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Industrial Ethernet adoption enables “Best-in-Class”, says Aberdeen Group

April 19, 2012
at 9:43 am PST

I really like it when a research firm goes out to do primary research. We can all pontificate about what customers want. We all have our own opinions and anecdotes.

But when Aberdeen Group wanted to find out about the current  Industrial Networking trends and directions and wanted to find out why manufacturers were converging  Corporate IT and Operational Technology (OT) networks, (and  what was the business case for it?) they went out and talked to real executives in real companies.

So,  Industrial Networking Building the Business Case for industrial Ethernet is a real-life look into what’s happening in the industry, and dares to compare industry leaders (“Best in Class”) with industry laggards.

“Manufacturing is an industry with complex operations, where the success of any organization lies in producing high quality products at lower costs at the right time. This requires companies to enable real-time visibility into operations at the plant floor as well as at the executive level to make intelligent decisions. Aberdeen’s surveyed over 150 executives to understand how industry leaders are taking advantage of industrial networking to enable real-time visibility into data to optimize production, maintenance, and safety.”

So, take a look at the research -- it’s eye-opening in some of the key findings. The research shows that the move to Industrial Ethernet is happening and that the benefits of converged IT and OT networks based on an Ethernet architecture are real. The move to Industrial Ethernet on the plant floor is providing these kind of benefits for Best-in-Class organizations:

  • Increased industrial network up-time
  • Lower industrial network total cost of ownership
  • Better Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
  • Improved operating margin against corporate plan

The Best-in-Class have taken advantage of the latest technology and are more likely than their competitors to implement a fully industrial Ethernet architecture. As the research paper says:

“Best-in-Class companies are able to directly impact the cost of manufacturing operations by reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) by 5%. At the same time, they are also optimizing their industrial network with an on average of 3 hours of network downtime per year as compared to Laggards who experience 75 hours of network downtime per year. These metrics not only provide a basis for measuring internal network performance but also serve to ensure that manufacturing operations are optimized (89% OEE rate) while still keeping shareholders satisfied by overachieving their operating margin goals by 26%.”

I thank Aberdeen for this thorough research. Great to see the results of 150 Executive interviews. Great to see that the direction Cisco is moving in, especially with partners such as Rockwell Automation, is “Best-in-Class”

You can see more at the Hannover Messe Show in Germany this month (read my previous blog), and at events throughout the year, such as at Cisco Live US in San Diego in June.

A note from Aberdeen: To gain better understanding into how organizations are successfully implementing industrial Ethernet and gaining the tangible benefits achieved by Best-in-Class companies, read Aberdeen’s latest research, Industrial Networking: Building the Business Case for Industrial Ethernet.

© 2011 Aberdeen Group, used by permission, all rights reserved.

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