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Convergence Live: Cisco at Automation Fair, 16th-17th November 2011

Automation Fair is just around the corner – two weeks from now.  Convergence will be alive at AF this year.   My colleagues Peter Granger and Andrew Lach have blogged about Cisco’s overall presence and our social media channel, respectively.

In my video, I highlight the Innovation and Collaboration that the convergence of plant and enterprise networks enables, which we will be showcasing in our Cisco booth on the AF show floor, including:

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Machine Builders in my Factory?

As you know there are many changes in manufacturing operations today. These certainly relate to Operations Excellence, Continuous Innovation, Energy Management, even the Supply Chain and Customer Service world. There are technology changes and personnel changes. There are Global impacts as manufacturing companies compete in new regions and those same new regions sprout new manufacturers. And at the end of the day (or maybe the beginning?) there is a need for someone to build a specialized machine.

We have already seen the power of a converged (technologically) network. Ethernet/IP helps the controls world provide information to the IT world. We see this every day, where older proprietary networks are replaced by standard Ethernet. Here are some thoughts as they relate to specialized machine builders:

So, we have this technology that can unify us, Ethernet. Who knew that years ago I sold against Ethernet? But that was a different version. Today is new, with managed switches, managed services, and tomorrow is your new today.

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Cisco at Rockwell Automation Fair, Chicago Illinois, 16th-17th November 2011

Automation Fair is the largest gathering of Rockwell Automation users.  With over 15,000 expected attendees this year, this is a can’t miss conference for leading manufacturers, controls, operations and IT professionals – and Cisco will have a major presence again at this year’s show! Click on the Video to learn more.

Here are just a few things that are happening at the McCormick Center in Chicago, Illinois on 16th and 17th November:

  • Opportunity to meet Cisco and Rockwell thought leaders and technical experts throughout
  • Other Executive and Technical events and networking opportunities

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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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