Manufacturers are challenged with how to start digitizing their factories. Many have told me it is not inertia or budget holding them back, but being overwhelmed or unsure of where to start. Yet the value that awaits them is great – connected factories can boost profits by up to 19 percent (according to our latest Manufacturing Thought Leadership Study).
To help manufacturers navigate the complexity, I hosted a #CiscoChat with Brandon Lackey, Manufacturing Vertical Business Development Manager at Cisco, and Lorenzo Veronesi, Analyst at IDC. We discussed the benefits of a connected factory, the roadblocks manufacturers face, and how to take the first step. Many industry thought leaders and luminaries joined us and it made for an animated discussion.
If you missed the chat, the full recap is here, and I will share with you a few of the highlights:
We kicked off the chat by asking: How are manufacturers making factories more connected and intelligent?
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Tags: Business Trends, ciscochat, connected factory, Digital Manufacturing, Factory, Internet of Everything, IoE, IoT, Manufacturing, Social Chat, social media
Today, industrial networks are being impacted by a number of trends – convergence of industrial and enterprise networks, growing inter-connectivity across industrial equipment, and heightened security concerns. Come visit Cisco in Hall 8, Stand 26 at Hannover Messe to see what we have to offer for manufacturing, mining, transportation, and oil, gas and energy companies. Read More »
Tags: Converged Plantwide Ethernet, Factory, Hannover Messe, Hanover, industrial ethernet, industrrial Automation, Manufacturing, Rockwell, security, wireless
I had the pleasure of meeting up with both Leo Ploner, Publishing Director, Industrial Ethernet Book (IEB) and Tom McNulty from the Chicago, US office recently here in Silicon Valley recently. I was pleased to see that Cisco had contributed to an article in the 65 / 35 Issue of the Industrial Ethernet Book around the topic of RFID and industrial WiFi – a topic close to my own heart in terms of previous blogs of mine (Intro to RFID, Continental Tire, Boeing, and John Deere).
The first Industrial Ethernet Book was published in 1999. Since then it become an excellent information source for industrial networking and communication technology, and aims to provide unbiased editorial views focused on both process and discrete manufacturing industries. The editorial content is aimed at end users, system integrators and vendors within factory automation and process automation.
The article starts with the recognition that “Increasingly ‘smart’ devices, which include radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and sensors that have advanced diagnostics, are contributing to the billions of devices now connected to IP networks. This proliferation of smart devices is referred to by some as the ‘Internet of Things’, and it is projected to grow to trillions of devices that will be connected using the emerging IPv6 protocol (ref1). For manufacturers, a growing number of connected smart devices promises to revolutionise portability, mobility, context-aware condition and use of critical assets.” Read More »
Tags: aeroscout, automation, Boeing, Borderless Networks, Cisco, context-aware, Continental Tire, dreamliner, Enterprise, Factory, industrial, industrial networking, john deere, location, mobility, networking, operational excellence, operations excellence, productivity, rfid, supply chain, unified communications, Viracon, wireless
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 »
Tags: 802.11, automation, Control engineers, convergence, Ethernet to the factory, Factory, IEEE 1588, Industrial Automation, Industrial Intelligence, IoT, machine, Manufacturing, Precision Time Protocol, PTP, QoS, sensors, The Internet of Things, wifi
In my most recent blog “U.S. manufacturing: is it sustainable?“, I referenced an article about how U.S. manufacturing has been leading the economy out of the depths of the Great Recession. The authors put forward a thesis with supporting data that suggest Americans believe the manufacturing industry is the basis for wealth creation and is fundamental to a sustained and successful U.S. economy.
The rub is that only 30% of Americans said they have or would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career.
Why such a discrepancy? An answer to this question is not simple. However, I do believe we must seek that answer and address the gap, if the U.S. is to remain competitive in the global marketplace. Being an engineer myself–a manufacturing and controls engineer no less–I know the first and most essential step to a solution is making sure we’ve defined the problem well.
A 2009 survey by the American Society for Quality, as reported on manufacturing.net, helps to shine a light on our problem.
According to the survey, the top three reasons why kids aren’t interested in engineering:
- Kids don’t know much about engineering (44 percent).
- Kids prefer a more exciting career than engineering (30 percent).
- They don’t feel confident enough in their math or science skills (21 percent) to be good at it. This is despite the fact that the largest number of kids ranked math (22 percent) and science (17 percent) as their favorite subjects.
Survey findings on the adult side:
- Only 20 percent of parents have encouraged or will encourage their child(ren) to consider an engineering career.
- The vast majority of parents (97 percent) believe that knowledge of math and science will help their children have a successful career.
So, while American children and adults both feel that math and science are important (even enjoyable), there is an ironic disconnect (cognitive dissociation?) between recognizing the importance and committing to pursue a career in engineering and manufacturing.
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Tags: automation, Clemson University, DOE, education, engineering, Factory, higher education, industrial, Industrial Automation, Industry, innovation, Manufacturing, math, R&D, Research and Development, Savannah River Site, science, stem, technology, US Department of Energy, Virginia Tech