The United States continues to be the world’s largest manufacturing economy, employing nearly 17 million people – about 1 in 6 private sector jobs. However, the modern manufacturing industry is struggling to attract the highly skilled workers it needs for the tech-savvy, evolving role required in today’s manufacturing operations.
Historically, manufacturing jobs were thought of as mind-numbing, remedial tasks done in dark and dingy factories. This “old” perception of a manufacturing environment creates a barrier to attract new employees to the manufacturing environment we see today – clean and safe with employees managing advanced machinery that drives innovation and productivity. Cisco, together with key manufacturing organizations, such as The Manufacturing Institute, are working to educate a new generation of workers on the needs of today’s manufacturers and get them excited about this challenging, but very rewarding career.
Cisco solutions are at the forefront of this evolved role within manufacturing, especially as more companies demand efficiency and collaboration among their workforce. For example, manufacturers are constantly seeking new ways for their employees to become more productive, while streamlining their day-to-day tasks. To be more efficient and collaborative, employees must be connected to share ideas and insights. So you simply just connect them, right? If you consolidate the intellectual capital of all the workers into a central repository and give your employees access; then they can start sharing insight on how to do their jobs better and smarter. Simply put, it’s just adding non-networked people to the network. And Cisco is working with numerous manufacturing companies across the country to make this key transition needed to support the quality control and productivity improvements plants demand with the collaboration younger workers expect.
Are you trying to get your arms around what’s included in a well-designed EtherNet/IP industrial infrastructure? Look no further! Here’s an example of how the Internet of Everything (IoE) came alive at Automation Fair recently:
An integrated design from Cisco, Rockwell Automation, Panduit and Fluke Networks demonstrates standards-based solutions for manufacturing agility and operational excellence!
One of the largest industrial exhibitions in the world is coming up next week- SPS/IPC/Drives which will be held from November 27th-29th in Nuremberg, Germany. This year, Cisco will have a greater presence at this industrial automation and controls trade expo. One of the interesting aspects of this exhibition is it covers not just components but spans integrated automation solutions including industrial networks. With a conference sessions and topics that attract over 50,000 line of business attendees (not just from Germany but worldwide), visitors include key decision makers from both controls and production as well as IT from end-users, system integrators, and machinery manufacturers.
Cisco Machine-to-Machine and Connected Industry Solutions
I have attended this show for many years and I am amazed at the continued evolution of the various displays on systems and devices such as robotics, factory floor applications and more. In fact, one of the core themes for this year is how to leverage EtherNet/IP networks and cloud based solutions in a production environment. There is a hunger for information, best practices and real-life examples. For example, we at Cisco are constantly asked about how our solutions enable secure machine-to-machine communications.
I’m amazed at how tablet computers make things easier in our personal lives. I can quickly access technology papers for work or research restaurant options for dinner tonight. I can take an online course or collaborate with my nephew who’s studying abroad. Some people even monitor and manage their home heating, cooling and surveillance systems while they’re away. The interactivity has an amazing impact on daily life.
Now, imagine a large-scale, tablet-like system on a plant floor and the impact it can have on business.
Get ready…interactive experience portals for the plant floor are here!
Paul Taylor, Business Development Manager for Rockwell Automation Alliance “Absolutely fantastic show! There was lots of interest and activity at all of the Cisco and Rockwell demonstrations. Customers recognized that together, we evaluate plant and enterprise-wide networking needs as a whole and then design solutions based on those all-encompassing considerations. Two demo stations that were especially buzzing with activity included Rockwell’s Micro Data Center (MDC), which houses a complete data-center infrastructure in a single box and Cisco Interactive Services Engine, partnered with X2O for real-time information sharing and collaboration”.