Dan Miklovic

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The Pace of Technology Change is Turning Standardization in the Industrial Automation World Upside Down

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Mon, Nov 18, 2019

Technology has almost always proven most beneficial when it operates within an ecosystem. The adage “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is especially true in the world of technology. Smartphones have changed the world because they operate within multiple technological ecosystems. If they did not allow phone calls to landlines or to subscribers of other providers, they would be of limited use. Without GPS much of the smartphones value would gone. Bluetooth makes lining the smartphone to other devices easy and provides not only wireless headsets but connectivity to vehicles and other devices. What makes all of this connectivity work? Standards. The same holds true in the industrial automation sector.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing

IX is Really, Really Hard

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Thu, Aug 29, 2019

In a previous article, Three Reasons Why Digital Transformations is So Hard, I did a deep dive into what transformation means compared to just evolutionary change. Two of the three reasons explored in that post deal with the idea that businesses have rarely approached a level of change that qualifies as transformative. The focus needs to be on the business processes and not the digital technology underlying its processes. Industrial Transformation (IX) is the path businesses need to pursue, emphasizing the results, not the technology used to drive those results. But looking back historically this raises the question “is business transformation the same as IX?”

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Asset Performance Management (APM), Digital Twin

Even When the Tech Decision is Easy, Making the Decision Can Be Hard

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Tue, Jul 16, 2019

Technology spending is a given. Especially today, when Digital Transformation is a fact-of-life in nearly every industry. Executives know they need to invest in technology to remain competitive. Industry leaders have tied their Industrial Transformation (IX) strategy to making the right technology investments. It is more than consultant-speak or media hype to say that companies that don’t invest in technology won’t be able to attract or retain top talent, and that technology drives global competitiveness.

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Categories: Culture

Three Reasons Why Digital Transformation is So Hard

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Wed, May 29, 2019

Digital Transformation has become one of the most hyped terms in business today. Google it, and you’ll get over 27 million hits in less than a second. Every tech vendor seems to have a blog about how its products or services can help a business with its Digital Transformation journey. With so many resources available, why is achieving true transformation such a struggle? To understand what’s going on, let’s go back to the basics.

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation

Infor’s Forthcoming IPO Offers a Lot of Promise But…

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Thu, May 23, 2019

Infor CEO, Charles Phillips, is discussing the proposed IPO that has been in the news since the beginning of the year. Serious talk of Infor’s IPO started in January, 2019 with the announcement of a $1.5 billion investment in the company by Koch Equity Development, an arm of Koch Industries and Golden Gate Capital. Of all the major enterprise application vendors, Infor is the largest that has remained a privately held firm.

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Categories: Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Asset Performance Management (APM)

Field Service Management and Digital Twins: The Next Big APM Play

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Thu, Mar 28, 2019

Field service management (FSM) has generally been the focus of the customer relationship management (CRM) function in many organizations. While a fair percentage of FSM activities have been in the B2C space, there has also been considerable focus in the B2B space as well. FSM initially focused on dispatching technicians to service either broken equipment or to do regular preventive maintenance (PM) to keep clients happy. The functionality was to get technicians to the right locations, with enough spare parts to service equipment and cost-effectively minimize outages.

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Categories: Asset Performance Management (APM), Digital Twin

Picking the Right Operational Technology Initiative to Drive an Operational Architecture Effort

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Tue, Feb 12, 2019

LNS’ Industrial Transformation Framework, has at its center, the Operational Architecture (OA) process where organizations align people, process, and technology at the convergence of IT and Operational Technology (OT). Ideally, OA efforts occur after a company defines its strategy and determines how technology should drive Industrial transformation.

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Categories: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Operational Architecture

IIoT in Process Manufacturing: More Than Just Being Better or Faster

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Wed, Jan 23, 2019

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology has become one of the supposed underlying drivers of Digital Transformation in manufacturing, along with predictive analytics and enhanced data presentation tools like augmented reality (AR)/ virtual reality (VR). Most of the focus has been on how the vastly increased amount of information and data about manufacturing processes in IIoT equipped plants will drive analytics and AR/VR visualization tools to accelerate decision making at what is generally considered “level 3, 4 or 5” systems.

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Categories: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation

Consumer Electronics Show: Why It Matters for Industrial and Infrastructure Companies

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Tue, Jan 15, 2019

A January ritual for the high-tech industry is the Consumer Technology Association’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It’s where nearly every company in the consumer sector debuts its latest wares, from the latest TVs to wireless headphones and AR/VR hardware for gamers, to the latest smart home providers. They all trek to Sin City to show how their company is pushing the tech envelope. Many manufacturers pay little attention to CES since it is, after all, a consumer electronics event. If your company is stamping out metal parts for file cabinets, mixing up adhesives used to bond materials in the construction industry, or a state or local agency doing road maintenance, you might think CES isn’t relevant to you; you are wrong.

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Categories: Culture

20 Years Later, Digital Twins are the New ERP

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Mon, Jan 07, 2019

Twenty years ago, businesses were facing a crisis with their IT systems; Y2K. Leading up to 1999 there was a new technology paradigm emerging regarding business IT, the shift from disjointed and independent business and accounting applications to a singular integrated application; ERP or enterprise resource planning. Initially, ERP was mostly just all the accounting functions packaged together with manufacturing resource planning applications (MRP II), but ERP quickly expanded to include human resources (HR), supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), product data management (PDM) and a variety of other functionalities.

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Categories: IT/OT, Asset Performance Management (APM), Digital Twin