Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Manufacturing

Using the Internet of Things (IoT) to Digitize Your Factory

We’ve been hearing a lot about the Internet of Things or IoT. How it’s going to accelerate efficiencies. Grow profits. Disrupt industries. So it’s time to consider if IoT is real & if you should do something about it right now.

As is often the case, revisiting history can help us better understand what the future holds for us. Imagine it’s 1995, and you’re just starting to hear about this thing called the World Wide Web. How’s it’s going to use the Internet to disrupt commerce/communications and how it’s going to create a digital divide of haves and have-nots? At that time, companies like Compaq, Kodak and Sears were in the Fortune 100 and mobile phones were predominately used for phone calls.

Since then, startups like Google and Amazon have disrupted computing, shopping and entertainment, as well as mobile-web applications that dominate how we live our lives. The companies that survive are the ones that have deployed e-commerce platforms to engage with customers and suppliers, and have strategies to integrate the Web into their business.

Now fast-forward to 2015 and the projected $3.9 Trillion Value at stake for IoT in Manufacturing. Which begs the question: How do we make IoT work for us? And how can it drive change in the various manufacturing verticals?

IoT@ Work in Food Manufacturing

SugarCreek offers an excellent case study for how IoT can be utilized to optimize production, improving factory capabilities and enhancing analytics specifically for consumer packaged goods (CPG) or food & beverage (F&B) manufacturing. By way of background, SugarCreek is the largest independent processor of bacon, meatballs, sausage patties and chicken for both food service and retail. They are about to finish up the refurbishing of a brownfield plant, to create a 418,000 square foot Factory of the Future. Take a look at this video to see an overview of Sugar Creek’s business:

Actually, SugarCreek is ahead of the trend that Food Manufacturing magazine describes:

“IoT is a logical extension of the push to create more intelligent manufacturing processes. By embedding interactive technology in key machines, food manufacturers gain the ability to automate the optimization of equipment in real time, dramatically reducing or eliminating the risk of equipment failures capable of shutting down the entire process”.

Ed Rodden, the CIO of SugarCreek & I will be co-presenting the SugarCreek case study at the upcoming Smart Industry Conference happening from October 5-7 in Chicago. Ed will describe the decision process for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)smart industry 2015 platforms in their new manufacturing plant, including insight into primary use cases, converged factory technologies and new architectures.

I will describe the IIoT process that SugarCreek went through. How we considered each key area of factory operations from product enhancements to how to better enable their workforce. We held workshops with key plant & IT stakeholders to discuss business outcome for each area that included:

  • Reducing expenses by optimizing plant operations
  • Increasing revenues by improving plant capabilities
  • Contributing to a safer & cleaner environment

In order to drill into the technology required in each area, we considered specific pain points & use cases such as how they could strengthen Quality Control through the utilization of technology to identify & eliminate packing material that may be mixed in with meats or how they can increase plant capabilities by including more sensors into their production process. Solving each pain point required a combination of devices, networks & applications to provide a complete technology platform. We will go thru how we conducted a high level return on Investment (RoI) analyses to help the company to quantify the costs & benefits of each platform & prioritize the platforms that would provide the greatest bang for the buck. Find out more details by attending our session.

We hope you can join us for this conference and in particular, this session on Industrial IoT. See you in Chicago!

Tags: , , , , ,

Disrupt or Be Disrupted: Industrial Internet of Everything at Cisco Live

I just returned from Cisco Live and the vibe was incredible. We had over 25,000 customers attend this event and additional partners and Cisco employees that pretty much took over San Diego. I had the pleasure of spending most of my time in the Connected Factory Experience Manufacturing vignette, as part of the industry stories in the World of Solutions part of the conference. This was truly the biggest business area in a key vertical for Cisco. During this time frame, I was able to speak with about 200 customers and the resounding feedback was that we are spot on with IoT, IoE and Business Outcomes. We had demonstrations in the World of Solutions that revolved around industrial use cases including security and analytics.

In customer meetings, manufacturers were looking for guidance on where to start with the Internet of Everything and Industrial IoT. In fact, John Chambers’ farewell keynote which focused on the messages of ‘Disrupt your industry or be disrupted’ resonated well with attendees. There was a strong, consistent theme of change, disruption, connecting your company and connecting your world as well as how Cisco can help. I also felt more of a sense of urgency for network and IT managers and professionals to be more engaged with the lines of business. Everyone understands that being more creative, disruptive and closer to the business positions IT to be integral to meeting industrial imperatives.

