Connected Frontline Workforce Applications:  Pushing the Frontiers of Industrial Transformation

Posted by Peter S Bussey on Fri, Apr 02, 2021

It’s been nearly three years since LNS Research initiated coverage of the digitally connected industrial worker space with the publication of our seminal research, “The Connected Worker: Mobilize and Empower People to Reduce Risk and Improve Safety”. Since then, we’ve continued to conduct research and develop our point of view on the topic while working closely with a variety of industrial organizations and technology vendors on their connected worker initiatives and solutions.

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Connected Worker, IX Platform, ConnectedFrontlineWorkforce

Can MES Jumpstart Transformation for Industrial Organizations?

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Tue, Mar 30, 2021

Seventh Life of MOM - Refined

Almost four years ago, I wrote about the "7 lives of MOM," a vision into the future of MOM architecture, and how it would be deployed. The 7th life was defined as “No MOM,” where the functionality previously implemented in MOM systems would be distributed as apps across an Industrial IOT (IIoT) platform. This still seems like a good idea to most and the reality is getting closer, but in a different environment than that we had envisioned.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, IT/OT, Operational Architecture

Understanding Industrial Transformation (IX) Analytics

Posted by Joe Perino on Wed, Mar 24, 2021

LNS Research’s initial work outlined the three architectural approaches to Industrial Transformation (IX). We also detailed the advantages and disadvantages for industrial users of each of these architectural paths and the underlying IX Infrastructure. We are now extending our research to advanced analytics. So, in this blog, we define Industrial Transformation (IX) Analytics and how LNS classifies its use.

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IX Platform, Industrial Transformation Platform, Industrial Transformation Analytics

Seven Transformation Opportunities for EHS Leaders to Seize

Posted by Peter S Bussey on Thu, Mar 18, 2021

If the adage, “With Change Comes Opportunity” is at all correct, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) business leaders have opportunity in spades. Entering the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, change and the ability to adapt to it have become the mantra for industrial organizations to get through the crisis. Over the past year, “resilience” and “agility” were the buzz words of corporate earnings calls and communications, perhaps to the point of overuse regardless of their validity.

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Connected Worker, Data Analytics

Plex:  Can Small Acquisitions Support a Big Smart Manufacturing Strategy?

Posted by Matthew Littlefield on Fri, Mar 12, 2021

On February 24, 2021,Plex Systems announced the acquisition of Kors Engineering. Kors was founded in 1977 and is a small plant floor service provider that has been a long-time and successful Plex partner. Over time, the company has moved into offering software products as its focus, namely its flagship Mach2 that provides machine connectivity (white-labeled Kepware drivers), basic HMI/SCADA functionality, and the ability to develop lightweight manufacturing applications through their no-code/low-code development environment.

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Categories: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Plex Systems

A Giant Blip on the Radar...Autonomous Plant and Remote Operations

Posted by Joe Perino on Tue, Mar 09, 2021

Two subjects that are not new but have generated strong interest due to the COVID-19 pandemic are remote operations and the autonomous plant. While neither is hardly a new concept, our ability to actually make them a reality has changed with the disruptive digital technologies associated with Industrie 4.0. LNS Research has recently conducted a survey of these concepts with some 300 respondents across the process, hybrid/batch, and discrete industries. Our research focuses primarily on the plant, though the subject carries across the entire value chain. The results are both informative and insightful and highlight the difficult road ahead, especially for autonomous operations. Let’s begin the discussion by defining what we mean by remote operations and autonomy.

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Categories: Industrial Automation, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Autonomous Operations, IX Platform

What is an Industrial Transformation (IX) Platform?

Posted by Tom Comstock on Tue, Mar 02, 2021

LNS Research was the first to define an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Platform in 2014. Our blog post continues to get strong search engine placement, readership, and inquiry. But the vision and definition were incomplete; the IIoT is not a catch all – it is focused on industrial device connectivity, management, data collection, and edge analytics – but enabling transformation takes much more.

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IBM Has Been Hard at Work…and It's Showing Results

Posted by Joe Perino on Mon, Feb 08, 2021

When we last visited with IBM in April 2019 at their first annual IoT Exchange event, we came away with renewed confidence that IBM was stepping up their game, freshly re-organized into a dedicated ISV-like unit, and investing heavily in Maximo, TRIRIGA, and the Engineering Lifecycle Suite to catch up to, if not outright out-innovate their competition.

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Asset Performance Management (APM), Digital Twin, IBM

Manufacturing Operations in the Factory of the Future - What's New?

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Fri, Feb 05, 2021

Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM or MES) systems have been commonly implemented in batch and discrete manufacturing plants for many years (Early MES was implemented in the 1980s). The benefits to automation, control, and business are well understood but the number of manufacturers implementing MOM has remained constant in our surveys over the last years at around 20% of factories. There is a multitude of reasons, often focused on the gap between expectations and reality; for example a company might implement one factory and then judge the cost and time of rolling out 20 more completely prohibitive. We have consistently been promised more for less and yet we are still being led down the same path. Things are changing; in this blog we will look at some of the trends that are going to help manufacturers overcome these challenges in the coming year or two.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Factory of the Future, Gemba

SAP TechEd Virutal Conference - All About the Cloud

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Thu, Feb 04, 2021

How to do a virtual conference right? Ask SAP! TechEd 2020 ran for 48 hours with barely a moment’s pause and attracted over 60 thousand non-SAP registrants. Ten parallel technical tracks allowed everyone to find the level of detail and expertise to suit them and gave access to board level executives, particularly CTO, Juergen Mueller, who gave both day’s keynotes and sat on at least one executive Q&A panel. The stage management and organization of the event is to be heartily applauded. The target audience of technical experts and development leaders of 440,000 SAP customers is somewhat beyond the scope of LNS Research, but there were many interesting announcements about improvement to the development environment and move to the cloud.

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Categories: Cloud, Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing