For most manufacturing companies today, product and services innovation, the introduction of new models, and the need for flexibility and workforce engagement are some of the business drivers requiring a new way to look at factory automation. Often, the ideal opportunity to tackle these challenges arises when a company is expanding capacity or building a new production facility ‘greenfield’. The Internet of Everything plays into this opportunity perfectly as easier and more seamless ways to connect people, process and data have emerged. Mahindra and Mahindra, one of India’s leading automakers, seized just that opportunity to deploy a Connected Factory of the future, building the Chakan facility north of Pune in Maharashtra, to expand capacity on existing models and introduce brand new Mahindra model categories. Read More »
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.
From my home in North Carolina to San Diego, to Atlanta and all the way to Greater China—Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei—throughout April, I am presenting at several Manufacturing industry, Supply Chain executive, and Internet of Things (IoT) regional events, along with visiting all types of manufacturing customers. Earlier this month, I was at a customer advisory where we met with industrial thought leaders eager to share experiences (see Tony Shakib’s blog, “The Digital Factory: Real Solutions and Real Outcomes”). In the meantime, several of my colleagues exhibited Cisco industrial solutions this past week at Hannover Messe in Germany. Across the globe, manufacturers are wrestling with how to capture the opportunity and value associated with IoT and Internet of Everything (IoE) strategies. The good news is that the industry is thriving, alive and well and at the forefront of IoT adoption.
At the IoT Regional Forum in Atlanta last week, I had the opportunity to meet some manufacturing companies from the region and hear first-hand the challenges and address questions they had regarding automation and networking and the convergence of IT and OT, from technology to culture to organization. What I hear repeatedly are questions on how to tie together the various islands of automation and information that exist throughout most factories and across manufacturing enterprises. In addition, the lack of one integrated view results in delayed decision-making and responses to issues and problems that arise, and inhibit the introduction of new products and business models.
Often, we will assist our industrial customers with this IT/OT convergence by recommending a pilot or proof of concept approach to adopt wired-and-wireless networking architectures for use cases that demonstrate quick results and impact, and then more broadly adopt the technology across that and other plants within the enterprise. Interestingly, ARC analyst Greg Gorbach recently wrote up a blog proposing a “Let’s Just Try it” approach in profiling our customer Stanley Black and Decker.
I recently participated in a Cisco advisory board meeting attended by some of our leading manufacturing customers. There was a lot of discussion about the tough challenges the industry is facing. Flexibility, agility, and managing costs were hot topics. Traditional manufacturing environments with manual processes, independent systems, and siloed data create a lack of visibility into real-time operations and result in delayed responses to quality issues and inventory waste. Many manufacturing organizations are starting to take their first steps towards becoming digital. Let’s take a look at what that means and why making the transformation to a digital factory is the next wave of evolution. Read More »
Springtime in Germany brings us Hannover Messe, one of the largest industrial conferences and exhibitions in the world. This year, Cisco will feature our validated and proven Manufacturing and Power Transmission & Control solutions. Our portfolio of market-leading industrial products and solutions offered with our complete lifecycle management services that address the key challenges of the fourth industrial revolution.
- Best-in-class industrial cyber and physical security protection
- Scalable IP based architectures and technologies that seamlessly integrate Profinet, and Ethernet/IP standards
- A faster path to Internet of Everything (IoE) value
- Optimized workflows and operation with secure remote access to global experts and real-time plant floor data analytics
Some of the key new capabilities we are highlighting include:
- Enhanced solution and product support for Profinet-based connected factories
- Updated industrial security by introducing identity management and services into Industrial networks to increase access security
Cisco technologies and products will be showcased and integrated into a multi-vendor and highly flexible production plant. In the SmartFactory KL booth located Hall 8, D20 we will be displaying a modularized automation and control structure that can be flexibly combine machines and automation modules in the production process. The demonstration will showcase the advantages of interoperability including quick setup and modifications to multi-vendor plant assets, product changes in real-time, and a versatile platform for production automation.
See one example of how we do it in this overview of our Industrial Ethernet (IE) 4000 switch series:
Tags: 4th industrial revolution, Cisco Connected Factory, cisco cybersecurity, cisco industrial ethernet, Connected Oil & Gas, connected utilities, cyber-physical security, discrete manufacturing, Hannover Messe, IE3000, IE4000, internet of things, IoT