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.
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:
The widespread adoption of the Internet of Things, connecting sensors, equipment, machines and assembly lines to the network is driving a manufacturing industry transformation. In fact, nearly 30 percent of all manufacturing-related firms are in some stage of piloting, implementing, or expanding IoT deployments. By 2017, an expected 80 percent will have implemented an IoT solution.
Many manufacturers are in the process of figuring out how to deploy a Connected Factory, or perhaps pilot a smaller scale wireless network pilot project in their manufacturing facility. In fact, ARC analyst Greg Gorbach who covers ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ recently wrote a blog, ‘Let’s just try it’, focusing on a panel presentation that I was part of at their recent conference. This blog focuses on the Stanley Black and Decker success story at their Reynosa factory in Mexico and how a ‘let’s just try it’ approach yielded these results: “OEE increased 24%, defects decreased 16%, labor utilization is up from 80 to 92%, and line throughput is up 10%. In addition they now have empowered employees, improved labor ergonomics, reduced labor training, and better visibility for line supervisors.”
If you are in the midst of this decision process on ‘where to start’, I’d like to encourage you to access our webcast on demand titled “IoT: Oppportunities and Momentum in Manufacturing”, A part of the IoT in Action series, this webcast covers key learnings from industry thought leaders from Forrester Research, AeroScout Industrial, and Cisco. These experts, Michelle Pelino from Forrester, Priya Vijayakumar from AeroScout and Chet Namboodri from Cisco discuss what it takes to make the transition to IoT and how companies are reaping the benefits of efficiency, cost savings, better data analysis, and faster time to market. Check out this webcast and let me know what you think.
Recently, Cisco was honored in the Automation World 2014 First Team Honorees list. This award recognizes Cisco as a leader and trusted partner for manufacturing, distributing and industrial companies.
A Paved Path to IoE Value
We’ve heard a lot about the $14.9T value opportunity provided by the Internet of Everything (IoE) with $3.9T or 26% of the overall IoE value residing in manufacturing and industrial (Mining, Oil and Gas, …) industries. The challenge for the market is determining the best and most efficient path to capture that value.
In fact, these solutions are being deployed by leading manufacturers like Proctor and Gamble, GM,Stanley Black and Decker,Sub Zero, and Shell. These forward thinking companies are tightly integrating their entire business value chain from R&D, operations, and supply chain through to customer retention and acquisition sales, and driving the business outcomes that give them a competitive advantage in the market.
Its Not About Products or Solutions … It’s About the OUTCOMES!
This award is not about the ‘speeds and feeds’ on how the Cisco Aironet 1550 Series Outdoor Access Points enables a self-healing, and self-optimizing wireless network that mitigates the impact of wireless interference or how the Cisco Industrial Ethernet IE2000, IE3000 and IE400 Series Switches extends the proven Cisco Catalyst technologies prevalent in enterprise networks to industrial networks for ease of use and best in class performance.
…Stanley Black and Decker to maximize their plant productivity and operational efficiency.
“With the help of the Cisco and AeroScout Industrial solution, we are on our way toward realizing our vision of a virtual warehouse and fully connected factory, with complete visibility and traceability.” –Gary Frederick, CIO Industrial Division, Stanley
…Sub Zero to meet their new product introduction goals and reduce manufacturing downtime.
“With this solution, we found a way to see and discuss very detailed video and images from afar in a highly secure manner. We are now using video collaboration on a daily basis to finalize designs, correct production line issues, work with suppliers, and train installers and servicers.” – Paul Sikir, VP of Engineering, Sub-Zero
My colleagues Bryan Tantzen, Sr. Director -IoE Manufacturing and Todd Edmunds, IoE Architect demonstrate the possibilities of Connected Factory
Cisco Connected Factory is the foundational building block for these transformative business processes that leads to greater innovation and efficiencies throughout the business value chain. We thank our customers, partners and Automation World for partnering with us as we pave the way to IoE value nirvana!