview mirror. This approach is useful for understanding what’s already happened but is of limited value in seeing what’s ahead and taking preventive action accordingly. The essential solution is to shift from a posture of risk hindsight to one of foresight and the ability to predict and prevent adverse events rather than respond after the fact.

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Categories: Risk Management, Predictive Maintenance (PM), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)

The “Holy Grail” and the “Puzzle” in Discrete and Batch Manufacturing Applications

Posted by Tom Comstock on Thu, Aug 12, 2021

We all know the reality of discrete and batch manufacturers. If you walk into virtually any manufacturing plant, you will find literally hundreds of manufacturing computing applications being utilized. A few of those applications, ERP most prominently, are generally supported by the corporate IT staff. A wider number of those applications, automation and MES, are typically supported by operations itself via the OT team or the “shadow IT” team (the manufacturing engineers, etc., that are providing day-to-day support to these systems). The vast majority of applications are custom – often built in Excel, Access, or Java – and are not well-supported and virtually impossible to deploy across sites. And, the picture gets worse: despite all these applications, operational personnel are still looking for more technology to help reduce manufacturing costs and improve quality.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IX Platform, qualitymanagement

Riding The Hyperscaler Wave

Posted by Joe Perino on Mon, Aug 02, 2021

In our December 2020 blog on AWS Industrial, we noted that AWS and the other hyperscalers have always had the ambition to move up the value proposition and delivery stack. The hyperscaler’s objective is simple: to maximize the volume of dollars and services running through their platform. And, they incent their partners and their own salespeople to do so. They aim to win no matter which route one takes, directly through them or via their partners. We said that all roads lead to Rome.

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Categories: Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), Internet of Things (IoT), Data Analytics

EHS Transformation Starts with Effective Leadership

Posted by Peter S Bussey on Thu, Jun 24, 2021

Part of the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been a resurgence of the Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) business function. Anyone paying attention has seen that the management (or mismanagement) of EHS-related operational risks can directly impact business continuity, for better or worse. Now more than ever, license to operate, let alone profitable operations, depend on effective management of safety, health, and environmental risks.   

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), IX Platform, ConnectedFrontlineWorkforce

Survey Snippets #3: The Evolution of Industrial Transformation (IX) Leaders

Posted by Vivek Murugesan on Tue, Jun 15, 2021

LNS Research first introduced the term Industrial Transformation (IX) in our research on Industrial Transformation Readiness in 2018. We chose the moniker to specifically distinguish from the existing Digital Transformation term as we see IX as an important but distinct subset of the broader Digital Transformation umbrella. Our definition of Industrial Transformation states that IX is a proactive and coordinated approach in leveraging digital technologies to create step-change improvement in industrial operations.

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IT/OT, Survey Snippets, IX Platform

A Message to Leadership: Say Yes to Open, Interoperable Automation Systems

Posted by Joe Perino on Wed, Jun 09, 2021

LNS Research has long followed the open and interoperable systems movement, first in IT components and systems and now in automation systems through the initiatives of the International User Association of Automation Technology in Process Industries (NAMUR) and the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF), of which LNS Research is an Open Group member. Both organizations have proposed standards that leverage existing standards to speed and ease adoption. The purpose of this blog is not to argue the pros and cons of the initiatives whose two groups, by the way, cooperate. Rather, we posit that:

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IT/OT, Operational Architecture, Autonomous Operations

Should Pharma Regain MES Leadership or Become the New IX Leaders?

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Tue, Jun 01, 2021

Since the advent of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES, or MOM for those who prefer) in the late 1980s, life sciences, and especially pharmaceuticals finishing and packing, led the way in useful MES solutions. Some would argue that MES for pharma has reached maturity and there are few gains to be made. At LNS Research, we believe that change is just beginning and it is time for the pharma software industry to wake up or get severely disrupted by new players.

Many pharmaceutical companies, ranging from boutique startups to the global giants, have active Industrial Transformation (IX) programs that foresee structural changes in the way they operate. Existing pharma MES systems provide the necessary functionality for most operations but are hard to maintain, inflexible, and do not provide a data platform for other parts of the enterprise. Such integration will, inevitably, be a part of IX programs. 

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT), IX Platform, Big Pharma