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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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Automation Fair 2013 – Final Thoughts from Houston

As Automation Fair was wrapping up yesterday, all of my Cisco colleagues were expressing gratitude to our hosts at Rockwell Automation. We want to congratulate our partners at Rockwell Automation for once again, putting on a very successful user conference. Our partnership has evolved into a truly collaborative and demonstrably successful model for joint product and solution developments, go-to-market effectiveness, industry and thought leadership, all aimed at the same goal: our mutual customers’ success.

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Automation Fair 2013: Industrial IP Advantage

As I blog today from the show floor at Automation Fair in the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, the second day of one of the largest industrial automation events is underway. We have had a lot of traffic and interest in the Industrial IP Advantage booth (#1223).

In fact, many booth visitors are asking us, “I get OT (or the reverse, ‘I get IT’)- how can we work together?”  As my Cisco colleague Dave Cronberger mentions in the video below, the relationship has now evolved and certainly both sides see the merit of working together.    Our Industrial IP Advantage community can certainly add to the conversation and give guidance on next steps in getting the most out of IT/OT convergence in order to move towards an IP-centric industrial network.

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Day 1 Wrap-up from Automation Fair

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Cisco has a significant presence at Automation Fair  in Houston this week.  This event is not only the largest gathering of Rockwell Automation users, it is also one of the most well-attended conferences for controls and industrial automation. Cisco-auto-fairThe day was busy both in the exhibit floor and throughout the sessions, industry forums and demonstration areas.

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First Day of Automation Fair 2013

Well, the first day of Automation Fair 2013, Rockwell Automation’s (RA) largest user conference, is almost a wrap.  The George Brown Convention Center in Houston was the setting for today’s very busy activities- at the exhibition floor, packed sessions, hand-on demonstrations and industry workshops.

As my colleagues Peter Granger and Paul Didier describe in the video below, Cisco has now evolved to having a very pervasive presence at this event.  From our own booth (#1321) to presence in the Rockwell Automation Oil and Gas booth to the Industrial IP Advantage booth (#1223), our products and solutions are highlighted throughout the show floor and in several sessions.  It is particularly nice to know that we have evolved from showcasing from just a few products to having over 200 switches, routers and other industrial networking gear at the show floor.  And our partnership with RA has evolved and grown significantly too. There were only a handful of Cisco attendees at our first Automation Fair.  Now there are several dozen Cisco employees onsite in Houston, including key executives.

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