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John Deere avoids cost with Cisco Wireless Architecture

September 29, 2011 at 11:40 am PST

Maybe you’ve seen the recent article in RFID Journal: John Deere Planter Factory Gains Efficiency.

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.

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Essential Tips for Working Remotely: Expert Phil Montero Provides Insight and Advice

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.

Register now for this event.

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 »

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Hands on with the Identify Services Engine

September 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm PST

It is so critical that we make it easier for people to get on and off the network in a secure fashion. Cisco has made incredible strides merging access control platforms that have done well over the years yet still required heavier configuration and/or manual intervention.   Not any longer…The Cisco Identity Services Engine or ISE, is a game changer that has already been well received by the market and yet just keeps improving.

We featured the ISE in one of our Fundamentals animations but felt like even more could be done, especially in light of new wireless only pricing recently rolled out. This is a great step forward for a business looking to make incremental steps potentially starting now in an area that is always in need of improvement, guest access.

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Is this you? Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Managers from Mindflash [Infographic]

Source: Mindflash (click on image to visit their site)

Are you one of these managers? The folks at Mindflash have put together dysfunction at-a-glance that is essential reading if you manage people.

See the entire graphic here.

You don’t have to be a bad manager! We have some of the best and brightest -- including Ken Blanchard -- who have created some terrific WebEx sessions for us on the essentials of good management. These are available to watch at any time, simply click and Read More »

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Tablets Welcomed. Won’t BYOD increase my device troubleshooting costs?

Each year a considerable part (up to 30% in some cases) of IT budgets is funneled towards device troubleshooting. It is no surprise therefore that after security, maintaining lean operational efficiency is the next most frequent concern regarding enabling a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model.

Suppose you have allowed personal devices to connect on your corporate network, and you get a helpdesk call from a disgruntled employee that can’t access certain resources. How would you go about addressing the issue? In this video, Saurabh Bhasin, Product Manager of the Cisco Prime Network Control System (NCS) – a newly launched platform for unified wired and wireless network management – answers the troubleshooting question.

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