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Manufacturing in America – Turning the Corner

April 9, 2014 at 9:51 am PST

What does manufacturing mean to America? While there may be no quantitative right answer to that question, in my opinion, manufacturing is the creation of new jobs, the empowering of individuals, and teamwork that helps make dreams a reality. Manufacturing has long been wrongly perceived as a dirt and grime industry that lacks the appeal necessary to build and grow a strongly educated workforce, vital to our nation’s industrial and economic growth.

Recently, I watched a video released by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) titled, “What Manufacturing Means to America.” The video addresses the current state of the manufacturing industry and provides fresh insight into utilizing the skill and talent of America’s workforce. It shows that with the right education and skills, manufacturing can be the key to a better future and making dreams come true. Read More »

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Cisco At Hannover Messe 2014

Hannover Messe is once again upon us.  The world’s premier industrial technical showcase will be held in Hannover, Germany from April 7-11, 2014.  Last year’s faire had a clear focus on the “The Integrated Industry”, often referred to “Industry 4.0 and “Smart Factory” 

This year the motto for the world’s biggest industry fair is  “Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS!”  The next steps towards the intelligent, self-organizing factory are examined from every angle and field of study. From M2M to 3D visualization, from bulk forming to nanotechnology, everything is focused on taking the next step.

Hannover Faire

Cisco will feature our industry leading technology and product solutions that empower the “Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS!” in the  SmartFactory KL booth located in Hall 8, Stand D20.  SmartFactory KL is a demonstration that showcases the integration of multi-vendor solutions and products into a highly flexible production plant.  The demonstration will showcase how  interoperability enables:

  • Quick setup and modifications of multi-vendor assets
  • Modular, extendable concepts to fit the needs of the SmartFactory 
  • Product changes in real-time
  • Construction of a versatile R&D platform for production automation and related IT

Cisco provides a complete and unique breadth of infrastructure including wired and wireless routing and switching, physical video, compute, and communications solutions to uniquely support and enable current and future SmartFactory 4.0 requirements.

The SmartFactory demo shows how you can leverage Cisco’s Connected Factory architecture to converge IT and Operational Technology (OT) systems and create an integrated enterprise smart engine that:

  • Integrates Cisco’s video and unified communication platforms with real-time plant floor data
  • Scales and leverages global experts remotely for increased operational efficiency and innovation
  • Secures plant assets and improves operational workflows at each work cell
  • Analyzes and views KPI information on any device at anytime with location based services

So, come by and visit us at Hall 8, Stand D20.  Our Cisco Subject Matter Experts will be available to discuss topics that are specific to your business and technology imperatives.

See you at the show!!!

 

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Attending The Automation Conference Should be an Automatic Decision

MFG TACWebHeader

Last week, I got a great response to a blog on ‘Making Smarter Manufacturing and IoT a Reality Today’, where I illustrated some use-case business scenarios and strategies to leverage the IoT industry trends now. One way savvy manufacturers, industrial companies and supply chain and operations teams stay current with evolving trends like IoT is to send their key players to industry educational and networking opportunities. One such opportunity to learn how to better leverage IoT for improved real-time decision support, amongst many other benefits, is coming up. The Automation Conference is a professional, educational event hosted by the editors of Automation World and Packaging World and is happening at the Chicago O’Hare Marriott from May 20th to 21st.

Cisco is proud to be one of the sponsors at this event, which is focused on delivering practical application advice and visionary insights for automation and control engineers, operations and engineering management, manufacturing systems/IT and networking professionals, as well as industrial systems engineers, machinery designers and software development professionals involved with discrete and process industries and production operations.  Many of these industry leaders are wrestling with not just how to leverage IoT, but also key manufacturing issues and opportunities around industrial cybersecurity in production operations, reducing costs, improving efficiences, building new business capabilities and revenue streams and addressing skills gaps.

I hope to see you in Chicago on May 21st.

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Technology- The Paintbrush Enabling the New Manufacturing Renaissance

Welcome to the New Manufacturing Renaissance driven by a collage of sensors, robots, servers, clouds, tablets, machines, people and …things. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is serving as the canvas that connects and integrates all those “things.”  Over the last few years we have been inundated by industry pundits and scholars predicting the efficiency gains, value opportunities and innovations that can be obtained from the IoE revolution.  In fact, Cisco estimates the manufacturing IoE value opportunity is $4.2 trillion over the next 8 years.

