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

Posted by Tom Comstock on Thu, Aug 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.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, IX Platform, qualitymanagement

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

Don’t Let Your IIoT Program Succumb to Cultural Conflicts

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Mon, Dec 02, 2019

IIoT has become a primary talking point about not only Industry 4.0 (I4.0), but all of the other digitalization topics around I4.0 such as analytics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality/virtual reality and digital twins. The ability to get information from the factory floor and move it anywhere and to anyone cheaply and in real time has driven IIoT into virtually every manufacturer and asset intensive industry client and vendor community discussion lately. With so much focus, both from management and leadership and technical and engineering staff, why then, have so few industrial internet of things (IIoT) projects moved out of pilot purgatory and into full scale production. Some will argue the business case isn’t there yet, others will argue that the technology is not ready or scalable yet while others say something else is lacking like leadership support or adequate deployment and support skills. There is possibly an even more fundamental cause projects are stalling; cultural wars inside the organization are inhibiting progress.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing

The Pace of Technology Change is Turning Standardization in the Industrial Automation World Upside Down

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Mon, Nov 18, 2019

Technology has almost always proven most beneficial when it operates within an ecosystem. The adage “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is especially true in the world of technology. Smartphones have changed the world because they operate within multiple technological ecosystems. If they did not allow phone calls to landlines or to subscribers of other providers, they would be of limited use. Without GPS much of the smartphones value would gone. Bluetooth makes lining the smartphone to other devices easy and provides not only wireless headsets but connectivity to vehicles and other devices. What makes all of this connectivity work? Standards. The same holds true in the industrial automation sector.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing

Dassault Systèmes Analyst Day: Vive La Renaissance!

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Tue, Jul 02, 2019

LNS Research was delighted to be invited again to Dassault Systèmes’ (3DS) annual get together for a small band of diverse industry analysts that cover a wide range of 3DS’ industries and technologies. Quite literally right out of the gate, 3DS surprised us on the bus to the event by announcing that Dassault Systèmes had acquired Medidata Solutions, Inc. for $5.8 billion.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Factory of the Future

Plex Systems Analyst Day: Customer Success, Growth Challenges, and a New CEO

Posted by Patrick Fetterman on Thu, Dec 06, 2018

Research analysts from LNS attended the Plex Systems Analyst Day in early November at the company’s headquarters in Troy, Michigan. In an unusual move, Plex hosted its Customer Advisory Board (CAB) concurrently, giving customers and analysts a chance to interact directly. This level of direct access is rare among software vendors and demonstrates a strong show of confidence by the Plex executive team. The Plex CAB includes representatives from companies in automotive, metal forming, food and beverage (F&B), aerospace and defense (A&D), and other discrete and batch manufacturing industries.

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Categories: Cloud, Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation

Standards in the IIoT: ISA-95 and Beyond

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Thu, Mar 15, 2018

 

In our recent work on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and manufacturing operations management (MOM), LNS Research has highlighted the inexorable journey MOM systems are taking as they become an integral part of IIoT-based systems and solutions. Much of this journey, when looked at from the outside, is somewhat haphazard to date as each vendor is doing its own thing. Hopefully, that will change as we move towards MOM 4.0, the seventh life of MOM.

Click here to speak with Andrew Hughes

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Information Technology, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Statistical Process Control (SPC), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation

People and Data in MOM and PLM in the IIoT Age

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Tue, Mar 06, 2018

In my long career in manufacturing operations, I have had many discussions with product design teams for discrete manufacturing. These discussions have ranged from pure delight to taxing because while the product designers were smart and creative they were also somewhat self-centred. Sharing of data has been a natural extension of sharing ideas, goals, and success for those of us who have worked together in design and operations, and data sharing usually resulted  in new products.

Click here to speak with Andrew Hughes

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Cloud, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Information Technology, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), IT/OT

All New Analytics That Matter Survey from LNS Research and MESA International

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Fri, Feb 16, 2018

LNS Research is thrilled to launch the first Analytics That Matter survey in partnership with MESA (Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association) International. For the last six years we partnered with MESA on the Metrics That Matter survey, which has been one important foundational element of LNS Research’s primary data-driven research. As the use of plant-centric data has expanded dramatically since the last survey in early 2016, we decided to change the focus from overall metrics to the use of analytics in manufacturing operations and beyond.

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Categories: Metrics, Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Big Data, Benchmarking, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Mobile / Mobility, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Asset Reliability, Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), Asset Performance Management (APM)

8 Most Asked Questions from the Making MOM Choices in a Changing World Webcast

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Thu, Feb 15, 2018

On Wednesday, February 14, LNS Research hosted the webcast, “Making Manufacturing Operations Management Choices in a Changing World.” The presentation examined the complex considerations involved in MOM system choices, why the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and manufacturing operations management (MOM) will partially merge, and what to expect in terms of data organization and protocols.  The discussion also included an examination of how manufacturing information architectures will change as companies move to smart manufacturing.

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Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Smart Connected Assets, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrial Transformation / Digital Transformation