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

Posted by Tom Comstock on Thu, Jan 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).

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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 Thu, Dec 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.

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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

Evaluating Potential Industrial Transformation (IX) Strategic Partners

Posted by Tom Comstock on Thu, Oct 07, 2021

As the year 2020 ended, LNS Research published a set of three Research Spotlights highlighting the three alternative architectural paths available for manufacturers around Industrial Transformation (IX). In the 3rd Spotlight we introduced the concept of Industrial Transformation Strategic Partners. As part of the run-up to the release of the LNS Research IX Strategic Partners Solution Selection Matrix™ let’s revisit our definition of IX Strategic Partners, highlight the criteria we use to evaluate these vendors, list the vendors, and conclude with advice to manufacturers.

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Categories: Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), IT/OT, IX Platform, Solution Selection Matrix

The M&A Rumble in the Jungle

Posted by Joe Perino on Wed, Aug 25, 2021

Four recent M&A announcements have prompted us to catch up on our view of where the industry is heading and follow up on our earlier predictions for 2021. They are:

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Categories: Operational Excellence, Risk Management, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Asset Performance Management (APM), Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity

Operational Risk Management Gets Smart with AI

Posted by Peter S Bussey on Tue, Aug 17, 2021

The way most industrial organizations manage risks in their operations is akin to driving a car forward while looking in the rearview mirror. This approach is useful for understanding what’s already happened but is of limited value in seeing what’s ahead and taking preventive action accordingly. The essential solution is to shift from a posture of risk hindsight to one of foresight and the ability to predict and prevent adverse events rather than respond after the fact.

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Categories: Risk Management, Predictive Maintenance (PM), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)

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