Forward thinking CTO’s  understand that technology plays a significant roll in enabling this renaissance.  In a recent Industry Week article, our CTO, Padmasree Warrior, made the following observation:

“At this point, we believe that every company, big and small, is essentially becoming a technology company,” Warrior says. “Technology has become implicit and embedded in every business process today — the supply chain, manufacturing floor, automation and IT: They are all driven by technology and data analytics, not just operational expertise.

This renaissance is accelerating now thanks to the convergence of a number of technology trends: the low cost and accessibility of Big Data associated with cloud computing; the plummeting cost of electronic sensors, microprocessors and other components that can be used to make machines more adept; and advances in software and communications technology that make it possible to manage manufacturing with a whole new level of precision and enable new forms of collaboration.

Convergence has to not only occur  between  Information (IT) and Operational (OT) Technologies , but also within the C-suite.  The CTO’s primary responsibilities are evolving to become more tightly integrated and aligned with the enterprise’s business and operational goals. The result is optimized business processes, enhanced information for better decisions, reduced costs, lower risks and shortened project timelines.

Sujeet Chand, chief technology officer at Rockwell Automation adds,

“The role of the CTO is no longer just to enable technology.  Our role is to use that technology to help move the business forward.  It’s all part of the convergence between IT and OT,”

Chand explains.

“To really get value from that convergence, you’ve got to highlight what value is going to be derived. You don’t want to connect manufacturing to IT for the sake of connecting manufacturing to IT or put all kinds of real-time data into the cloud for no reason.”

The New Manufacturing Renaissance is creating a wave of technologies and ideas.  The revolution threatens to shatter long-standing business models, upend global trade patterns and surpass the radical gains and innovations brought forth by the Industrial Revolution.

Has your organization evolved and embraced the opportunities afforded by the IoE revolution?  Is your CTO driving business relevance through the innovative use of technology?  Have you broken down organizational silos to foster a true innovation culture throughout the manufacturing value chain?

The technology is mightier than the paintbrush.

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The Internet of Everything for Manufacturers: ARC Industry Forum 2014 Highlights

In December, I blogged about Predictions 2014: Wager on the Internet of Everything (IoE) for the Manufacturing Industry.  In terms of thought and verbal capital, investments in IoE/IoT (Internet of Things) are proliferating from top of mind to tip of tongue across industry analysts, pundits, press and producers alike.  Just last week, I joined a record-setting attendance at the ARC Industry Forum 2014 in Orlando, where ARC President Andy Chatha opened the forum theme “Industry in Transition: Information Driven Enterprise in a Connected World” with a keynote focused on Planning for the Industrial Internet of Things. Just last week, I joined a record-setting attendance at the ARC Industry Forum 2014 in Orlando, where ARC President Andy Chatha opened the forum theme “Industry in Transition: Information Driven Enterprise in a Connected World” with a keynote focused on Planning for the Industrial Internet of Things.  Mark Houska of Control Engineering does a nice summary here of the keynote.

The hype frenzy surrounding IoE/IoT has forecasts for economic growth and value-add (EVA) in the trillions (e.g., Cisco estimates $14.4T for Private Sector EVA over the next 10 years plus another $5T for Public Sector), as Andy states: “But this isn’t just another futuristic fad.”  Whether it’s Cisco’s “Internet of Everything“, GE’s “Industrial Internet“, Rockwell Automation’s “IoT Industrial Revolution“, IBM’s “Smarter Planet” or the European “Industry 4.0″, a lot of significant companies are investing significantly.  Value propositions for Industrial IoT, as ARC articulates, are quickly advancing from compelling differentiators to must-have business capabilities and new business models.

ARC Value Proposition of IoE/IoT for Asset Owners

  • Improve Operating Performance -- reduce downtime with predictive maintenance/analytics, sharing contextual information internally and externally and collaborating with ecosystem partners to solve operational problems faster, better, cheaper. Cisco MFG Customer Example: Emirates Aluminum.
  • Lower Asset Lifecycle Costs -- remote monitoring, remote maintenance and service, remote upgrades and refresh (think firmware) all lower operating costs. Cisco MFG Customer Example: Anglo Platinum.
  • Build a Converged Platform for Innovation -- assets are no longer a product purchase, but a platform for services and innovation that--in real-time, contextual collaboration with suppliers--enable leaps in performance. Cisco MFG Customer Example: General Motors.

Read More »

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