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Automation World Awards First Team Honors To Cisco Systems for Leadership in Networking

Recently, Cisco was honored in the Automation World 2014 First Team Honorees list. This award recognizes Cisco as a leader and trusted partner for manufacturing, distributing and industrial companies.

A Paved Path to IoE Value

We’ve heard a lot about the $14.9T value opportunity provided by the Internet of Everything (IoE) with $3.9T or 26% of the overall IoE value residing in manufacturing and industrial (Mining, Oil and Gas, …) industries.  The challenge for the market is determining the best and most efficient path to capture that value.

The Automation World 2014 First Team Honoree award validates that the industry is embracing Cisco’s holistic approach of providing tightly integrated system architectures and solutions like Cisco Connected Factory – Automation and Cisco Connected Factory – Wireless as a best practice path to IoE value.

1st team automationIn fact, these solutions are being deployed by leading manufacturers like Proctor and Gamble, GM,Stanley Black and Decker,Sub Zero, and Shell. These forward thinking companies are tightly integrating their entire business value chain from R&D, operations, and supply chain through to customer retention and acquisition sales, and driving the business outcomes that give them a competitive advantage in the market.

Its Not About Products or Solutions … It’s About the OUTCOMES!

This award is not about the ‘speeds and feeds’ on how the Cisco Aironet 1550 Series Outdoor Access Points enables a self-healing, and self-optimizing wireless network that mitigates the impact of wireless interference or how the Cisco Industrial Ethernet IE2000, IE3000 and IE400 Series Switches extends the proven Cisco Catalyst technologies prevalent in enterprise networks to industrial networks for ease of use and best in class performance.

It’s about how these wired and wireless products were easily integrated into a Connected Factory Solution Architecture and enabled,

…Stanley Black and Decker to maximize their plant productivity and operational efficiency.

“With the help of the Cisco and AeroScout Industrial solution, we are on our way toward realizing our vision of a virtual warehouse and fully connected factory, with complete visibility and traceability.” –Gary Frederick, CIO Industrial Division, Stanley

…Sub Zero to meet their new product introduction goals and reduce manufacturing downtime.

“With this solution, we found a way to see and discuss very detailed video and images from afar in a highly secure manner. We are now using video collaboration on a daily basis to finalize designs, correct production line issues, work with suppliers, and train installers and servicers.”  – Paul Sikir, VP of Engineering, Sub-Zero

My colleagues Bryan Tantzen, Sr. Director -IoE Manufacturing and Todd Edmunds, IoE Architect demonstrate the possibilities of Connected Factory

Cisco Connected Factory is the foundational building block for these transformative business processes that leads to greater innovation and efficiencies throughout the business value chain. We thank our customers, partners and Automation World for partnering with us as we pave the way to IoE value nirvana!

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Manufacturing, IoT and Innovation – What’s the Missing LInk?

My colleague Chet Namboodri recently discussed, “The Internet of Things and the Future of Manufacturing” with Manufacturing Revival Radio.  In the interview, Chet discussed how best in class manufacturers like GM and Stanley Black and Decker are driving innovation and capturing real business value across their value chain by developing and executing an IoT strategy.

Manufacturers like GM and Stanley Black and Decker are creating this platform for innovation by deploying open standards–based Internet Protocol (IP) technologies that converge their enterprise and plant floor networks. The convergence enables tight integration of operation technology (OT) and information technology (IT), creating a flexible and scalable platform to:2439633

Speaking of security, it is cited by most manufacturers as the key barrier to IoT adoption and innovation.  The prospect of connecting millions, potentially billions of sensors, actuators, motors, gauges, valves, and machines with Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) applications like MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) applications can make VP of Supply Chains, Operation Managers and the like want to go back to the old island of automation model that Chet cited in his interview.

As daunting as security may be to innovation and IoT adoption. The skills workforce gap in the industry is the biggest threat and concern for manufacturing executives and managers. ThomasNet conducted a survey of over 1200 line of business manufacturing professionals .  The survey cited that Generation Y (18-32 years old) employees will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, but three-quarters of manufacturers report that 25 percent or less of their workforce are in the Generation Y age group.

Cisco recognizes that new skills and education are the missing link required to drive innovation and realize the value afforded by IoT in the manufacturing industry.

