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Certifying for the Hyperconnected Plant Floor

The Internet of Everything (IoE)—bringing together previously unconnected people, processes, data and things—opens a world of possibilities in terms of creating new capabilities, richer experiences and unparalleled economic opportunity for organizations, individuals, and nations. Cisco predicts that 50+ billion devices will be connected by 2020. The ramifications are enormous and varied, including how manufacturing plants operate.

The exchange between information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) is increasing as the industrial plant floor and corporate enterprise become more connected. The convergence of IT and OT is expanding IP Networking and Ethernet connectivity on the industrial plant floor. Understandably, World Bank Studies estimate that 220,000 new engineers are required every year from 2014 to 2022 to connect the unconnected. In addition, there are 300,000 Control Engineers that need to be re-skilled in the industry.

As part of Cisco’s ongoing commitment to equip IT and networking professionals with the knowledge and skills essential to fulfill evolving industry job roles, we have launched the new CCNA Industrial certification. It’s an expansion, due to high demand, of the IT/OT track we began last year with the release of our Industrial Networking Specialist Certification.

Cisco collaborated closely with Rockwell Automation, a company with significant expertise in the industrial automation space, to develop a program to help control-system and traditional network engineers better understand the technologies needed to manage a hyperconnected industrial enterprise. This complements and extends our existing collaboration on products, services, validated architectures, and educational resources to jointly address IT and OT network convergence.

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IoT at Work: Connected Vineyards and More

The convergence of Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) is becoming more important now than ever – and that sentiment was heard loud and clear at last week’s complementary Cisco Live Melbourne and Rockwell Automation ConnectED events. Held for the first time under the same roof, the two events provided a unique opportunity for end users to learn how to accelerate industrial business performance in a joint experience.

Attendees to both events alike enjoyed seeing examples of industrial technology in action such as the Connected Vineyard demo, which I had the pleasure of demonstrating to customers in the Cisco Live World of Solutions.

In the demo, we discussed how to add business value on top of sensor information. For example, the images below show sensor information in an easy-to-read dashboard that can help us troubleshoot potential issues before they affect the bottom line.

IoT at Work Image 1

IoT at Work Image 2

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Now’s the Time to Deploy Wireless in the Factory

tony shakib connected factory banner pic

Since manufacturers around the globe constantly have to adapt to ever shifting market conditions, any technology that lends a competitive advantage can be a game changer. Implementing wireless on the factory floor can be just that. And our announcement with Rockwell Automation this week at Automation Fair, will make this a no-brainer. The announcement covered enhancements to our joint architecture with Rockwell Automation called the Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE). The Cisco branded version, called Connected Factory, is a portfolio of validated, proven architectures, capabilities and market-leading technologies and services for industrial markets. Factory Wireless is the latest solution offering in this portfolio and delivers unified wireless for industrial applications. Read More »

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As Industrial Networks Converge, Skill Sets Must Broaden

As we reflect on the Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) last week in Chicago, workforce readiness – or workforce availability – was a big topic of conversation among attendees. It’s also an issue I addressed on behalf of Rockwell Automation at the event.

Those of us in the industrial sector are acutely familiar with the challenges of workforce readiness. Many of us have been working for years to find, attract and inspire the next generation of workers who will fill the place of many long-serving and soon-to-be-retiring skilled professionals.

But retirement isn’t the only issue affecting worker readiness. Major changes to how manufacturers and industrial organizations operate are proving to have equally major impacts on their workforces.

Specifically, the convergence of information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT) presents significant challenges to the professionals who are responsible for installing, maintaining, upgrading and troubleshooting those technologies.

IT and OT professionals historically have worked in silos, with IT delegated to the business side and OT to the industrial zone. The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing that. Today’s industrial organizations can connect, communicate and collaborate across the entire enterprise, from executive suites and corner offices to plant floors, supply chain partners and remote locations.

As a result, the lines that have traditionally divided IT and OT are blurring. These workers increasingly require skills beyond their core areas of expertise to be able to support IT, networking and control-system functions.

Cisco recently introduced the Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification to ensure IT and OT professionals are equipped with the broad skill sets they need to manage and administer industrial network systems. The certification exam tests both hands-on skills as well as knowledge of critical topics, such as the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model, network and industrial devices, safety protocols, and environmental and industrial standards.

Rockwell Automation and Cisco are launching a hands-on, lab-based course this month to prepare IT and OT professionals for the exam and give them the foundational skills they’ll need for the connected enterprises of tomorrow. The first-of-its-kind course, Managing Industrial Networks with Cisco Networking Technologies (IMINS), aims to help IT and control-system engineers install, maintain and troubleshoot industrial network systems, as well as help engineers achieve network availability, reliability and security.

The IoT presents opportunities that today are only limited to our imagination. Leading organizations already are taking advantage of smart devices and converged-network technologies, and most others will soon enough discover they need to embrace them if they want to remain competitive. New technologies are accelerating access to insightful possibilities but we should never forget that our greatest assets will always be our employees, and we must educate and empower those who can best make this great leap forward a successful one.

Looking forward to Automation Fair and continued discussions around how other industries are leveraging IoT to address the skills gap.

 

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Don’t Miss this Mfg.net Webcast on IoT and Manufacturing

For many manufacturers, understanding how industry trends impact their business and learning about peer best practices are top priorities. Once current area of focus — tapping into the transformational  value  of the Internet of Things (IoT) on manufacturing — is top of mind for best-in-class companies.

A vision of IoT and its impact on manufacturing business performance are introduced in the video below.

So what is the opportunity for IoT in YOUR manufacturing environment? To help you answer this question and more, Cisco is co-hosting a series of webcasts in conjunction with Mfg.net that are designed to educate and equip executives from production operations, IT, controls and automation on implementing and optimizing IoT for manufacturing.

Don’t miss the opening webcast on June 3rd, when executives from Rockwell Automation, Steelcase and Cisco join Mfg.net editor Joel Hans in what is sure to be an insightful and lively discussion on what is the opportunity, why it’s important and where to get started.

Please register at this link now.  We look forward to your joining, and thanks for taking time to read this brief announcement!

mfg.net webcast

 

 

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