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Cisco and Partners add Business Value for Continental Tire

There’s been a lot of buzz on the Internet about the way Continental Tire of the Americas has vastly improved its manufacturing process. They adopted an innovative solution based on a Cisco architectural networking approach provided by Cisco Partner Applied Group combined with AeroScout’s asset tracking solution and a inventory management system from Global Data Sciences enabling their manufacturing facility achieve a 20 percent reduction in component tire losses. Now that’s significant!


Chet Namboodri interviews Peter Granger about the benefits Continental Tire is achieving from the Cisco Unified Wireless based manufacturing/wip solution

It was a real pleasure for me to take part in  the Customer case study event organized by Cisco, AeroScout and Global Data Sciences for me to speak about the Cisco contribution. The video gives a short summary as Chet Namboodri, Cisco Industry Blogger-in-Chief and Global Managing Director of Cisco’s Manufacturing Industry Marketing interviews me about what was said, and the benefits Continental expects.

That event is where I met up with folks from Continental, AeroScout and Global Sciences  to hear from the customer first hand how the solution  is increasing production and efficiency in its North America manufacturing plant. That plant is located in Mount Vernon, Illinois, and it produces more than 1,000 different tire SKU’s in its 60-acre (2.6 million square-foot) facility.

The implemented solution leverages Continental Tire’s Cisco Unified Wireless Network to add a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) and automated Work-in-Process (WIP) tracking without having to install a proprietary network of readers and sensors. That’s key. Cisco provides standards-based solutions that work well with a customers backhaul, which, for most customers is also Cisco. Cisco’s Architectural approach means networking elements and processes work well together with ‘compatibility’ tested solutions such as those from AeroScout.

But now back to the customer… Read More »

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RFID: Context Aware and Location – a Brief History & Introduction

My distant relative - Flight Lieutenant KJP Granger (Royal Air Force) and his DH82A Gipsy Moth - did the forerunner of RFID save him from being shot down?

Some of the best technological advances are made during times of conflict. Sad that it should be so, but the silver lining is that many of the advances are focused on defending, protecting and shielding people. Active RFID, the kind of solution provided by Cisco and AeroScout, in many ways started out that way.

Looking back decades to WWII, radar was already being developed in ernest by the British in the run-up to the second world war. Many countries were developing radar at that time, but most folks agree that Robert Watson Watt, later Sir Robert, was the prime mover-and-shaker.  It took US marketing (in the form of the US Navy) to coin the term RADAR, for radio detection and ranging.

So where does Context Aware Location RFID come in? Well, whilst radar itself was useful, the  British needed to know whether those planes coming over the English Channel were returning Spitfires and allied bombers, or attacking Luftwaffe aircraft. It was the same Watson-Watt that helped produce the ‘Identification friend or foe’ (IFF) system that  used a transponder on the allied aircraft that was ‘excited’ by the radar system and actively sent back a signal to the base saying friend. My own cousin, Flight Lieutenant KJP Granger, Officer Trainer RAF, was grateful for that!

Now fast forward decades to today. The technology for today’s RFID is a little different, but the concept is the same. So let’s keep the aeronautical theme going and talk about Boeing and its use of RFID.      Read More »

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Making Medicine Wireless at Cisco, While Keeping Costs Down

We’ve shown you how wireless can break down borders, making your organization more efficient and agile. Today, I wanted to take a moment and share how we’ve been using our own technology to provide world-class medical care to our employees and their families. In this case study, you’ll see how our on-site medical facility, the LifeConnections Health Center, is using the Cisco Unified Wireless Network with our Context-Aware solution to save $140,000/year while improving care.

Founded in 2008, the LifeConnections Health Center began its life with the Cisco Unified Wireless Network and a suite of mobility services, including wireless patient check-in, Cerner electronic medical records and e-prescribing, while temperature monitoring and asset management remained manual processes. “Our nurses had to keep paper logs of our refrigerator temperatures, checking them twice daily to make sure vaccines and lab samples preserved their efficacy,” says David Lees, Cerner clinic manager. “It was also challenging for us to keep track of our medical devices and equipment.”

To solve these issues, LifeConnections leveraged their existing wireless infrastructure to deploy the Cisco Context-Aware Solution with the AeroScout RFID tracking solution. “With this solution, we were able to easily add the temperature monitoring and asset tracking capabilities we needed into our existing Cisco Unified Wireless Network,” says Uma Desiraju, IT manager. “Leveraging our wireless infrastructure for these new services is enabling us to achieve a nine-month ROI.”

Read More »

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