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Certifying for the Hyperconnected Plant Floor

The Internet of Everything (IoE)—bringing together previously unconnected people, processes, data and things—opens a world of possibilities in terms of creating new capabilities, richer experiences and unparalleled economic opportunity for organizations, individuals, and nations. Cisco predicts that 50+ billion devices will be connected by 2020. The ramifications are enormous and varied, including how manufacturing plants operate.

The exchange between information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) is increasing as the industrial plant floor and corporate enterprise become more connected. The convergence of IT and OT is expanding IP Networking and Ethernet connectivity on the industrial plant floor. Understandably, World Bank Studies estimate that 220,000 new engineers are required every year from 2014 to 2022 to connect the unconnected. In addition, there are 300,000 Control Engineers that need to be re-skilled in the industry.

As part of Cisco’s ongoing commitment to equip IT and networking professionals with the knowledge and skills essential to fulfill evolving industry job roles, we have launched the new CCNA Industrial certification. It’s an expansion, due to high demand, of the IT/OT track we began last year with the release of our Industrial Networking Specialist Certification.

Cisco collaborated closely with Rockwell Automation, a company with significant expertise in the industrial automation space, to develop a program to help control-system and traditional network engineers better understand the technologies needed to manage a hyperconnected industrial enterprise. This complements and extends our existing collaboration on products, services, validated architectures, and educational resources to jointly address IT and OT network convergence.

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Cisco Manufacturing Partner Librestream Wins Award at PS 2015

Cisco’s ecosystem of partners consists of leading technology providers that complement our leading networking solutions. One such partner, Librestream Technologies, which offers mobile video collaboration hardware and software, recently won one of the coveted Business Solution Outcomes Awards (in the Manufacturing and Energy segment) at Partner Summit held last month in Montreal.

The Business Outcomes Contest is designed to recognize, promote and award the innovative work being done by Cisco solution partners to transform businesses and industries. There were over 70 submissions and only a handful won, judged in terms of the innovation process, the problem solved and the technology used.

Specifically, Librestream won (see press release) for their joint project at premium appliance manufacturer Sub-Zero. This was a compelling product development and remote collaboration story – more details here in Chet Namboodri’s blog , “Sub-Zero Innovates with the Internet of Everything” as well as the case study page. The Librestream solution, working on top of the Cisco network, enabled Sub-Zero to meet an aggressive product rollout of over 60 new models across its refrigeration and cooking (under the WOLF brand name) lines to meet its strategic goals.   Take a look at the video below where Librestream Chief Operating Officer Jereme Pitts describes the project:

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How to Capture the Value of Industrial IoT: Smart Connected Operations

Despite the seeming media saturation of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the importance of industrial adoption, it was eye-opening to hear that 47% of manufacturers are still unclear on the value of IoT and how to proceed with adoption.   Cisco recently partnered with LNS Research on a research study to further understand the dynamics behind this.

Take a look at this Slide share below to see a summary of the study’s findings:

LNS Research: Capturing the Business Value of the Industrial IoT from Cisco Business Insights

To get more details directly from the analysts who authored this study including Matt Littlefield, listen to this on-demand webcast, “Smart Connected Operations: Capturing the Value of the Industrial IoT”,  This webcast will also cover emerging best practices on how to transform the value chain and manufacturing system architectures toward Smart Connected operations, as well as how to build a business case for your specific production environment.

In addition, listeners to the webcast will receive an e-Book covering the following:

  • The top objectives and challenges manufacturers are facing today, and how Smart Connected Operations are being employed to accelerate success
  • A guide to building a business case for investment in Industrial IoT technology

The challenge for most manufacturers today is not falling behind and losing their competitive edge in their particular markets. In addition, further education is clearly a need so this study fills an obvious need. Let me know any thoughts or comments. Thanks for reading.

3D printing is here. How will your organization respond?

As someone who has spent his career developing a deep knowledge of manufacturing and software, I’m rapidly becoming a major “fan” of 3D printing. The technology offers exciting possibilities that can radically change multiple industries including manufacturing. According to Industry Week, “a survey by the global consultancy PwC found that 67% of manufacturers are adopting 3-D printing in some way, most frequently in prototyping.” At the same time, ubiquitous 3D printing introduces new complexities around intellectual property ownership, counterfeiting and diversion issues that we’ve yet to fully confront.

3D printing has the potential to globally disrupt multiple industrial processes and supply chains. In the case of manufacturing on an assembly line, parts or products can be created through 3D printing on-site, potentially eliminating the need for separate parts suppliers. Take a look at how one leading industrial company, GE Aviation, is leveraging additive manufacturing in the video below.

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We’re Ready to Obsolete Product Recalls: Are You?

“Product Recall.” Just these two words are enough to strike fear in the heart of a manufacturer.  As John Kern points out in his blog, The Internet of Everything Will Help Solve Problems That Lead To Recalls, “Product recalls can be a headache for customers and consumers, but a financial nightmare for manufacturers.” Not only are longer-term corporate reputations and brand promises deflated, but even more insidious, shorter-term litigation and financial liabilities become a daily reality for industrial companies facing recalls.

Issues like the recent Takata air-bags, Blue Bell ice cream and other high profile cases garner news headlines almost every day. Manufacturers continue to wrestle with how to establish robust product design methodologies, component through finished-product traceability and genealogy (including context), vendor accountability and supply chain rigor–as well as production controls and visibility–all in order to avoid future issues with recalls and ensure quality output. And every sub-segment of manufacturing has its own set of related regulations adding a layer of regional complexity to the problem–whether it’s pharma, automotive, consumer packaged goods, high tech, metals, machine builders or otherwise.

The infographic below provides some food for thought with examples of the impact of recalls and how the Internet of Everything (IoE) enables the Connected Factory and a digital manufacturing world where product recalls and quality issues are less the norm and more of an anomaly.

 

Recalls Recalled from Cisco Business Insights

IoE and Connected Manufacturing with predictive analytics and connected supply chains all converge to enable a platform to truly put an end to the tyranny of recalls. With a converged factory/OT and IT/enterprise network, manufacturers tap into the intelligence and accumulated analytics, to further drive innovations and improvements not just in production processes but also development and engineering, so that products are designed AND produced more robustly.

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