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Krones AG – Connected Manufacturing for Data Center and Operations

August 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm PST

Krones boosts production efficiency in data center and executes safe migration from RISC platforms for mission-critical applications

Krones bottling2Here’s a great story about the Machinery and Engineering company Krones Group, out of Neutraubling, Germany. The company manufactures machinery and complete plants for process, bottling, and packaging technology.

Millions of bottles, cans, and specially shaped containers are processed daily on behalf of breweries, the soft-drink sector, and manufacturers of wine, sparkling wine, and spirits as well as for the chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industry.

Krones Group quoteThe company’s data centers are a key enabler for business growth. Consisting of 200 physical servers and 700 virtual machines spread across three locations, this critical infrastructure previously used a mix of technologies from different vendors. During a typical day, the three facilities handle around 1.3 petabytes of data and, in the case of the largest SAP database with more than 6TB, serve 5500 users concurrently. This data center environment relied on reduced instruction set computer (RISC) processor architectures for business critical applications such as SAP and databases, mostly running Solaris operating systems.

Krones selected a Cisco Smart+Connected™ Manufacturing solution, based on the Cisco® Unified Data Center. This pre-validated architectural approach combines server respective computing performance, network, and management into a platform designed to automate IT as a service across physical and virtual environments. The end result is increased budget efficiency, more agile business responsiveness, and simplified IT operations.

Krones Group quote #2At the heart of the solution are Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) B-Series Blade Servers, which run numerous standard server software along with a host of Oracle databases, SAP systems, and Microsoft applications including SQL server, Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, and Citrix.

Migration from RISC/Solaris to Cisco UCS/Linux has begun and is already improving agility. IT infrastructure can now respond quicker to changes andrequirements in the development of application and business processes. Read More »

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Research and Development – Who are the Global Leaders?

May 1, 2013 at 10:03 am PST

Following on from my recent blog about “Is Manufacturing Coming Back to the US?” one of Morgan Stanley’s Investment guys, Ruchir Sharma, (Managing Director and the head of the Emerging Markets Equity team) has a book out called ‘Breakout Nations’ and in it he says:

“Every Investment idea is right for a while”

He was talking to Fareed Zakaria on his GPS program. Fareed cited that in the 1980’s investing in Japan made you a big winner until the 90’s came around. In the 1990’s it was all about Tech stocks. Then the Tech bubble burst. The Fad for the 2000’s was emerging markets.

And he asked are emerging markets submerging? I was interested mainly because the discussion lead to which countries invest most in R&D, and that is a leading indicator of success for economies worldwide. In fact, the numbers don’t lie. It looks like we may be entering a new phase with different leaders of growth, and it may be the US that becomes the new focus of manufacturing and innovation.

Read More »

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Is Manufacturing Coming Back to the US?

April 22, 2013 at 11:49 am PST

Manufacturing Exports up over past 18 months for USA.

Douglas Burtnick of Aberdeen Asset Management was heard on NBR recently talking about how the US export story is really interesting, and often overlooked by those not focused on the manufacturing industry. He said…

 “Companies are seeing external demand for anything from machinery, to electronics, to chemicals, and they’re starting to think about where they really want to manufacture those products. That’s a big deal, because this is the first time in several decades that we’ve actually thought about manufacturing coming back to the US.”

Clearly that affects Aberdeen’s investment philosophy, but he also points out how the phenomenon will affect different regions in the US, and the types of products that will be built here.

This is a significant change from companies going overseas to look for lower costs. So what’s caused the change? Most agree that there are three major reasons.

  • US Manufacturing  is humming

    . US Manufacturing is humming

    The first is to do with the issues of distance, communications and language. Transportation costs are significant. Whilst communication and collaboration techniques from companies like Cisco enable real time connected manufacturing, meaning that manufacturing is becoming more connected, this makes the US itself more connected. Overseas transportation costs of materials and goods themselves  can still be significant, and a clear target for reduction.

  • The third area has been well articulated by commentators. Read More »

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Reshaping the Manufacturing Industry Perception to Attract the Next Generation

January 28, 2013 at 7:44 am PST

In a time when the manufacturing industry is in dire need of new employees as more and more baby boomers move to retire, I find it interesting that more than 50 percent of 2011 college graduates are either jobless or underemployed (AP Report). To me the numbers don’t add up. Sure, at first glance, it’s easy to blame the poor economy for the unemployment rate, but try considering reasons beyond that. What are the real reasons many college graduates are unemployed? I don’t necessarily think it’s because there aren’t jobs, because in the manufacturing industry, there are plenty. Some have estimated there are hundreds of thousands of jobs that are going unfilled in manufacturing in the US alone; jobs that are good-paying and that can be the foundation and means for someone to attain their “American Dream”.

As I reflect on this information, a couple of things come to mind. Kids growing up today are expected to go to college and graduate. This is great, but over the past few years, we have seen more and more students going to college without a well thought out career in mind. They all have aspirations to be “successful” and have a “dream job” once they graduate, but many students are never really able to untangle what that dream job looks like. This can lead to four or more years of education along with college debt without a clear career path.  Read More »

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Welcome Helder Antunes to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

January 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm PST

Please Welcome Helder Antunes to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

helderantunes

It is with great pleasure that I introduce a key member of the Cisco Connected Industries Group (Cisco CIG), Helder Antunes.

Helder Antunes is Managing Director, Smart Connected Vehicle, CIG . He  is a 15-year Cisco veteran with a background in both network security and the automotive industry.

Helder is currently working closely with all the global automobile manufacturers, in order to explore a partnership between Cisco and the OEMs in defining the next generation Smart Connected Vehicle platform, a key initiative within Cisco’s “Internet of Things” strategy.
Outside of Cisco, Antunes is also a General Partner at Pereira Ventures and a counselor to the Regional Government of the Azores, Portugal.

Helder is no stranger to the cutting edge of the automotive industry. He raced cars for many years and designed some of the early data acquisition systems for race cars. On a personal level, Helder was born on the island of Terceira (Azores, Portuguese Territory) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and traveled to Mozambique, Macau, and other former Portuguese colonies before his family settled in Rhode Island.

Helder Antunes-John Chambers-Portugese President

President Aníbal Cavaco Silva, Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Antunes at Cisco HQ, during the 2011 Portuguese Presidential Visit to California.

He has been published in many industry publications on Automotive and other topics including:

Antunes has also received many awards for his work at Cisco and with the Portuguese government and state.

  • 2012 COTEC Portuguese Diaspora Entrepreneurial Innovation Award
  • 2008 CIO 100 Award
  • 2004 Cisco Pioneer Award in Technological Innovation
  • 2003 Cisco Teamwork of the Year Award

Welcome Helder!
Check out his first blog by clicking  here

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