We have been working with quite a few customers to start their IoT journey. Despite IoT being a relatively recent trend, we have been working with a very innovative food manufacturing company in the Midwest who is embarking on a new facility and wanted to build the “factory of the future” or “digital Factory” and fully embraced Cisco to help them down this journey. While it is a bit easier with a green field or brand new factory, there are still issues with identification and starting pilot projects. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mitigating Security Threats in Manufacturing with Cisco’s Connected Factory

Today’s manufacturing industry faces an aging industrial machinery infrastructure that presents huge security challenges poised for continued growth in the coming months and years. Increasingly, manufacturers are beginning to view data security as a top barrier to realizing the value of the Internet of Everything (IoE). In fact, the steady growth of the IoE is creating efficiencies and cost savings across the entire value chain, presenting a $3.9 trillion value opportunity for manufacturers. However, this exponential growth of connections and integration between people, processes, data, and things also presents added security risks and threats that are often complex and multifaceted.

Here are a few of the implications and impacts of security breaches for manufacturers:

  • Theft or Loss of proprietary or confidential information and intellectual property
  • Downtime in factories and lost productivity – potentially very severe
  • Violation of regulatory requirements
  • Loss of public confidence and brand
  • Economic loss
  • Impact on national security

According to Symantec, the manufacturing business sector was the most targeted in 2013, accounting for 24% of all targeted attacks. Of those attacks, industrial networks topped the list of systems most vulnerable to cybersecurity issues. Additionally, the number of attacks on industrial supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems doubled from 2013 to 2014. Unfortunately for manufacturers, 91% of breaches took just hours or less to perpetrate, yet more than 60% of attacks took months – or even years – to detect. This considerable gap gives cyber attackers plenty of opportunities to access a manufacturer’s trade secrets and sensitive production data.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Digital Disruption for Life Sciences: Rx for Transformation

Co-authored with Ibrahim Khalid

According to a recent BMI study, R&D investments in Pharmaceuticals, places Life Sciences as a leader on the list of global ‘outperforming industries’. This may not be a surprise considering the confluence of factors from the global aging populations to the shift to value and outcomes as well as a highly politicized healthcare marketplace. In addition, the consumerization of health care is driving growth in multi-channel marketing and more social media and digital engagements.

This new frontier is truly the ‘digital disruption’ in this industry that is shaking up even the stodgiest companies. We are seeing renewed drive for innovation and investments in conversations with leading biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical device companies. Meanwhile, according to Gartner Group, today, “leading life science companies are increasing focus by establishing organizational entities that focus on digital innovation.” What is the prescription for tackling this new frontier? Rapid digital transformation enabled by Internet of Everything (IoE).

At the recent Generis BioManufacturing Summit, stakeholders across Life Sciences functional areas were seeking a greater technological edge to drive a competitive advantage. Randal Kenworthy presented on the topic of the Internet of Everything (IoE) and its impact on the Life Sciences industry, including use cases across the value chain from R&D to Connected Care. There was resounding agreement as we discussed the business drivers, which cluster around some common themes including:

  • How to accelerate research, lowering risks and improving health outcomes through precision medicine
  • How to better leverage information from new connected data sources with analytics.
  • The best practices around creating smart connected factories by enabling manufacturers to increase compliance, reduce cost and increase operation excellence with IoE
  • Steps to create a connected supply chain to increase visibility, traceability and compliance

In discussing case studies on improving patient health through Connected Care, we were struck by how exciting developments in virtual collaboration, data virtualization, medical grade networks and more can enable breakthrough innovations. A great example of that IoE innovation came from Jeremy Frank of Proteus Digital Health. Dr. Frank did a live demo of the digitization of health care by swallowing their sensor enabled pill that began displaying some of his health metrics live (over the Cisco network).

Life Sciences 6.16 Blog

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

IoE/IoT Globetrotting Part 2: Off to CiscoLive!

Having recently returned from weeks of event keynotes, customer roundtables, briefings and engagements (plus a few culinary adventures) in Greater China, I’ll start there with a few insights and observations. Despite one of the sharpest slow-downs in the Chinese manufacturing sector in recent history that have continued to shrink for the third consecutive month, I sensed an optimism and determination to persevere that haven’t waned, nor has China’s march to global leadership of manufacturing GDP. A recent report from Rhodium Group indicates the number of American workers employed directly by Chinese companies increased >five-fold over the last five years to >80,000 in 2014.

Automation and quality are key tenets driving China’s current growth strategies in manufacturing and the industrial sector. For Cisco this is creating continued demand for our Connected Factory portfolio of architecturally integrated solutions Chet Blog 6.4as a leap-frog approach to the legacy automation predominating U.S. and European factories. I certainly found to be the case at two conferences I keynoted—the 5th Annual Manufacturing Supply Chain Summit in Shanghai and the Industry 4.0 / Manufacturing Cloud Forum in Shenzhen—that many massive manufacturers are urgently implementing Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud / Data Analytics projects as part of their competitive business strategies and differentiation. This key take-away and perspective that China is leading other top manufacturing nations on adoption of industrial IoT is validated by a recent analysis compiled by Infosys Ltd.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,