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We’re not going to crash? Do I really want to know? TMI!

November 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm PST

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the fair. The Rockwell automation Fair that is.The Pilot comes on the intercom and says something like:

 “Hi, it’s the captain here. I want to tell you that we can’t get the flaps into the right position. We need number 15 and we can only get to 14.” (or he said something like that). “We’ve tried a few times and it doesn’t want to move.”

So we (the passengers) are all thinking: “What does that mean – are we going down?” Most of us don’t pilot planes so we don’t know how serious the situation is. We all agreed in our seating row that it was ‘TMI’ -- Too Much Information? I think he realized that, because he then said words to the effect of:

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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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Gone Fishin’! Both our family, and the Cisco UC Solution family.

September 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm PST

Labor Day has been and gone. Apparently no one can wear white now and the fish have stopped biting. Well, the first bit might be true (not sure why) but don’t tell my son Adam about the second - he’s got the fishing bug! He got it from his mum, not from me. My wife Julie enjoyed fishing with her dad when she was younger, and is converting the rest of us. Not sure I’ll ever be a true aficionado myself, but it looks like our kids will.

Anyway, the video shows Adam’s excitement at being only one of two folks to catch fish that Labor Day weekend on Mickie’s Big Mack  (that’s the name of Mickey’s boat!).  The boat was full of fishermen and fisherwomen and fisherstories. I don’t know much about fishing, but when it came to my turn to tell a yarn folks were surprised that I knew about “superchill” (we had been discussing the Lake Tahoe water temperature earlier, before sun-up). What is it? well…   Read More »

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Manufacturing Automation: “Who’s Keeping the ‘Real Time’?”

Last week there were some people in the world who had to get their “stuff” in order, and there was no TIME to waste.    I imagine for some the daunting task of  contacting relatives and friends of years gone by, completing the last items on their bucket list, selling the house of 27 years, and putting out the last meal for Sparky was not a trivial task.   Why the state of urgency?  Well, for those of you not aware a man by the name of Harold Camping, Christian radio host, predicted the end of the world would occur on May 21, 2011 at 6 p.m. As a result, followers had to exhibit keen organizational skills, and the ability to synchronize and collaborate with various organizations, entities and persons.  They had to accomplish things in REAL TIME, in order to be “Ready.”

Well the rapture did not come, but it did prompt me to ponder the questions, “Who’s keeping the ‘Real Time?” and “What’s the ramifications as a result of capturing events in  real time, if any?

The term “real time” is the new paradigm of the 21st century.  Nations all over the world today are looking for ways to not only access and capture real time data and events, but leverage the information to build advance economies and increase value for its citizens. Every industry and field uses the term to identify opportunities for efficiencies and value.  For example, the financial industry provides us with ‘real time’ quotes, the news media supplies us with up to the minute ‘real time’ news, traffic and weather, and our government provides us with real time polling information.  The industry that has been most effected by this real time paradigm is manufacturing.  (Please Read More) Read More »

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