Don’t you just hate it when you drop your phone and it just stops working? My last phone fell out of my top pocket when I leaned over our pool and even though I got it out in less than 10 seconds and tried to dry it out, it was toast. Well, soggy toast I suppose.
There are times when you need something more. If you’re a manufacturer and you need some ruggedization then you might find it advantageous to look at the Cisco offerings. There are rugged versions of several products: switches, wireless access points and IP phone handsets to name just three. In the video I talk about one of them, the 7925G-EX handset that has been available for a short while now, and is being increasingly adopted by customers. Read More »
Our Cisco WebEx colleagues in China engaged a study with Bite Communications aimed at learning more about China’s mobile workforce. “The Science of Company Productivity Survey” was launched on one of China’s leading portals for two weeks in June.
Among the findings, they learned in China, collaboration technologies can play an integral role in improving organizational effectiveness while helping employees achieve a more flexible, balanced and efficient work life. Given a range of choices, respondents chose web meetings as their preferred method of working with others.
A Quick Look at the Findings
In China, one day of the work week doesn’t seem to be any more crazy than the other. When asked when people feel most overloaded at work, the answer spanned the week!
All enterprise social collaboration platforms include gathering points whereby people can unite with others around a common goal; for example, a program or project, social interest, organization, market segment, product, corporate initiative, technology, etc. Within Quad – Cisco’s Enterprise Collaboration Platform and product – these gathering points are referred to as communities. The longevity of any given community will vary based on several factors, which include temporal needs, relevancy, and usefulness. Some communities will be required for a long time while others may only be needed for a short time. Without clear mechanisms to identify the usefulness of each community and manage those that reach end of life, a social collaboration platform can become difficult to manage from a community governance vantage point. The performance of the platform can be negatively impacted by excessive community clutter resulting from orphaned or unused communities.
John Deere, working with integration and technology partners Prime Technologies (now Kubica) and AeroScout, used the existing Cisco Wi-Fi networking nodes that it had already installed throughout the facility to avoid the expense of installing RFID readers for a new manufacturing solution.
John Deere MaxEmergeXP
Here’s the story: John Deere’s Seeding Group factory in Moline, Ill. was seeking an automated solution to improve on its manual work in process manufacturing system. It wanted to increase efficiency in the way it replenished welding material as well as improve the way it carried out processes at its assembly stations at the plant. The factory in question assembles John Deere’s row-crop planter machines -- the MaxEmerge XP range - that are used by farmers to deposit a variety of seed in soils and seedbeds.
The new system uses a wireless back-haul to a Cisco infrastructure that enables the SAP, reporting and programmable logic controller (PLC) systems to communicate live. It’s intended to improve material replenishment and reduce delays caused by waiting for materials in its welding areas. It allows the equipment manufacturer’s kitting staff to boost material replenishment speed, and allows assembly workers to prepare for specific equipment as it approaches their assembly stations. The RFID Journal Story goes into excellent detail on the wip process and the process improvement, but I did want to reiterate some of the key business metrics:
“Our goal was to improve Takt time *,” says Shay O’Neal, John Deere Seeding Group’s project manager, who expects the reduction to increase from what he estimates may be about 5 percent improvement in Takt time thus far. He reckons there has been a 40 percent reduction in cycle time because of the improvement in replenishment. He has also seen a decrease in overtime work undertaken by kitting staff at the welding station. “I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the system met our needs,” O’Neal said in the RFID Journal article.
John Deere has seen a 40 percent increase in efficiency in welding due to improvements in material replenishment and fewer delays caused by waiting for materials in its welding areas.
On the assembly line, the system provides a view into the work in process (WIP), which thus far has reduced the cycle time (Takt) it takes to assemble a single product by about 5 percent.
Since existing Cisco Wi-Fi nodes read the RFID tag of each seeder as it passes from one assembly station to another, indicating where it has been and what its next assembly location will be, John Deere avoided the expense of installing RFID readers.
Working from home is more prevalent and more widely accepted than ever. With 26.2 million teleworkers in the U.S. in 2010, the virtual workforce is expected to grow in coming years.
In a survey of senior leaders and hiring managers of Fortune 500 companies with at least 5,000 employees, more than half believe the virtual workforce will steadily or greatly increase at their company (see more amazing stats on this Teleworking infographic). If you are part of the teleworkforce, there are things you need to know to succeed. The free webinar is called Three Secrets to Turning Your Office into The Anywhere Office.
Business as usual no longer involves working in a centralized office at set times. Whether you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, telecommuter or remote worker, modern workflow is far more dynamic and individual. There are Read More »