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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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Connected Manufacturing at CiscoLive Milan

I just got back from a fantastic week at Cisco Live in Milan.  We had a packed ‘Cisco Connected Manufacturing’ pavilion at the event, showcasing the latest in demonstrations and industrial solutions for both customers and partners.

CL Milan 2015The centerpiece of the demos was how manufacturers can leverage technology such as Cisco Connected Factory to address some of the business challenges they are facing including increased competitive pressures and changing global demand.  In fact, European manufacturers are turning to technology to give them a clear competitive advantage as they streamline their supply chain and factory operations as well as accelerate their new product introduction cycles.  We showcased various components of the Connected Factory, including rapid response and troubleshooting, Profinet integration, IoT Factory in a box and plant network analytics.

We received great feedback and energetic interest from booth visitors.  The Manufacturing demos were the highest rated at the show and were recognized multiple times in the various keynotes.   I asked my colleague Todd Edmunds, Enterprise Architect, to comment:

There was a lot of excitement around our working demonstration showing Siemens controls communicating via Profinet – including real-time Cisco IE2000 switch status inside the Siemens programming environment.  All across the same network with Rockwell Automation control systems, and anything else Ethernet.  Our key message that ‘we can support whatever you need on the network’ really resonated with booth visitors.”

Our various IoT solutions and products can really impact operational efficiencies and help manufacturers achieve significant outcomes such as reduction in unplanned downtime, for example.  It was great to see customers understand these benefits and I think that is due to the efforts of the tireless team that brought these demo scenarios to life.

We will be bringing many of these demos and products to the Cisco booth at the upcoming Hannover Messe (April 13 to 17th in Germany).  The theme of that show ‘Towards a Fully Networked Industrial Future’ dovetails nicely with our strengths and solutions.

Let me know if you were at CiscoLive Milan and drop me a comment.  Thanks for reading!

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Join Cisco at SPS IPC Drive 2014

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Automation experts are planning to attend SPS IPC Drive, the largest electrical automation event in Europe, which takes place in Nuremberg, Germany, November 25 to 27.

Following the very positive experience of last year, Cisco has a significant presence at this event, focusing on the theme “Internet of Things: Connecting the Unconnected.” Join us in with our booth (Hall 10 – Stand 10-540) and in ODVA (hall 2 – Stand 2-458) and Profinet (Hall 2 – Stand 2-220/221) booths.

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IoT in Manufacturing: Insights and Best Practices

IoT Webcast Manufacturing net

Recently, the second of a two-part Manufacturing.net webcast series on ‘The Internet of Things ’ (IoT) wrapped with a deep dive on the very real business advantages and outcomes that are enabled when IoT is fully applied to Manufacturing operations. One of the speakers, David Gutshall, Infrastructure Design Manager at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, highlighted many advantages he’s experienced with deployments of the Converged Plant-wide Ethernet solution architecture from Cisco and Rockwell Automation. In the webcast, David talked about “greater manufacturing flexibility across the supply chain, where … we can collate data across the factory (and enterprise) … and have experienced a substantial reduction in downtime.”  He described that with an IP-enabled Connected Factory, “what used to take hours or days to triage and troubleshoot problems now takes seconds.” Expanding on the topic, David said “when we bring a new machine online, it essentially works with the network out-of-the-box,” yielding greater flexibility and significantly reducing new model NPI (New Product Introduction) cycles and time to market.

Similar companies, like General Motors, have leveraged this industrial automation and controls system (IACS) architecture, which GM calls ‘Plant Floor Control Network’ (PFCN), to reduce downtime by as much as 75% and to drive out hundreds of $millions in plant engineering, operations and maintenance costs associated with factory expansions and modernizations. Both GM and Harley identify one of the biggest advantages of a standardized yet flexible factory automation infrastructure is the acceleration of NPI offerings and advancement into new markets. Over the past decade, GM with partners has been able to gain a leading share of passenger vehicles produced in China, Brazil and other emerging markets. And as Harley rolls out their recently announced LiveWire electric motorcycle, I suspect that an integral part of their strategy includes the American manufacturing renaissance vision for a dynamic, fun, flexible factory of the future. Take a look at this inspirational video from Harley describing the modernization and transformation of their existing York Manufacturing Facility:

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Cisco At Hannover Messe 2014

Hannover Messe is once again upon us.  The world’s premier industrial technical showcase will be held in Hannover, Germany from April 7-11, 2014.  Last year’s faire had a clear focus on the “The Integrated Industry”, often referred to “Industry 4.0 and “Smart Factory” 

This year the motto for the world’s biggest industry fair is  “Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS!”  The next steps towards the intelligent, self-organizing factory are examined from every angle and field of study. From M2M to 3D visualization, from bulk forming to nanotechnology, everything is focused on taking the next step.

Hannover Faire

Cisco will feature our industry leading technology and product solutions that empower the “Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS!” in the  SmartFactory KL booth located in Hall 8, Stand D20.  SmartFactory KL is a demonstration that showcases the integration of multi-vendor solutions and products into a highly flexible production plant.  The demonstration will showcase how  interoperability enables:

  • Quick setup and modifications of multi-vendor assets
  • Modular, extendable concepts to fit the needs of the SmartFactory 
  • Product changes in real-time
  • Construction of a versatile R&D platform for production automation and related IT

Cisco provides a complete and unique breadth of infrastructure including wired and wireless routing and switching, physical video, compute, and communications solutions to uniquely support and enable current and future SmartFactory 4.0 requirements.

The SmartFactory demo shows how you can leverage Cisco’s Connected Factory architecture to converge IT and Operational Technology (OT) systems and create an integrated enterprise smart engine that:

  • Integrates Cisco’s video and unified communication platforms with real-time plant floor data
  • Scales and leverages global experts remotely for increased operational efficiency and innovation
  • Secures plant assets and improves operational workflows at each work cell
  • Analyzes and views KPI information on any device at anytime with location based services

So, come by and visit us at Hall 8, Stand D20.  Our Cisco Subject Matter Experts will be available to discuss topics that are specific to your business and technology imperatives.

See you at the show!!!

 

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