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Converging on Convergence

What does Convergence mean to you? I recently did a search on the term “convergence” and found that it can relate to many technical, societal, political, and economic terms. All of them are correct, it just depends on the context.

I am going to be focusing on “convergence” as it applies to a Machine Builder that builds a machine that gets integrated into a manufacturing operation. You understand that, right? The final product gets bought and we all get paid.

So lets back up, just a bit. Machine Builder applies to those that build specific purpose machines that fit into a manufacturing operation. There may be decorating machines, metal forming machines, painting machines, wrapping machines, transfer machines, all sorts of machines. All of them tie together in some manner and form a production operation.

Every one of those machines may operate internally (so, within that specific machine) via its own network. I mean pieces talk to other pieces, right? But every one of those machines needs to integrate into the production operations at some point. And if the machine needs a gateway to talk to the line, that is an extra piece to maintain and more cost. Read More »

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Manufacturing Social Media

October 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm PST

Manufacturing Social Media

In 2011, only 30 percent of global manufacturing companies plan to increase spending on social media and community marketing, according to a March report from Forrester Research titled Bigger B2B Marketing Budgets Come With Great Expectations. That compares with 53 percent of pharmaceutical companies and 50 percent of business and professional services companies.

At Cisco, we’re leading the way to change all that. Also, you may have noticed that Cisco manufacturing also has a presence in other social media outlets, but you may not know how or if they are linked together – or even if they are part of the same effort. To that end, I wrote this blog to describe and link to all of our social media efforts in one place.

Blog

You’re reading it right now… Read More »

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Why are you here?

There are a few of us at Cisco that write here regularly. We care about what is going on in Manufacturing in general, but more specifically, in terms of integrating the manufacturing networks into the Enterprise and speeding adoption of open standards to enable more efficient production.

I will later this month be launching a series on how Machine Builders can more readily enable productivity by integrating more closely with their end users (call that “convergence”) or by helping their end users be more productive by enabling secure remote access. But that is later this month.

Today I want to talk about how we all communicate. It isn’t just by wires. It isn’t just by mouth. We have a plethora of communication means available to us. I’m talking about us people to other people in the industry. It is by building contacts with people in industry and spreading the word. That is what we at Cisco are doing.

We don’t have every answer. We think we’ve got a number of good ones. We’re enhancing some of the areas. But this is not a commercial for Cisco. This is a commercial for open dialogue between those that care about Manufacturing.

There are a few good spokespeople for this effort, and I want to call them out. And I admit right upfront this is not a complete list. But please bear with me. Read More »

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From Silence To Sound

October 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm PST

Warning: Tearjerker Alert!

I can’t imagine myself or anyone else reacting any differently. This is a video of a young deaf woman hearing her own voice for this first time in her life:

Read More »

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POWER!

Early yesterday afternoon we were sitting and reading the paper when the power went out. I knew because all of a sudden the TV went off. Kind of peculiar because it was a bright sunny day, but no big deal so long as it came back on by 3:15 for the Packer game (which they won decisively) and 4:00 for the Brewer game (which they also won decisively).

It came back on after 45 minutes. That is not the cool part though. The cool part was 30 minutes later when the phone call from WE Energies came in. I knew it was WE Energies because the caller ID voice said so, so I answered.

The recorded announcement told me that there had been a power outage (duh…) and that they had fixed the outage and could I press “1” if my power was back on (ummm, I answered the digital phone right?) but then they said they were sorry for the unexpected outage, it had been an equipment malfunction and there were 130 customers impacted.

As I thought about that I thought it was really cool that on a Sunday afternoon they knew about a problem, got people out to fix the problem within a really short time, they knew that I in particular had the problem and that I was one of 130 customers that experienced the problem.

This is the power of real time information from your production facilities. This is the kind of response you should expect from your factory – to know when there is a production problem, to find the right assets to fix the problem and to know how widespread that problem is. Whether you are a small machine shop or a large conglomerate manufacturer, whether you are a systems integrator, a panel builder or a contract manufacturing firm – Cisco’s Borderless Networks and Manufacturing Solutions give you that information today in real time wherever and whenever you need it.

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