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Analytics: Building a Winning Strategy in Manufacturing

Machinery, supply chains, and raw materials have always been core concerns in manufacturing. Today, another asset is just as critical — data.

General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt said it well: “The industrial world is changing dramatically, and those companies that make the best use of data will be the most successful.”

I certainly agree. If manufacturers want to gain the agility, innovation, and hyper-awareness needed to compete and win, they must start thinking like technology companies. That means leveraging data — and the real-time insights derived through analytics — in impactful new ways.

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As Manufacturers Go Digital, Customer Value Expands

Every single day, I’m reminded that a digital revolution is taking place—from researching local coffee places on the dashboard of my car to ordering coffee on my mobile device—it’s clear that our lives are becoming more digitized. This is also apparent for the businesses and industries that manufacture the goods that we use everyday. In order to compete today, manufacturers must respond to complex and constantly changing demands from their customers. That requires the agility, rapid innovation, and fast execution that only digital manufacturing can deliver. Too many manufacturers, however, still lack these critical capabilities and suffer from fragmented and siloed organizational structures.

This was reinforced by new research from Cisco on the current and future state of digital disruption in manufacturing. The study included economic analysis, interviews with manufacturing industry thought leaders, and a survey of more than 600 senior leaders from 13 countries, representing both industrial machine builders and end-user manufacturers.

Our research confirmed that manufacturers get it. They understand that a digital revolution is taking place, and they want to be part of it. Seventy-nine percent believe that digital disruption will drive a moderate to major impact at their companies in the next three years. Moreover, they see digital technologies such as cloud, IoT, and analytics as having the biggest impact on their production — not more manufacturing-centric technologies such as robotics and 3D printing.

However, in terms of driving new value, many are faltering. Their service strategies, for example, are seen as a key opportunity for new revenue, but they are not driving expected levels of growth.

Digital business transformation is the solution, but it can’t be done in a piecemeal fashion; it must be implemented across the entire organization and beyond, throughout the ecosystem. Analytics, cloud, machine-to-machine connections, and collaboration tools all enable new opportunities for sharing data insights. Getting those insights to the people (or machines) who need them most, on the other hand, can be challenging. In this context, silos — between IT and operational technology (OT), engineering and design, and so forth — are the enemy to progress.

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Introducing “The Smart Bottling and Distribution System” from Cisco

When it comes to the Internet of Everything, few industries have as much opportunity, or as much at stake, as manufacturing. Specifically, certain verticals such as Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Food and Beverage manufacturing face unique challenges and opportunities. According to the Price Waterhouse 2015 Consumer Goods Report , the current market is seeing “changing consumer attitudes toward products and brands, as the great fragmentation of consumer markets takes another turn. In response, companies must dramatically shift the route they take to reach consumers in terms of both product distribution and communications.” In particular, bottlers have to adopt to these industry trends as well as changing distribution, fleet and territorial roles. Success in this new era requires smarter, more streamlined operations and the ability to respond to opportunities and problems in real time.

At Cisco, we are constantly seeking new ways to connect data, people, processes and things to help businesses thrive. Our goal is to continually drive solutions that simplify systems for our customers so they can focus on adding real value to their business. That’s why we’re excited to announce The Bottling and Distribution Smart System powered by Cisco, a user-friendly portal that we created while working with leading global bottling and distribution enterprises.

Our customers in the bottling and distribution industry have told us that their businesses suffer when they have to patch together different solutions for reporting, fleet management, maintenance records and more. Read More »

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IoT for Food Manufacturing: Beyond Food Safety to Savvy Marketing

Recently, Cisco announced a very cool partnership with pasta maker and Italian foods provider Barilla Foods, ‘From the ground to the grocer, Barilla makes use of Cisco’s IoE to give consumers insight into the journey of their food’.   This partnership is the result of working together across the food industry as well as Barilla’s vision to provide more transparency and visibility to their customers. In this age of well-publicized food contamination, fraud and other issues, the Internet of Things (IoT) can truly be a key enabler for strategic-thinking food, beverage and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. In addition, as Nic Villa writes in his blog The Internet of Food – Improving Lives, the “Bringing the Internet of Everything to life in the food sector makes our lives healthier and our choices easier. This new digital revolution merges technology, sustainability and well-being…”

