Failure at Industrial Transformation is Adversely Impacting the Financial Performance of CPG/F&B companies

Posted by Tom Comstock on March 16, 2022

Industrial Transformation (IX) is the proactive and coordinated approach to leveraging digital technologies to create step-change improvement across the value chain. IX is a key mechanism that Consumer Products and Goods/Food and Beverage (CPG/F&B) companies are using to address the changes rolling across their industry: pandemic driven demand fluctuations, worker shortages, increasing competition from local brands, new channels to the consumer, and ever-increasing use of contract manufacturers and copackers. Yet the industry is falling behind in IX and is paying the penalty in the form of sub-optimal financial performance compared to manufacturers more generally.

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Categories: Operational Excellence, Continuous Improvement, Industrial Automation, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IT/OT, Industrial Transformation Analytics, Lighthouse Plants

Blast From the Past: Industrial Transformation Lessons From the 15th Century

Posted by Vivek Murugesan on March 14, 2022

Industrie 4.0 is often referred to as the Renaissance of manufacturing. But many of us don’t realize how many parallels there really are between today’s Industrial Transformation (IX) programs and the Italian Renaissance period – a time famous for transitioning from the Middle Ages to modernity. In this blog post, we will describe three such parallels and explore how today’s manufacturing leaders can apply them in their IX programs.  

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Categories: Industrial Automation, Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, IT/OT, Data Analytics, ConnectedFrontlineWorkforce

Waking Sleeping Giants...Releasing the Kraken

Posted by Joe Perino on February 24, 2022

LNS Research has long followed the major automation vendors. All are either current LNS Research members or have been in the last few years. Recent developments have prompted us to take a closer look at their strategies, what’s happening, and why. We refer to mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and entering new markets or strengthening positions in certain industry verticals as recent developments. These "giants" are waking up to new challenges as they seek to grow their businesses.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Industrial Automation, Information Technology, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IT/OT, Operational Architecture, Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity

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

Posted by Joe Perino on March 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

Why Your Factory of the Future Initiatives Fail

Posted by Matthew Littlefield on January 16, 2020

A recent LNS Research article highlighted the need for Industrial Transformation (IX) exemplars, identified three major reasons why IX programs stall, and four major areas that companies need to focus on for ensuring a robust and scalable IX program.

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Categories: Industrial Automation, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, IT/OT

IX Exemplars Needed

Posted by Matthew Littlefield on December 12, 2019

Industrial Transformation, or IX, is new. There is no play book. There is no proven methodology. There is no exemplar. The improvement programs of the last generation are clear – Toyota and Lean, GE and Six Sigma, Dupont and Operational Excellence, among many others. But why were these companies successful in these endeavors – and why did they share them with the world?

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

Don’t Let Recent Robot Failures Sour You on Automation

Posted by Dan Miklovic on November 22, 2019

In the last several weeks there have been two big stories about major manufacturers abandoning robots, reverting to manual labor instead. Boeing struggled with fuselage assembly robots that were supposed to drill and rivet 777 aircraft fuselage sections and will revert to using human machinists instead. Adidas announced it was closing its “Speedfactory” plants in Germany and is moving production back to Asia where it has relied on humans to assemble footwear. Adidas has said that it does plan to introduce some of the Speedfactory technology into its Asian plants in the future. With two large multinational manufacturers seemingly reducing automation, in both low volume (Boeing) and high volume (Adidas) environments it may lead other manufacturers to question whether automation investments are wise at this time. The best way to answer that question is to understand the limits of technology, the organizational readiness to accept technology and assessing how technology will support the business strategy.

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

Rockwell Automation TechEd and PTC LiveWorx 2019: Momentum Accelerating [MondayMusings]

Posted by Matthew Littlefield on July 29, 2019

I had the pleasure of attending Rockwell Automation TechEd and PTC LiveWorx in back to back weeks last month. Both events generate a tremendous draw in the industry and set attendance records, however, it may be the last year that happens. There are rumors that 2020 will see a new co-located event; times are a-changing! Although there were differences in the themes, attendees, and presentation style, there was also much in common ― especially about a shared vision of Industrial Transformation and joint customer momentum.

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Categories: Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, Industrial Automation, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, #MondayMusings, Connected Worker

ABB Customer World: ABB Ability, Key Partners, Digital Twin, and More

Posted by Joe Perino on March 20, 2019

Last week LNS attended the annual ABB Customer World held here in Houston. ACW was a successful and well delivered conference with over 10,000 customer attendees from all over the world. The LNS team was part of a larger contingent of media and analysts who were exposed to a technology tour and number of meetings that allowed us to gain a better understanding of ABB’s overall direction, new organization and strategic partnerships.

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Categories: Cloud, Industrial Automation, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Asset Performance Management (APM), Digital Twin

Open Process Automation Forum 2018 - A Year to Make or Break

Posted by Dan Miklovic on March 09, 2018

LNS joined the Open Process Automation (OPA) Forum in early 2017. A year after, here is our assessment on how far the forum has come and what the remainder of 2018 means. The OPA forum made some considerable progress in 2017, but 2018 will be the real indicator of OPA’s success or failure. The most prominent challenge facing OPA is breaking the mindset that the future must evolve from the past in small steps. OPA needs a mutation to change the way the industry needs. There will be winners and losers in any technology evolution, and the next generation of process control automation systems will be no exception.

Click here to speak with Dan Miklovic

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Categories: Industrial Automation, Smart Connected Assets, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Asset Reliability, Operational Architecture, Asset Performance Management (APM)