Should Pharma Regain MES Leadership or Become the New IX Leaders?

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Tue, Jun 01, 2021

Since the advent of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES, or MOM for those who prefer) in the late 1980s, life sciences, and especially pharmaceuticals finishing and packing, led the way in useful MES solutions. Some would argue that MES for pharma has reached maturity and there are few gains to be made. At LNS Research, we believe that change is just beginning and it is time for the pharma software industry to wake up or get severely disrupted by new players.

Many pharmaceutical companies, ranging from boutique startups to the global giants, have active Industrial Transformation (IX) programs that foresee structural changes in the way they operate. Existing pharma MES systems provide the necessary functionality for most operations but are hard to maintain, inflexible, and do not provide a data platform for other parts of the enterprise. Such integration will, inevitably, be a part of IX programs. 

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT), IX Platform, Big Pharma

Do Lighthouse Plants Drive Industrial Transformation - or Just an Exercise in Excess, Ego, and Marketing?

Posted by Matthew Littlefield on Thu, May 27, 2021

In our 2021 Industrial Transformation (IX) Readiness research, we asked more than 300 industrial companies where they were on their IX journey. Since our 2019 study, the share of companies fully committed to the journey soared from 16% to 28% - crossing the proverbial chasm. Conversely, the share of companies “stuck in pilot purgatory” fell from 13% to 7%. 

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Categories: Operational Excellence, Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, IX Platform, Lighthouse Plants

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

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

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

Rockwell Automation Fair at Home

Posted by Tom Comstock on Tue, Jan 19, 2021

LNS Research recently had the opportunity to listen in on Rockwell Automation’s first virtual Automation Fair. Rockwell Automation strove valiantly to replicate the massive Automation Fair virtually: they continued to have Perspective Keynotes, detailed product and technical sessions, hands-on training, a partner exhibit, and even a virtual tour of the Product and Technology showcase. Rockwell Automation is known for its partner and channel-based strategy and this event reconfirmed, yet again, how strong Rockwell Automation’s orientation to partners and channels really is.

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

APM 4.0 Shifts Into Second Gear:  Progress Update

Posted by Joe Perino on Mon, Aug 10, 2020

It’s been a number of months since we blogged about the progress of APM 4.0. Since then, we have published our new eBook, APM 4.0 Shifts Into Second Gear, which details the trends and LNS Research insights into asset performance management. But it is a fair question to ask, what has been the effect of the COVID-19-induced recession and oil price war on APM? Has interest wained, investment slowed down, and adoption stalled? Or are things still moving full speed ahead? Who’s doing what, and why?

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

Siemens Highlights Acceleration at Media & Analyst Event

Posted by Tom Comstock on Fri, Jul 24, 2020

LNS recently had the opportunity to participate in Siemen’s Media and Analyst Conference (MAC) held virtually this year because of the pandemic. While this year’s event held fewer presentations, the company still demonstrated that the pace of change at Siemens Digital Industries is accelerating.

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Digital Twin, Siemens

Demystifying AI & ML in Industrial Analytics

Posted by Joe Perino on Wed, Jun 17, 2020

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.

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Categories: Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), Factory of the Future