As 2022 kicks off, most significant industrial organizations are well into their Industrial Transformation (IX) journeys and have been for at least several years. Those that aren’t are scrambling to catch up if they intend to remain viable. Even as IX advances as the strategic framework for competitive differentiation, industrials must deal with two rapidly emerging secular trends: the rise of Sustainability and the challenges posed by the Future of Industrial Work.Read More
Categories: Sustainability, Risk Management, Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IT/OT, Asset Performance Management (APM), Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Factory of the Future, ConnectedFrontlineWorkforce
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.Read More
Revisiting the Black Box
One of the questions that LNS Research often gets is how to explain Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) not only to plant personnel, but also to operating management, in such a way so that they can understand them sufficiently to place a reasonable degree of trust in them. In other words, enough to allow their adoption for predictive maintenance and other data science-based applications.Read More
Last week’s job report showed what many of us already knew intuitively. The real economy is bad and will likely get worse before it gets better.Read More
As I sit in my wee home office in rural Belgium, I am regularly reminded by the most recent news flash that we are in lockdown – do not go out! Unless, of course you are exempted by meeting one of dozens of criteria listed in the government FAQ. It is great to see the threat being taken so seriously; we can only hope the rapid growth in new cases will slow down soon. Even so, we can expect to be confined for a considerable period and continue to support our clients as well as ever.
In the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, the public health response was focused on containment, and the advice for industry was supply chain resiliency and risk management. Ensure that sole sourced critical components had been eliminated or weren’t coming from affected regions. In large part, North American and European manufacturing passed the test, due to several factors, including work already done after the Fujiyama nuclear disaster and supplier shifts forced by the several year-old trade-war.Read More
Categories: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Factory of the Future, Connected Worker
In our recent eBook introducing research on the factory of the future (FoF), we show that the factory itself will be a hotbed of innovation and a key provider of vital information to help drive Industrial Transformation (IX). The three pillars of IX—people, process and technology—are all vital to success, but today we discuss the pillar that is probably the most important factor that will determine whether the FoF will deliver its promise or not: people.
The relationship between asset performance and operational performance are well known and pervasive. All too often, however, companies manage them in sub-optimized in silos. Recent discussions with clients clearly reinforced our insight that operating in silos is counter-productive to industrial transformation (IX). It doesn't matter if the company is an asset-intensive business and the most critical metrics are uptime and reliability, or a product-centric manufacturer where quality and efficiency are most critical. If the organization doesn't manage these things holistically, it will lose ground to competitors.Read More
Over the last decade, Siemens has gone through a massive transformation, not least in its software businesses. The current home for its comprehensive offerings is the Digital Industries Software (“Siemens”) division (a part of Digital Industries that includes discrete and process controls, automation, and drives). Siemens recently held its annual conference for media and analysts in New York where it brought us up to date on its impressive progress in software solutions. Announcements primarily related to how the company is bringing different parts of the portfolio together. We don’t perceive that as a lack of progress, but rather a demonstration of ever more sophisticated solutions around the Digital Twin.Read More