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 »
If you were one of the more than 20,000 people who attended Cisco Live Orlando in person or one of the 250,000 who joined us online, you were able to see amazing examples of new ways the Internet of Everything (IoE) is connecting people, process, data, and things. People have asked me how long before they can see the value of IoE in action. Let me be clear: The Internet of Everything is not the Internet of tomorrow, it’s the Internet of today. Our most recent research shows that $1.2 trillion of value is “up for grabs” in calendar year 2013 alone. Read More »
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” So said Dave Evans, Cisco’s chief futurist, in his keynote address at Cisco Live 2013. I couldn’t agree more! As we usher in a new era of hyperconnectivity, we will see our environment in unprecedented ways, and then manage it like never before.
The trick is getting the relevant data to the right people at the correct time.
Cisco calls this transformation the Internet of Everything (IoE). With its explosion in connectivity from 10 billion things today to 50 billion in 2020, IoE promises a profound transformation that will enhance nearly all aspects of our lives.
But only if we do it right. And that requires changing the ways in which we think.
For IoE to be a true game changer, it will take much more than infusing every road, refrigerator, tire, and supermarket shelf with data-generating sensors. IoE could, for example, have a deep impact on water management. Today, 30 percent of fresh water is lost to leaking pipes. But a sensor in a pipe can only tell you that it’s losing water (and you may already have known that). The key is managing the information, tying it into control systems, and creating far-reaching, highly efficient processes for rerouting water or mobilizing maintenance resources. Read More »
In a hyper-connected world, every consumer is continuously making a trade-off between the value of information and/or services they are receiving and the impact on privacy. I believe this comparison amounts to a “Return on Exposure” — a value exchange in which the consumer must determine if the value they’re receiving is worth what they are giving up in privacy.