To prepare and attract the next generation manufacturing workforce Cisco has launched the Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist Certification for information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) professionals in the manufacturing, process control, and oil and gas industries who install, maintain, and troubleshoot industrial network systems. This certification ensures candidates have the foundational skills to manage and administer networked industrial control systems. It provides plant administrators, control system engineers and traditional network engineers with an understanding of the networking technologies needed in today’s connected plants and enterprises.

What are your major barriers to IoT Adoption?  Security, transitional workforce, ….?  In the meantime, be sure to visit the Industrial IP Advantage website for more information around how you can leverage IP technologies to accelerate your path to IoT value.


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IoT in Manufacturing: Insights and Best Practices

IoT Webcast Manufacturing net

Recently, the second of a two-part webcast series on ‘The Internet of Things ’ (IoT) wrapped with a deep dive on the very real business advantages and outcomes that are enabled when IoT is fully applied to Manufacturing operations. One of the speakers, David Gutshall, Infrastructure Design Manager at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, highlighted many advantages he’s experienced with deployments of the Converged Plant-wide Ethernet solution architecture from Cisco and Rockwell Automation. In the webcast, David talked about “greater manufacturing flexibility across the supply chain, where … we can collate data across the factory (and enterprise) … and have experienced a substantial reduction in downtime.”  He described that with an IP-enabled Connected Factory, “what used to take hours or days to triage and troubleshoot problems now takes seconds.” Expanding on the topic, David said “when we bring a new machine online, it essentially works with the network out-of-the-box,” yielding greater flexibility and significantly reducing new model NPI (New Product Introduction) cycles and time to market.

Similar companies, like General Motors, have leveraged this industrial automation and controls system (IACS) architecture, which GM calls ‘Plant Floor Control Network’ (PFCN), to reduce downtime by as much as 75% and to drive out hundreds of $millions in plant engineering, operations and maintenance costs associated with factory expansions and modernizations. Both GM and Harley identify one of the biggest advantages of a standardized yet flexible factory automation infrastructure is the acceleration of NPI offerings and advancement into new markets. Over the past decade, GM with partners has been able to gain a leading share of passenger vehicles produced in China, Brazil and other emerging markets. And as Harley rolls out their recently announced LiveWire electric motorcycle, I suspect that an integral part of their strategy includes the American manufacturing renaissance vision for a dynamic, fun, flexible factory of the future. Take a look at this inspirational video from Harley describing the modernization and transformation of their existing York Manufacturing Facility:

Read More »

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General Motors Signs Innovative Deal with Cisco

I’m excited to announce that we have deepened our relationship with General Motors.  This quarter, as John talked about on our Q3 FY14 earnings call, we closed a first-of-its-kind, multi-year deal to license Cisco’s software portfolio to GM.

This innovative licensing agreement involving all of our software – and hardware, where needed – will give GM greater speed and flexibility to drive business value.  So, for example, when GM needs to increase their collaboration solutions across the company they have access to our full suite of products to do that. Going forward, Cisco and GM will continue to partner to deliver on GM’s business goals up to and including the Internet of Everything.

Cisco is proud to work with GM and other large enterprises to help them achieve their goals and overcome their biggest challenges.  We realize that every company must now be a technology company and we are thrilled and excited that GM is taking a huge, innovative step with Cisco as a partner to better serve their customers, partners and employees around the world.


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General Motors: GM’s IT Network Drives Business Success with Cisco. Executive Perspectives Part 3

Check out this part 3 of our Executive Perspectives series. Here we follow on from Part 1: Executive Perspectives and AkzoNobel – Manufacturing Industry CIO/CXO Special – Part 1, and  Part 2: Executive Perspectives Part 2 – Toyota Streamlines Business with Cisco, and look at how another of Cisco’s customers in the automotive industry has partnered to gain real business benefits. The video about GM”s  IT Network Drives Business Success is on the Cisco News Site (click link here). The YouTube Video below is the fun Superbowl ad!

Here I talk about a case study prepared by Mainstay Partners LLC, an independent consulting firm, who interviewed with the manufacturer’s executives, IT executives and IT planning personnel. The case study looks at GM’s Cisco-based Plant Floor Controls Network (PFCN), and found out the following about what it is, what it does, how it help’s with General Motor’s Business challenges, and where GM goes from here. Read More »

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