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Happy New Year to the Manufacturing Industry from Cisco, 2013

January 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm PST

The numbers coming out month after month show that we seem to be tracking a slow but steady recovery. As I’ve said before, I’m cautiously optimistic about the manufacturing sector – especially in the USA.

On Thursday (3rd January, 2013), ADP1 said construction added 39,000 positions in December, second only to trade and transportation utilities, which grew 53,000. Medium- and larger-sized businesses led the way with 102,000 and 87,000 new jobs respectively

Overall, Employers added 1.84 million jobs in 20112, the most in five years. In the first 11 months of 2012, employers added 1.67 million. Job gains would have to top 170,000 in December to push 2012 ahead of the previous year. Some economists do expect gains at that level or higher.

Robot_factory_smallEven in Asia things are looking up. In the New Year we learned about China’s services growth3, as China’s official purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the non-manufacturing sector rose to 56.1 in December from 55.6 in November, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Other PMIs on the manufacturing sector suggest China’s growth is starting to pick up based on late 2012 data. Not the heady double-digit growth of earlier years, but increases none-the-less. Construction was also up, though all of this growth is partly owing to government investment. The Friday (4th January 2013) HSBC PMI report shows slower growth as it mainly focuses on the private sector. The HSBC report4 showed a softening from 52.1 to 51.7. As you know above 50 is still good. India’s looking good too re PMI for last month! Read More »

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Smart Connected Vehicles – Changing How We Drive

The Internet of Everything is the idea that we can start connecting everything around us. Connections between people, things, and machines to produce intelligent data will lead the way we experience life. Therefore, cars and vehicles can be connected to provide a richer and more valuable driving experience. How will Cisco fall into this mix? Cisco’s intelligent network can provide the underlying platform to host innovation.

Cisco and NXP announced today an investment in Cohda Wireless to advance intelligent transport systems and  car-to-x communication. Cisco’s intelligent network will allow vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to pedestrian connections to provide a safer environment and optimize the driving experience. Your car is already filled with digital devices. Imagine what can happen if those devices; such as sensors, navigation, radio, or even lights become connected to the environment around you. Your navigation might one day lead you directly into an empty parking spot. Cisco has already begun this vision with Streetline through an app that shows real time parking in San Mateo and San Carlos.   When will this technology be implemented into all cars? Perhaps it will be 2017 or even 2014. No one knows for sure, but it is obvious that the technology of tomorrow is here.

Tune into the segment below as I explain more on how Cisco plans to revolutionize the way we drive.

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Please Welcome Diana Huang to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

December 14, 2012 at 9:21 am PST

Blog Cred Diana HuangIt is with great pleasure that I introduce another key member of IBSG’s Manufacturing Practice, Diana Huang. As a key Industry Thought Leader, Diana has had a distinguished career at Cisco to date and is currently leading the Greater China team in helping Fortune 500 CEOs address their most strategic issues—from growth strategy, global expansion, operational efficiency, and leadership development, to innovation, technology in management, corporate culture, and employee training.

Huang is an active member of the Cisco Greater China leadership team, focusing on go-to-market strategies with transformational efforts, and is also executive sponsor of the Cisco Greater China Smart Grid Virtual Team. In addition, she is a member of the Board of Trustees for the International School of Beijing, where she co-chairs the resources committee.

Huang has 19 years of management consulting and industry experience in the United States and China. Prior to joining Cisco, she was a vice president and partner at A.T. Kearney. As a strategic adviser to senior leadership, Huang led teams that assisted both Chinese and multinational companies with strategic direction, organizational transformation, and operational efficiency improvements.

Prior to consulting, Huang was a research chemist. She has written a number of papers, including “Decoding the Cisco DNA,” “Eco-City: Will China Lead the World?”, and “China’s Response to Global Meltdown.”

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Manufacturing’s Evolving Workforce

The United States continues to be the world’s largest manufacturing economy, employing nearly 17 million people – about 1 in 6 private sector jobs. However,  the modern manufacturing industry is struggling to attract the highly skilled workers it needs  for the tech-savvy, evolving role required in today’s manufacturing operations.

Historically, manufacturing jobs were thought of as mind-numbing, remedial tasks done in dark and dingy factories. This “old” perception of a manufacturing environment creates a barrier to attract new employees to the manufacturing environment we see today – clean and safe with employees managing advanced machinery that drives innovation and productivity.  Cisco, together with key manufacturing organizations, such as The Manufacturing Institute, are working to educate a new generation of workers on the needs of today’s manufacturers and get them excited about this challenging, but very rewarding career.

Cisco solutions are at the forefront of this evolved role within manufacturing, especially as more companies demand efficiency and collaboration among their workforce.  For example, manufacturers are constantly seeking new ways for their employees to become more productive, while streamlining their day-to-day tasks. To be more efficient and collaborative, employees must be connected to share ideas and insights. So you simply just connect them, right? If you consolidate the intellectual capital of all the workers into a central repository and give your employees access; then they can start sharing insight on how to do their jobs better and smarter.  Simply put, it’s just adding non-networked people to the network.  And Cisco is working with numerous manufacturing companies across the country to make this key transition needed to support the quality control and productivity improvements plants demand with the collaboration younger workers expect.

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Cisco and Partners demonstrate Converged Plantwide Ethernet, All in One Place

November 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm PST

Are you trying to get your arms around what’s included in a well-designed EtherNet/IP industrial infrastructure?  Look no further!  Here’s an example of how the Internet of Everything (IoE) came alive at Automation Fair recently:

An integrated design from Cisco, Rockwell Automation, Panduit and Fluke Networks demonstrates standards-based solutions for manufacturing agility and operational excellence!

In the video above, a single Converged Plantwide Ethernet enclosure is outfitted to include: Read More »

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