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.

Read More

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

My Biggest 2022 Prediction:  Guess What Gets A Reset...Again

Posted by Tom Comstock on January 06, 2022

Every year, LNS Research analysts put forth predictions around the Industrial Transformation (IX) topics where we focus our research. In December 2020, I made five predictions for 2021. This year I am going to make only one prediction – in multiple parts – but I will drill into that one prediction more extensively. To help you to decide whether my multi-part prediction for 2022 is worth considering, I am concluding this blog post with an assessment of how I did in my 2021 predictions (spoiler alert: by my count, I was 4 out of 5 but you can decide).

Read More

Categories: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), IIoT, IX Platform, Data Analytics

Seven Key Take-Aways from the Sustainability and EHS Leaders Roundtable

Posted by Peter S Bussey on December 16, 2021

In a sign of the times, the topic of Sustainability was front and center at the 3rd annual LNS Research, The Industrial Transformation (IX) Event, held October 19-21, 2021. Keynote speakers on the morning of Day 1 included Michael Train, SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer of Emerson, and Ellis Jones, VP and Chief Sustainability Officer of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. These speakers highlighted the strategic importance of sustainability to enterprise strategy in their organizations, as well as the critical role of leadership in achieving the transformational results Sustainability initiatives often aspire to.

Read More

Categories: Sustainability, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, IT/OT, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Data Analytics

Pilot Purgatory in Industrial Transformation (IX) is Fake News

Posted by Tom Comstock on November 09, 2021

Follow the money to see the real story

Google the phrase “Pilot Purgatory” and you will see a raft of press articles about the state of Digital Transformation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). McKinsey and Company, Deloitte, and a series of other firms have published several articles on “pilot purgatory” in IIoT, Digital Manufacturing, and Digital Transformation. IIoT and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) vendors often exasperatingly discuss the successful implementations they have done at the company’s home office that have not translated into wide-scale rollouts. These vendors curse “pilot purgatory.”

Given all the brouhaha, one would expect that companies deploying these pilots would feel “stuck in” pilot and that getting to a wide-scale rollout was a key challenge in front of their Industrial Transformation (IX) Program. But when we surveyed industrials, we found just the opposite. Few companies felt “stuck in” pilot mode and only a fraction of companies identified “moving out of pilot phase” to be a key challenge. So clearly, pilot purgatory is fake news! Let’s look at the facts and see how we can reconcile these different perspectives.

Read More

Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), IT/OT, IIoT

Leveraging ICS Cybersecurity Services

Posted by Joe Perino on September 20, 2021

Last April, we wrote about the market twists and turns in the dynamic cybersecurity software market and the challenges and barriers to progress. More recently, we published an M&A update that noted the acquisition of PAS Global by Hexagon AB. Recent conversations with end-users, cyber-software, and automation vendors have highlighted the importance of not just the software but of the associated set of services so vital to implementing and maintaining cyber protection. This raised the question of the best way for most end-users to approach this, get the right help, and bridge the cyber gap between IT and OT. The answer is less a technical discussion than it is about strategy, standards, policies and procedures, and partnering services.

Read More

Categories: Risk Management, Information Technology, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IT/OT, cybersecurity

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

Posted by Tom Comstock on August 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.

Read More

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 August 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.

Read More

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

Digital Twins Uncomplicated: Answering the Three Most Asked Questions

Posted by Tom Comstock on May 19, 2021

LNS Research has been writing about Digital Twins for a number of years. We still find our manufacturing clients confused by the opportunities presented by Digital Twins and unclear on how to proceed. In face of this reality, we wanted to set up a simple framework for thinking about Digital Twin use cases and answer some of the most common questions we hear about these concepts.

Read More

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

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.

Read More

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

Changing Dynamics of the IIoT Market

Posted by Tom Comstock on May 20, 2020

As I previously mentioned in a recent blog on IX Reference Architecture, LNS Research has been at the forefront of research on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the technologies’ impact on Industrial Transformation (IX).  In that blog, I also indicated LNS Research was the first to define an IIoT Platform. With market changes and technology advances, we have become convinced manufacturers should be looking beyond IIoT Platforms to a comprehensive view of IX Reference Architectures. A recent LNS Research Spotlight details our thinking

Read More

Categories: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Asset Performance Management (APM), Connected Worker