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Cisco’s Latest Networking Innovations: Bringing Intelligent Networks to Industrial Automation

Today, Cisco announced the Industrial Ethernet (IE) 2000 switch series which will help customers build intelligent networks for industrial automation by delivering highly secure, scalable connectivity from plant floor to enterprise network.

Cisco’s IE2000 switch series provides:
- consistent network services between industrial networks and enterprise business applications
- integrated security
- better manageability
- highly secure remote access and monitoring of automated systems
- intelligent energy management with visibility into machine performance to help customers better manage costs.

The IE2000 industrial switch also interoperates across corporate and manufacturing floor networks in a cost-effective manner to deliver video and corporate applications to manufacturing plant floor.

The IE2000 switch series is key product from our Connected Industries business unit.  According to Maciej Kranz, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Connected Industries business unit, “Major sectors of the economy are undergoing a transformation driven by new requirements around production and factory automation, traffic management, data analytics and machine-to-machine communication.  Cisco’s Connected Industries business unit was created to help customers realize the benefits of the transition to Ethernet and IP across the operational technology segments including manufacturing plants, transportation infrastructure and vehicles.”

Many of you have highlighted machine-to-machine (M2M) communications as a key consideration for organizations over the next few years.  Cisco’s own Visual Networking Index (VNI) showed that, by 2016, there will be nearly 2 billion machine-to-machine wireless connections.  This includes everything from in-car GPS systems to asset tracking systems in manufacturing and other sectors.

The result is a need to more tightly connect and integrate devices, machines and vehicles with traditional enterprise networks.  This “Industrialization of the Internet,” as Cisco calls it, will accelerate the networking industry beyond the IT and service provider (SP) networks in industries such as manufacturing and transportation.

Any industry analysts interested in more information on Cisco’s innovations for industrial automation, please contact me for details of our upcoming session with Maciej Kranz and the Connected Industries team.  This will include a more detailed overview of this announcement, more background on the Connected Industries business unit and the opportunity for Q&A.

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Automation World First Team Honors Won by Cisco Systems for Leadership in Networking

March 6, 2012 at 11:29 am PST

Recently Cisco was honored to be named in the Automation World 2011 First Team Honorees list. This recognizes Cisco as a leading player and trusted partner for manufacturing, distribution and industrial companies.

Cisco Wins 'First Team' Honoree Award from Automation World Readers

In the category of ‘Networking Components – Ethernet’ Cisco was named as a First Team Honoree, and that doesn’t surprise me. Over the years folks have stopped coming up to me and asking what Cisco is doing at, say, an Industrial Networking event such as the Rockwell Automation Fair. Now folks are really interested in how Cisco is leading the change for Ethernet for the Factory. Cisco’s partnership with Rockwell has spawned the Cisco Industrial Ethernet (IE3000) range, and the Stratix 8000. The Stratix 5700, a smaller form factor and lower entry point than the 8000 is the newest addition to the Range. My recent: Cisco Live UK: Day 4, Part 2 – Rockwell Automation IP Ethernet shows me interviewing Mark Daniels of Rockwell Automation. Mark is the Rockwell Automation Ltd. Business Manager, Architecture and Software, based in Milton Keynes in the UK. Mark is talking about the Cisco Live Demonstration of Motion Control in the video blog. This is the kind of partnership that help produce products and Solutions that helped us win this award.

The second Honor was for ‘Networking Components – Wireless’. Read More »

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Convergence Live: Cisco at Automation Fair, 16th-17th November 2011

Automation Fair is just around the corner – two weeks from now.  Convergence will be alive at AF this year.   My colleagues Peter Granger and Andrew Lach have blogged about Cisco’s overall presence and our social media channel, respectively.

In my video, I highlight the Innovation and Collaboration that the convergence of plant and enterprise networks enables, which we will be showcasing in our Cisco booth on the AF show floor, including:

Read More »

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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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Machine Builder Business Models, Sustainability and Innovation

So my wife and I recently took a two week vacation to Alaska – without computers or anything but camera’s and our ever important smartphones. I didn’t realize that Marie Hattar, our Segment VP was going to write a blog about the importance of vacations and productivity – see that here. Imagine that, I overachieved via a vacation!

At any rate, back to the vacation – we left on Sunday so Saturday was reserved for clothes washing and packing. Great plan until the motor on the washing machine froze. We ended up Saturday night finishing the wash at her father’s house. Then after the trip (that was fabulous by the way. Everyone needs to take a cruise through the Inside Passage!) we ended up having the repair service visit to confirm the motor was shot (new motor cost more than the washer was worth, so conclusion: buy a new one) and using his washer/dryer for another week. That meant bundling up two plus weeks of wash, carrying it to his house, doing the wash for a few hours, etc.

I was reminded of the challenges a manufacturing company would have due to an unexpected machine breakdown. You have to isolate the problem, get appropriate repairs, possibly upgrade the machine, possibly line up alternate manufacturing capability, etc. I’ve blogged before about the needs for continuing MRO schedules and the importance of properly servicing your manufacturing machines and lines. But how do you prepare for a critical machine that suddenly breaks? Can you rapidly sub out the work? Can you quickly get the machine replaced? What if the newer machine doesn’t fit in the line directly? Read More »

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