The power of what Barilla is implementing is incredible for a few different reasons. Let me explain. Beyond just food safety, it is a savvy marketing strategy.   Barilla can now improve their marketing to highlight the information that the millenials want – where did food come from, what did it go thru and were there any issues? This cool video from Barilla’s Parma, Italy factory shows the amazing processes that happen in the factory just to produce pasta:

Track and Trace Opportunities to Meet Regulatory Requirements

With track and trace technology, many customers will have the information at their fingertips as to where their food came from. Manufacturers can not only use this information for regulatory compliance but can now also add the information to enhance their Read More »

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Industrial IP Advantage the IT and OT Broker

The IT (Information Technology) and the OT (Operational Technology) “worlds” are requiring convergence to meet the growing complexity of a more informed customer driven market. Not only in the technical sense, but also organizationally. 

I don’t know about you, but trying to keep up with the alphabet soup of acronymous in one world is difficult enough, but when we attempt to combine both “worlds” it can be  nauseating to say the least, and produce a terrible “soup” of acronyms   I mean both organizations speak different languages, right?  OEE, EOL, CNC, MTTR, EtherNet/IP, etc.. for OT, and  SNAP, OSPF,  EOF, NAT, IP etc.. for IT. The IT world is more formal too, right?  For example, IT SIP’s and OT umm ……..CIP’s.

Can you imagine the language and cultural challenges of both worlds trying to understand each others language let alone work jointly to execute programs and projects that drive business value for their company’s and markets?  I’ve heard in some organizations that proposition often times causes a bigger confrontation than the epic Ali vs. Frazier “Thrilla in Manila” battle, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  In fact, the Industrial IP Advantage website is an educational community of both IT and OT professionals. A IT and OT broker if you will.  You will find that the two worlds are not so different.IIPA Logo

 
Paul Brooks, Rockwell Automation; Dan McGrath, Panduit and Kevin Davenport of Cisco discuss how OT and IT professionals can leverage the Industrial IP Advantage community to accelerate the adoption of IP technology to converge both “worlds” and extract tangible value from the IoE opportunity.

Left to right: Philippe Beaulieu, Dan, Peter Brookes, Kevin Davenport

Left to right: Philippe Beaulieu (Librestream), Dan McGrath (Panduit), Paul Brooks (Rockwell Automation), Kevin Davenport (Cisco)

The IT and OT worlds have more commonality than differences.  In fact, one of the common areas of focus for both worlds revolve around “standardization.”  Historically, OT technology projects and deployments have leveraged modified Ethernet implementations to connect machines, sensors and the like on plant floors.  This approached has produced many different flavors of industrial modified ethernet protocols, such as, ProfiNet, EtherCAT, Powerlink, etc.. Although these ethernet implementations allowed manufacturers to move further away from costly, difficult to maintain, and hard to scale proprietary technology the industry recognizes that a more universal standard technology approach is required to take advantage of the Internet of Everything (IoE) revolution and the 3.88 trillion dollar of manufacturing value associated with the IoE opportunity.  That standard technology foundation is Internet Protocol (IP).

By using the power of standard, unmodified Internet Protocol (IP) manufacturers finally have a universal technology platform that improves connectivity between people, partners and processes, devices, departments and systems in industrial applications, and opens up new opportunities for productivity, efficiency and flexibility. Industrial IP Advantage is an idea and resource to bridge the language and cultures barriers of IT and OT together and  drive the business and technical values required to meet the demands of the new consumer.

Please register for the community and join a growing community of your IT and OT peers who are innovating, learning and accelerating the adoption of IP to shorten their design cycles, drive supply chain agility, connect in more meaningful ways with customers and drive increased profit for their company.  In addition, you’ll have fun learning a new language.

 

 

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