The road to the connected factory was made easier today by the announcement of new features which will be highlighted in two new design guides for industrial networks. The design guides help manufacturers deploy an industrial network that pulls best practices from operational technology (OT) and IT.
Many manufacturers are looking to gain the business benefits of a connected factory. A connected factory gives the business more access to real-time information on factory operations, inventory, supply chains, the machines on their production lines, and more, so that manufacturers can better manage their businesses. By converging industrial and enterprise networks, manufacturers can advance their business agility and build a gateway to the Internet of Everything. Many manufacturers have been challenged by the task of connecting these industrial factories, so Cisco, together with industrial partners like Rockwell Automation, are enhancing these design guides to ease the convergence process.
At the recent Cisco Live 2013 event in Orlando, I talked about the business value of converging operations technology (OT)—used for industrial automation systems—with IT business networks, in order to create more secure, end-to-end, standard communications and control. Regarding business value of IT/OT convergence for machine builders/integrators and consequently their manufacturing customers, I referenced a case study involving Comau Group that Al Presher from DesignNews recently picked up in a blog entitled “Connectivity Enabling Smart Manufacturing.”
Comau is a leading supplier and partner for most global automakers, integrating welding and assembly lines that coordinate dozens of robots and ancillary automation across multiple stations.
The order-to-engineering sign-off cycle requires months and the consequent build and commissioning to full production adds many more months for a new or refreshed manufacturing line.
Multiple fieldbus protocols at the device level complicate both design and implementation, requiring more integration services—time and money—to make the system work.
By designing a converged IT/OT “Connected Machine” solution that utilizes IP-standards-based, off-the-shelf modularity with a network architecture validated for both business and controls topologies, Comau has been able to reduce engineering cycles and cut integration time by more than two-thirds. Quoting an Engineering Manager from the company, “Installation, commissioning and debugging for 10 stations with 12-15 robots takes a couple days, rather than 1-2 weeks.” Read More »
Adrienne Meyer, ODVA, Manager of Member Services and Guy Denis, Business Development Manager at Cisco Systems, explain the value and integration that Cisco brings to ODVA for the past decade at Hannover Messe 2013.
Adrienne is asked about the value that Cisco brings to the ODVA, and how long Cisco has been working with the ODVA. Adrienne talks about the decade long relationship and how Cisco works with a number of the ODVA technical working groups. Adrienne goes on to talk about how the ODVA manages the development of the Ethernet IP technology that Cisco Supports, and how Cisco is showing the breadth of the technology that has been developed and is available at the event.
Guy Denis talks about the strategic nature of the relationship and how Cisco supports the open-standards-based approach of the ODVA. This is very important to Cisco, our partners, and, of course, to our customers. Cisco strongly believes in the open-standards approach to TCP-IP for industrial networking moving forward, for the benefit of all parties.
More and more traditional industries are connected to the worldwide internet. This is all helping to improve efficiencies, increase productivity, and help drive product development and facilitate new business models.
At Cisco, and particularly at the Cisco Connected Industries Group, Rudolph talks about how Cisco is building products and architectures that reach into production plants and machinery in order to enable robust, reliable and secure connections to the internet and to business systems, both inside the organization and externally to suppliers and customers. Read More »
Guy Denis, Business Development Manager for Industrial Automation at Cisco Systems, explains the booth at Hannover Messe 2013 and how it relates to the theme of integrated solutions by connecting the IT environment with manufacturing industry Operational Technologies(OT).
Guy talks about Cisco’s presence at the show and talks about some elements of the booth and the solutions Cisco showed. Many of the Cisco Connected Industries and products were on display, including the Industrial switching products like the new IE2000 which now has Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities.
Guy shows the other Machine-to-machine (M2M) products such as the IE3000, and some of the newer modules such as for PoE and fiber, very applicable for machine manufacturers and in the automotive as well as the Food and Beverage industries.
Guy then goes on to talk about the architectural approach that Cisco has developed and the partnership with Rockwell Automation, a relationship that enables joint development. So Cisco is extremely relevant on the plant floor, especially in a Rockwell environment with the jointly developed Converged Plant-wide Ethernet architecture.