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Making peace between IT and Operations – Plant Engineering Article

September 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm PST

Bridging the gap between IT and Operations

Understanding the shared goals can bring peace – and value to manufacturers.

Check out last quarters’ ‘Plant Engineering” Magazine (May 2012) and you’ll find Cisco’s published article where we discuss how the world of IT and Operations are coming together -- and it’s no longer a clash of corporate titans, more a collaboration of corporate allies.

We talk about the convergence between IT and OT (Operational Technologies) as businesses are embracing open standards and enjoying increased value at lower costs, and the issues that can raise.

The article covers how important it is to remember that the fundamental purpose for the IT organization is to provide the availability and the protection of critical information. The manufacturing operations group on the other hand, needs to build a product to sell to customers for money. Sometimes, the two groups are at odds with each other over their respective priorities. It is possible, however, to reach a mutual understanding that can meet both groups’ priorities and goals.

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Continue driving the Internet of Things

So, in my last blog, I pointed out that Manufacturers, and particularly car makers, will be driving the Internet of Things (IoT) by incorporating standard networks into their machines.   I also indicated that evolving the standards is going to be critical to that adoption.

Applying standard networks (by that I mean Ethernet, IP, TCP/UDP, 802.11/WiFi, etc.) machines is going to be a distinctly different than the networking of computers, phones and the plethora of tablets and handheld devices that has driven the Internet and standard networks to date. Read More »

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Car makers driving The Internet of Things (part 1 of 2)

Intelligent Cars

I don’t watch too much TV, but I did take some time this weekend between my honey-do’s and soccer transport tasks to keep up with bay area football – it was a good weekend for that.  As expected, there were plenty of car ads.   I was struck by how the high-end auto manufacturers are really focusing on “intelligent” cars – competing in fact.  Cars are now aware of their surroundings (obstacle sensing), aware of their driver (attention assist), able to call emergency assistance, making lots of decisions every second and richly communicating with its driver … or maybe more appropriately stated “passenger”:

These are really smart cars, and they are getting smarter.  It is foreseeable now to imagine automated driving making the driver a true passenger. Read More »

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Cisco and Rockwell Automation to Share Industry Best Practices

From joint reference architectures to education webcasts, the collaboration between Cisco and Rockwell Automation benefits manufacturers.  The partnership has empowered corporations globally and now industry experts from both companies are ready to share their best practices and lessons learned.

The upcoming RACES (Rockwell Automation and Cisco Education Series) educational webcast will focus on Securing Architectures and Applications for
Industrial Networks. 

Thursday, April 28
9:00 a.m. PST / 10:00 a.m. MST / 11:00 a.m. CST / 12:00 p.m. EST

Growing demands for greater information access accelerate the convergence of manufacturing and enterprise networks and help manufacturers make better business decisions. As critical control systems link to company-wide infrastructures and beyond, new risks emerge that can affect productivity, operational efficiency and functional safety. To ensure the benefits derived from plantwide convergence outweigh risks and threats, it is imperative to follow contemporary architecture design practices that can enhance network resiliency and help protect key assets and information. 

Learn From Industry Experts

Speakers Scott Johnston, Principal Consultant for Network & Security Services, Rockwell Automation and Bryce Barnes, Enterprise Vertical Solutions Architect for Manufacturing, Cisco, will discuss the solutions from Rockwell Automation and Cisco to address the challenges of network convergence. Learn the fundamentals and best practices for:

  • Securing manufacturing computing and controller assets
  • The value a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) brings to your manufacturing framework
  • How FactoryTalk Services and Applications such as FactoryTalk ViewPoint and FactoryTalk
  • Transaction Manager can be deployed within the manufacturing framework to leverage the DMZ

To register for this event or to learn more,please click here

About The Cisco and Rockwell Partnership

The Cisco and Rockwell Automation partnership consists of: Read More »

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Bringing IT and Control together

Although not a rule, IT and Control at many manufacturers have an arms-length, if not more distant, relationship.  They have different priorities, expertise and cultures.  But the reality is that the converged plant, based upon standard networking throughout the plant, requires them to work together to achieve the bucket of gold benefits awaiting their company.  Our partnership with Rockwell Automation in many ways is a result of this need at many of our customers.  They need us to work closer so that they can focus on a single technology and solution and rely on a “converged” support model as they bring their plants into the standard networking world interconnected to the rest of the enterprise.  To this end our companies have been working together for more than five years.

Gregory Wilcox, Rockwell Automation, on IT/Control cultural convergence

Listen to my colleague at Rockwell Automation, Gregory Wilcox -- Business Development Manager, describe the culture convergence that needs to occur -- critical to the overall convergence.  We have done a lot of the leg work to make this convergence happen.

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