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Edison’s Predictions for 2011 – yes, there are still a few days left before 2012!

December 30, 2011 at 12:51 am PST

This is the time of year that some of us bloggers decide to pontificate about the New Year that’s to come and what it will hold. Well more of that from me and my colleagues in a few days time.

Edison - courtesy Library of Congress

With just a few days left in 2011, I see that the incandescent light bulb is on its last legs, according to legislation that passed through Congress in 2007, and is being enacted by the Federal government soon. California has already started it’s ban on the old light bulbs ahead of time – no more three-way light bulbs! What are we going to do now?! Poor Edison – one of his key inventions put out to grass as it were!

There are some things difficult to predict – Samoans will go to sleep tonight on Thursday and tomorrow wake up on Saturday, so that they can be more in line with their trading partners in the west, like Australia. That’s a way of localizing your supply chain. Who would have predicted that?

Manufacturing Gurus at work...

Caffeinated beer is on its way out too. Never tried the stuff myself, but I don’t think it will stop folks drinking energy drinks and vodka cocktails. I remember enjoying a couple of those at the Minus5 bar at CiscoLive 2011 in Vegas this year with some colleagues. It was a way for the sponsor to get us to take notice of what they did and work with them in the networking industry. Funny, but after a couple of those special drinks none of us could remember what on earth it was they were trying to sell us! Note to self: don’t use that method in our marketing campaigns!

So, back to Edison’s predictions. Oh yes, he made some in 1911 and predicted what the world would be like in 2011, so let’s see how well he did 100 years on. I predict that Edison’s predictions will be mostly 50/50 by the year end. Here’s why.  He said: Read More »

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Happy holidays and a tease for 2012

So my end of year blog to machine builders, and the loyal followers from whatever company.

The model is changing. Think about how personal electronics have changed your life. Do you listen to a CD in  your car anymore? I remember back when I drove a “company car” but they allowed me to add things, and I added a 6 CD changer. It was in my trunk. This was in 1996. Do they even put CD changers in cars today? My wife just bought a new 4DSC, and ya know, there is no CD slot. So if we go for a trip I have to listen to her music. Fortunately we have a mesh.

So, huge changes in the music business model. Same for the book industry. Witness this: when we leave for a weekend I take my iPad. I have several books I want to read stored there. Are they on my iPad or the Cloud? I don’t care. I want them when I want them. And before today’s technology existed I would have needed to carry many different books with me. In my case today they are on my iPad, but tomorrow? Who knows? Can I get instant response from the cloud? I bet I can.

In the factory can you afford to ignore the cloud? You know your employees in the plant are going to be using devices that are far more advanced than what they have in the factory. Soon they will be suggesting that they can do “this” (whatever this is) better if they could only…. More on this topic early in 2012. Read More »

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General Motors: GM’s IT Network Drives Business Success with Cisco. Executive Perspectives Part 3

December 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm PST

Check out this part 3 of our Executive Perspectives series. Here we follow on from Part 1: Executive Perspectives and AkzoNobel – Manufacturing Industry CIO/CXO Special – Part 1, and  Part 2: Executive Perspectives Part 2 – Toyota Streamlines Business with Cisco, and look at how another of Cisco’s customers in the automotive industry has partnered to gain real business benefits. The video about GM”s  IT Network Drives Business Success is on the Cisco News Site (click link here). The YouTube Video below is the fun Superbowl ad!

Here I talk about a case study prepared by Mainstay Partners LLC, an independent consulting firm, who interviewed with the manufacturer’s executives, IT executives and IT planning personnel. The case study looks at GM’s Cisco-based Plant Floor Controls Network (PFCN), and found out the following about what it is, what it does, how it help’s with General Motor’s Business challenges, and where GM goes from here. Read More »

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Additive Manufacturing: Is 3D Printing the Future?

December 20, 2011 at 11:08 am PST

It seems like something out of Star Trek. A “replicator” – something that can create any complex object from generic raw materials, such as powdered metal. Well, these replicators actually already exist, and they are called 3D printers. The process by which objects are created by 3D printers is called “additive manufacturing.”

If you’ve never seen additive manufacturing in action, then prepare to be impressed: Read More »

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A warm jacket

December 15, 2011 at 10:47 am PST

One of the many nice things about working for Cisco is the multiple opportunities for giving back. As a company, we participate in many community-based events, with Cisco often matching each employee contribution. Recently I wrote a blog about our Manufacturing team’s participation with a local housing and services foundation.

This Christmas, I have the privilege of working with Friends Outside and their “Holiday Wishes Program.” Through this program we each are matched with a local child in need. The child provides a “wish list” for presents, and then we raise money to fulfill that list.   Read More »

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