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Made in the USA, again Part 2

October 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm PST

In my previous blog, “Made in the USA, again,” I discussed a report from BCG which claimed that by “by 2015 manufacturing in some parts of the US will be just as economical as manufacturing in China.” While this may sound very encouraging, 2015 may be a bit overly-optimistic. Even one of my colleagues tweeted about my blog: “2015 seems too early and not sure I agree.”

This issue, and BCG’s report, were reported recently in my favorite magazine (I know, I know — they refer to themselves as a “newspaper”), The Economist. Read More »

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Trends, Care-abouts and Industrial Networks: Guy Denis – Cisco Insiders Series

October 31, 2011 at 10:23 am PST

About the ‘Cisco Insiders Series’ -- You won’t find product pre-announcements, insider trading tips or other things we can’t tell you about here! You will find, however, nuggets of information from provoking thought leaders that you would easily miss if we didn’t bring them to you here. Get a competitive blog-edge by reading this series!

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Guy Denis recently.  He has been one of those instrumental in forming Cisco’s approach to Industrial Automation – both inside Cisco and for our customers. He’s been focused on how industrial processes can be improved with emerging technologies, and how the IT and plant-floor systems are converging to provide business and industrial process benefits.

Right now the Internet is abuzz about the Cloud and what it means for customers, suppliers, IT and Service Providers. A lot of buzz too about ‘The Internet of Things’, which talks about billions of devices on the network in a few years time. But you know me -- I wanted to move the conversation more to the factory. What’s clear is that the Cloud is not just for commercial and carpeted areas. It’s moving to the plant floor and beyond. Not just people and computers talking to each other, but machines talking to people and to other machines. So I wanted to learn more about how the network is evolving to cope with industrial automation and embrace the cloud from a machine perspective.

First off, I asked Guy what he thought of as the major trends emerging in industrial automation that he believed would impact the market for the next 10 years. Read More »

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Tracking Assets: RFID Meets Industrial Wi-Fi – Industrial Ethernet Book Part 1

October 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm PST

I had the pleasure of meeting up with both Leo Ploner, Publishing Director, Industrial Ethernet Book (IEB) and Tom McNulty from the Chicago, US office recently here in Silicon Valley recently. I was pleased to see that Cisco had contributed to an article in the 65 / 35 Issue of the Industrial Ethernet Book around the topic of RFID and industrial WiFi – a topic close to my own heart in terms of previous blogs of mine (Intro to RFID, Continental Tire, Boeing, and John Deere).

The first Industrial Ethernet Book was published in 1999.  Since then it become an excellent  information source for industrial networking and communication technology, and aims to provide unbiased editorial views focused on both process and discrete manufacturing industries. The editorial content is aimed at end users, system integrators and vendors within factory automation and process automation.

The article starts with the recognition that “Increasingly ‘smart’ devices, which include radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and sensors that have advanced diagnostics, are contributing to the billions of devices now connected to IP networks. This proliferation of smart devices is referred to by some as the ‘Internet of Things’, and it is projected to grow to trillions of devices that will be connected using the emerging IPv6 protocol (ref1). For manufacturers, a growing number of connected smart devices promises to revolutionise portability, mobility, context-aware condition and use of critical assets.” Read More »

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Cisco & Intermec Simply Scan-To-Connect in about 4 minutes!

October 7, 2011 at 7:25 am PST

We often talk about business issues, customer care-abouts, productivity savings and the like on this channel, and sometimes philanthropy or esoterics, but mostly if you’re an engineer you have to deal with the technology, the installation, the support, and all the other stuff in terms of where the-rubber-hits-the-road.

In this video Hank Stephens, Product Manager at Cisco Preferred Solution Partner Intermec, talks about how easy it is to put Cisco and Intermec into the warehouse.

When we post videos, we know people lose interest if they’re more than five minutes, so I’m glad it takes less than that to connect the gear up. A couple of cheats help of course -- like switching the radios on in the Cisco gear (they are shipped switched off for security reasons), and it helps to have a pre-charged battery available for the Intermec CK3. But then the video wouldn’t have made it onto the channel! We have quite a few customers with this kind of Warehouse technology.

Read More »

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Boeing Delivers First 787 Dreamliner. Cisco Delivers Solutions to Boeing. Congratulations Both!

September 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm PST

Congratulations to Boeing on shipping it’s first 787 Dreamliner to ANA (All Nippon Airways). The world has been waiting and US Manufacturing has delivered. But it’s not just US Manufacturing -- suppliers as far away as Australia, Italy, Japan and Russia, to name but a few countries have been working with Boeing Engineers to bring the airplane to market -- and using Cisco or Cisco Partner technologies to do so!

The video, courtesy Associated Press’ YouTube Channel, shows the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner Airplane being handed over by Jim Albaugh, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, to ANA’s President and CEO - with a large key!

Jim does talk about the delays -- but it was such a vast undertaking -- and in the ‘old days’ it would have taken a lot longer! There are plenty of Manufacturing improvements that have taken place over the decades that have helped speed things up. Here are three Cisco Solution areas where Cisco and its partners made a difference: Cisco WebEx, Cisco MMVC (Manufacturing Mobile Video Collaboration) Solution, and Cisco Context aware, many using Cisco Unified Industrial Architectures. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 for any manufacturer who wants to know the secrets. Here’s how, and with customer comments to boot

Read More »

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