Another Automation Fair has come and gone, and much like the Houston Astros championship World Series run, the event was a big success with more than 10,000 attendees during the week. The big themes of Connected Plantwide Ethernet (CPWE) architecture, connectivity and security were prominent as well as a lot of discussion around process applications for the many energy customers in attendance at the event.

As noted in the previous blog from my colleague Scot Wlodarczak, Cisco presented “Industrial to Enterprise – One, Secure Network” in the booth, and had several demos in the that revolved around the CPWE, Factory Security, Collaboration, Oil and Gas Connectivity and the Meraki cloud-managed infrastructure solutions.  Cisco also participated in the Rockwell Connected Enterprise industry solutions pavilion. Our latest product, FactoryTalk Network Manager a co-development with Rockwell, was also released at the show. FactoryTalk® Network Manager offers operations team an easily adopted, fast path to network management. Users gain full visibility and control of the industrial Ethernet infrastructure in the context of connected devices and network infrastructure. Customers experience an acceleration of business outcomes leveraging “Plug and Play” deployment drive increased system availability with a common management framework between operations and IT.

Big topics from the floor

Along with new products, the event floor was buzzing with activity from analysts, industry media, customers, partners, and system integrators. One of the most significant areas of interest from attendees was around IT/OT convergence and how to further their training around network design and architectures.  As a follow-up to these requests, I have listed links to training below:

  • Industrial IP Advantage: This is the consortium of Cisco, Rockwell, and Panduit and this training will provide based practices around IT/OT professional development, network design, and industry trends. Click here to learn more.
  • Industrial CCNA: This certification from Cisco provides candidates the necessary skills to successfully implement and troubleshoot the most common industry standard protocols while leveraging best practices and references architectures. Click here to learn more.

During the week, Cisco subject matter experts also participated in several speaking sessions on the following topics:

  • The evolution of the digital oilfield
  • Digital manufacturing solutions in practice
  • Smart manufacturing journeys
  • Delivering the plant of the future today
  • Identity and mobility in CPWE architectures

Cisco also partnered with Rockwell and other exhibitors during the week to give back the community. The city of Houston saw significant impact by Hurricane Harvey, and subsequent flooding and the vendor community and the United Way came together to help box 8,000 Thanksgiving meal kits for affected families. Congratulations as well to the winners who participated with us in our booth raffle and walked away with a drone or Yeti cup.

We look forward to seeing you next year in Philadelphia.

I also invite you to explore the following manufacturing topics:


Todd Gurela

Senior Director

Manufacturing Industry Solutions Group