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Cisco and Rockwell Automation to Share Industry Best Practices

From joint reference architectures to education webcasts, the collaboration between Cisco and Rockwell Automation benefits manufacturers.  The partnership has empowered corporations globally and now industry experts from both companies are ready to share their best practices and lessons learned.

The upcoming RACES (Rockwell Automation and Cisco Education Series) educational webcast will focus on Securing Architectures and Applications for
Industrial Networks. 

Thursday, April 28
9:00 a.m. PST / 10:00 a.m. MST / 11:00 a.m. CST / 12:00 p.m. EST

Growing demands for greater information access accelerate the convergence of manufacturing and enterprise networks and help manufacturers make better business decisions. As critical control systems link to company-wide infrastructures and beyond, new risks emerge that can affect productivity, operational efficiency and functional safety. To ensure the benefits derived from plantwide convergence outweigh risks and threats, it is imperative to follow contemporary architecture design practices that can enhance network resiliency and help protect key assets and information. 

Learn From Industry Experts

Speakers Scott Johnston, Principal Consultant for Network & Security Services, Rockwell Automation and Bryce Barnes, Enterprise Vertical Solutions Architect for Manufacturing, Cisco, will discuss the solutions from Rockwell Automation and Cisco to address the challenges of network convergence. Learn the fundamentals and best practices for:

  • Securing manufacturing computing and controller assets
  • The value a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) brings to your manufacturing framework
  • How FactoryTalk Services and Applications such as FactoryTalk ViewPoint and FactoryTalk
  • Transaction Manager can be deployed within the manufacturing framework to leverage the DMZ

To register for this event or to learn more,please click here

About The Cisco and Rockwell Partnership

The Cisco and Rockwell Automation partnership consists of: Read More »

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Innovation: Coke benefits from Cisco in the Warehouse with UC Voice Picking

April 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm PST

I was reminded by a colleague who visited the Promat 2011 event recently of a case study that catches the imagination whenever we talk about it. My colleague had met up with the folks from Datria at the event. Datria were showing the Cisco and Datria Unified Communications (UC) Voice Picking Solution that Coca-Cola Refreshments U.S.A. (CCR) uses (CCR used to be called Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. before acquisition) in 100 locations or more to date.

Coke fork-lift truck drivers Use these Cisco phones with headsets to pick products more accurately and drive more safely.

For years Coke used a manual pick system Then they moved to a semi-automated one that could deal with full pallets, but then, with more and more products being added, Coca-Cola Refreshments U.S.A (CCR) found that it needed a better system to handle mixed pallets and make less shipment errors. Enter Cisco and Datria.

Way back in 2007, CCR began looking for differentiating technologies, techniques and methodologies that would improve order accuracy. A combination of Cisco, Datria and SAP proved the best solution as CCR chose the Cisco and Datria Warehouse Unified Communications Voice Picking Solution.The benefits have proved phenomenal for CCR.

As their order profile changed CCR could no longer rely on a manual system to deal with mixed cases (80% of the order volume is now mixed pallets). CCR needed to have order accuracy rates of over 99.5% to get preferential supplier treatment from customers like Walmart. The Voice picking solution gives CCR 99.8% overall accuracy and 100% in some locations. And there’s more… Read More »

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And, after March Madness, where Manufacturing?

So here we are, at the end of March Madness. I saw a news story today that said out of 500,000 people that picked a bracket only 2 picked the existing Final Four.

I heard other statistics about how many times the top 1 and 2 seeds didn’t make it to the Final Four. This was a very unique season.

So, OK. This week baseball season opens. And by the way, the Brewers will rock the league.

But let’s talk about Manufacturing.

We know you are reading our blogs. Some of you comment on them. Some of you comment privately to others. Some of you probably read them and think whatever your thoughts are.

Here is your opportunity:

Peter and Chet and Paul and Kevin and I will continue to write blogs about whatever “we” think is the relevant topic of the week.

But, we would far rather write about what you think is important. Let us know that. What do you want us to do with this blog, and what do you want us to talk about?

By the way -- my Final Four choices got broken pretty early. And it was a pretty great season, yes? I picked the top 1 seeds from each group, so hey, I was wrong. But I had good rationale for my choices. As does the rest of our Cisco manufacturing team. Try us, ask away, engage us. You won’t be sorry.

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Borderless Networks and Manufacturing

So here we are, in the middle of March Madness. Lots of people that don’t normally follow college basketball, but still a great social environment and an opportunity to get together and pretend we know the teams we all picked in our brackets. Sometimes we pick based on “loyalty” and other times there are other reasons.  We all have various “borders” we deal with every day.

So, bring on Borderless Networks. In the manufacturing area we still tend to think of a “border” between the factory and the business. After all, how can those people in the front office know what we need in the factory, right? Well, that separation gets smaller and smaller every day. Why? Because we’ve blurred the border. Sure, there are appropriate firewalls and security between the various layers. But every day we run into people that tell about needing data from the plant, from the machine, from the supplier, from the sales force, from the channel, from the customer. And sometimes we’re not in the office, we may be at home, at a different supplier, in an airport, at a concert or ball game with our kids.

The point becomes, there is data there and I am not there but I need to make a call and affect my plant productivity or answer a question from my CEO because there is a big opportunity or a major customer disappointment about to happen.

Read More »

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RFID: Context Aware and Location – a Brief History & Introduction

March 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm PST

My distant relative - Flight Lieutenant KJP Granger (Royal Air Force) and his DH82A Gipsy Moth - did the forerunner of RFID save him from being shot down?

Some of the best technological advances are made during times of conflict. Sad that it should be so, but the silver lining is that many of the advances are focused on defending, protecting and shielding people. Active RFID, the kind of solution provided by Cisco and AeroScout, in many ways started out that way.

Looking back decades to WWII, radar was already being developed in ernest by the British in the run-up to the second world war. Many countries were developing radar at that time, but most folks agree that Robert Watson Watt, later Sir Robert, was the prime mover-and-shaker.  It took US marketing (in the form of the US Navy) to coin the term RADAR, for radio detection and ranging.

So where does Context Aware Location RFID come in? Well, whilst radar itself was useful, the  British needed to know whether those planes coming over the English Channel were returning Spitfires and allied bombers, or attacking Luftwaffe aircraft. It was the same Watson-Watt that helped produce the ‘Identification friend or foe’ (IFF) system that  used a transponder on the allied aircraft that was ‘excited’ by the radar system and actively sent back a signal to the base saying friend. My own cousin, Flight Lieutenant KJP Granger, Officer Trainer RAF, was grateful for that!

Now fast forward decades to today. The technology for today’s RFID is a little different, but the concept is the same. So let’s keep the aeronautical theme going and talk about Boeing and its use of RFID.      Read More »

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