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Trends, Care-abouts and Industrial Networks: Guy Denis – Cisco Insiders Series

October 31, 2011 at 10:23 am PST

About the ‘Cisco Insiders Series’ -- You won’t find product pre-announcements, insider trading tips or other things we can’t tell you about here! You will find, however, nuggets of information from provoking thought leaders that you would easily miss if we didn’t bring them to you here. Get a competitive blog-edge by reading this series!

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Guy Denis recently.  He has been one of those instrumental in forming Cisco’s approach to Industrial Automation – both inside Cisco and for our customers. He’s been focused on how industrial processes can be improved with emerging technologies, and how the IT and plant-floor systems are converging to provide business and industrial process benefits.

Right now the Internet is abuzz about the Cloud and what it means for customers, suppliers, IT and Service Providers. A lot of buzz too about ‘The Internet of Things’, which talks about billions of devices on the network in a few years time. But you know me -- I wanted to move the conversation more to the factory. What’s clear is that the Cloud is not just for commercial and carpeted areas. It’s moving to the plant floor and beyond. Not just people and computers talking to each other, but machines talking to people and to other machines. So I wanted to learn more about how the network is evolving to cope with industrial automation and embrace the cloud from a machine perspective.

First off, I asked Guy what he thought of as the major trends emerging in industrial automation that he believed would impact the market for the next 10 years. Read More »

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Sleep well, CxO

October 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm PST

What keeps a manufacturing CxO up at night? Many things, for sure, but what in particular would allow these weary executives to get their well-earned rest?

Cisco’s Chet Namboodri, Director of Manufacturing Industry Solutions and Marketing, has asked many customers and industry executives this insomnia question.  Here are their top 5: Read More »

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Converging on Convergence, Part Two

We recently co-hosted a Voice of the Customer (VoC) event where we had several End User manufacturing customers as well as Machine Builders and Systems Integrators present. My new series on Machine Builders will start next week, but I wanted to capture a few thoughts and ask for opinions.

We’ve been working along on an assumption that many End User manufacturing customers are reducing their engineering staff and working under cost pressures as well as time pressure. We presumed that they are relegating or subcontracting a lot of the work that would typically be done in house back to machine builders or systems integrators. This clearly has impact on the business model of a machine builder, considering up front design, integration, installation, support and retrofitting. Read More »

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Tracking Assets: RFID Meets Industrial Wi-Fi – Industrial Ethernet Book Part 1

October 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm PST

I had the pleasure of meeting up with both Leo Ploner, Publishing Director, Industrial Ethernet Book (IEB) and Tom McNulty from the Chicago, US office recently here in Silicon Valley recently. I was pleased to see that Cisco had contributed to an article in the 65 / 35 Issue of the Industrial Ethernet Book around the topic of RFID and industrial WiFi – a topic close to my own heart in terms of previous blogs of mine (Intro to RFID, Continental Tire, Boeing, and John Deere).

The first Industrial Ethernet Book was published in 1999.  Since then it become an excellent  information source for industrial networking and communication technology, and aims to provide unbiased editorial views focused on both process and discrete manufacturing industries. The editorial content is aimed at end users, system integrators and vendors within factory automation and process automation.

The article starts with the recognition that “Increasingly ‘smart’ devices, which include radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and sensors that have advanced diagnostics, are contributing to the billions of devices now connected to IP networks. This proliferation of smart devices is referred to by some as the ‘Internet of Things’, and it is projected to grow to trillions of devices that will be connected using the emerging IPv6 protocol (ref1). For manufacturers, a growing number of connected smart devices promises to revolutionise portability, mobility, context-aware condition and use of critical assets.” Read More »

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Made in the USA, again

October 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm PST

Finally, some good news. Amidst the standard fare of predictions of the inevitable decline and fall of US manufacturing, an interesting and encouraging 2011 report has been authored by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) called “Made in America, Again.”

According to the report, “Manufacturing is expected to return to America as China’s rising labor costs erase most savings from offshoring.” As US states become cheaper locations to manufacture goods compared to other developed countries, the report suggests that by 2015 manufacturing in some parts of the US will be just as economical as manufacturing in China.

The key reasons listed are: Read More »

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