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3D Value Chains: Real Life Observations

Recently my colleague Chet Namboodri in his blog “Predictions 2014: Wager on the Internet of Everything” did a great level set on predictions for 2014 Manufacturing trends.  I want to add some additional comments on what I have been observing in the field and with our customers today.

The first IDC prediction described 3D value chains as an incredible source of rich productivity and we are seeing this as a goal of many companies.  Not only is it the collection of this data, but it is the sharing of this data across the value chain that is going to start to explode.  What this is starting to mean is that a component assembly company wants to have supply chain information from their manufacturing partners.  This is expanding beyond the dock, into the warehouse and even into the manufacturing lines and cells as well.  This tightly aligns with what we are seeing with customers already getting access to this information from their shop floor.

Take a look at this recent demo that John Chambers and Jim Grubb did for an example of the traceability and sophistication that a robust network can bring and how problem resolution can be much faster with real-time visibility.

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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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