The Manufacturing ConnectionCisco, Panduit and Rockwell Automation are sponsoring an online community for engineering and IT professionals to discuss deploying an holistic Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure. I had an early look at the site and registered.

I had a long conversation probing the extent at which this site was promotional or gave distrorted views of networks other than EtherNet/IP—the Rockwell standard. This site appears to be solely promotional for Internet Protocol (IP) networks. Many communities spring up, many wither. IP networks are the future for industrial networking. I hope if you have questions or tips to contribute, that you’ll join and advance the discussion.

Here is the press release:

Cisco, Panduit and Rockwell Automation, in cooperation with ODVA, are sponsoring a new online community that extends the Industrial IP Advantage website. The community helps IT, engineering, maintenance and operations professionals transform industries by taking advantage of the future-proof interoperability delivered by Internet Protocol (IP).

The Industrial IP Advantage discusses emerging-technology trends in industrial plants and IT networking – like the Internet of Things, convergence, big data and EtherNet/IP. The website offers guides, case studies, technical white papers, and online discussions on how these technologies can be applied to automation, industrial compute, remote assets and services, video, energy management, mobility, and security and compliance.

In support of this community, Cisco, Panduit and Rockwell Automation led a round table on the adoption of standard IP-based Ethernet at the Internet of Things (IoT) World Forum, a global event that unites thought leaders, business leaders and practitioners in business, industry, government and academia, Oct. 31 in Barcelona, Spain. On Nov. 13 and 14, at the annual Automation Fair event in Houston, the Industrial IP Advantage booth will showcase key technology trends and a working demo of an IP-centric infrastructure. The booth’s “Ask the Expert” area encourages attendees to seek technology, design and deployment advice on-site and from the online community.

Many manufacturers use multiple networks with proprietary protocols to manage devices, which create breakdowns in communication within an organization, increase threats to network security, and complicate IT management. This approach does not scale and creates inefficiency across manufacturing and business operations. To stay competitive, companies are looking to integrate the entire manufacturing value chain and leverage IP to seamlessly connect devices, processes, systems and people.

“A common IP network seamlessly manages communication between digital devices – such as video cameras, RFID readers, controllers, instruments and digital tablets – with processes, systems and people from the plant floor to the corner office. IP extends innovative networking and management services for optimum levels of security, performance and ease of integration,” said Chet Namboodri, director of global manufacturing solutions, Cisco.

“IP integration is a critical factor for the evolution of industrial networks to assist in maximizing plant uptime and ensuring long-time reliability,” said Steve Timian, director of Industrial Automation Solutions, Panduit Corp. “This new online resource provides valuable education and knowledge-based experiences to assist in the implementation of sophisticated network architectures that provide connectivity from plant to enterprise.”

“The overwhelming majority of digital things will naturally depend on IP because of its overarching interoperability,” said Kevin Zaba, vice president, Rockwell Automation. “Instead of overriding the power of IP, solutions such as EtherNet/IP put the software protocol to work, allowing industrial producers to easily extend collaboration to the plant along with other higher-level services that IP supports.”

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