Cisco held a Global Editors’ Conference during which I was traveling and could not attend. However, here is news gleaned from the press releases and other sources.
Cisco has been building partnerships in the industrial and manufacturing space for quite some time. Emerson partnered as part of its wireless solutions. Rockwell Automation has become a valued partner even reselling Cisco switches and routers in industrially hardened configurations.
Rockwell has also partnered with Fanuc, the robot and CNC supplier. The primary reason for the partnership I would guess would be that each helps the other penetrate more deeply into some large accounts such as GM. However, the Fanuc on the technology front has developed EtherNet/IP connectivity for its products. This enables them to share data on a standard Ethernet network.
Connectivity between Rockwell and Fanuc products along a Cisco Ethernet platform becomes interesting. Indeed, note the announcement below where Fanuc is now partnering directly with Cisco.
Cisco postulates that forty percent of today’s leading companies will be displaced from their market position by digital disruption in the next five years, yet 75 percent of these companies have yet to address this risk by prioritizing their digital strategy, according to research conducted by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation.
To help customers navigate this important transition. Cisco is introducing four new digital solutions for industries – manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and oil and gas. The solutions aim to help customers connect machines and assets, break through information silos, and digitize data in an integrated way across the business.
Additionally, Cisco is announcing a new, industrial Internet of Things (IoT) security solution. Customers will use the Cisco IoT System Security and professional services from Cisco and partners to mitigate the risk of system disruption – and efficiently assure compliance.
Removing Barriers to Efficiency
To remain competitive, industries like manufacturing, utilities, oil and gas, and transportation need to increase productivity, deliver more value, and create better experiences for customers and end users. Some of the greatest obstacles to efficiency are operational silos. Silos separate people, machines, systems, information, and complete areas of a business; they separate information from operational technology. Breaking through silos with a more holistic and connected architecture connects people, streamlines communication and drives a more agile operation.
Four New Digital Solutions:
- Connected Machines for Digital Manufacturing: A connected architecture that redefines secure, efficient, and visible operations. This solution enables rapid, standards-based, repeatable machine connectivity, and global factory integration while enabling OEM digitization and new business models – including highly secure remote access, monitoring and serviceability of machines. FANUC America and Cisco announced that they intend to implement the solution to enable robot connectivity and analytics for proactive maintenance. At an event in San Jose, high-tech manufacturer Flex outlined how it is already using the Connected Machines solution and FANUC Robots to drive efficiency and quality in its operations. Cisco is also today announcing a series of attractively priced solution bundles to simplify and accelerate infrastructure digitization for customers for the Factory Network, Factory Wireless and Factory Security.
- Smart Connected Pipeline for Digital Oil and Gas: A connected, highly secure architecture that allows oil and gas companies more control over their pipelines, helping to protect assets from accidents or cyber-attacks. Operations are safer, more efficient – and more secure. Schneider Electric and Cisco are collaborating to bring the Smart Connected Pipeline solution to market, and are already working with customers such as Italian multinational oil and gas company, ENI.
- Substation Security for Digital Utilities: A connected and timely architecture that enables highly-secure power grids for reliable, more efficient service across the utilities industry. Now, more than ever, the nation’s power grid needs additional layers of safety and security. Utility companies in North America must comply with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC/CIP) Version 5 mandated standards. South Carolina utility SCANA will be the first to deploy Cisco’s Substation Security Solution – a solution designed to enable utilities to comply with these regulations.
- Connected Mass Transit for Digital Transportation: A connected architecture that will enable the delivery of greater safety, mobility – and a better passenger experience. Through a converged network architecture that is based on the Cisco IoT System, transit systems can enhance automation, collaboration, video, cloud-to-fog agility and business intelligence. From the management control center to the transit station – onto the roads, the rails, and onboard mass transit vehicles themselves – the Cisco solution puts safety and security first. Situated on the River Danube, the Austrian City of Linz is implementing the solution to streamline operations across its tram network.
- IoT System Security: The IoT System Security product-portfolio helps deliver highly secure connectivity, visibility and control to assure that IoT initiatives deliver competitive advantage for customers across all verticals. The Cisco IoT System Security product portfolio includes IoT-specific security with the introduction of a new, dedicated security appliance (ISA-3000 for application visibility, policy enforcement and threat defense) and a Fog Data Services security solution. With today’s announcement, the IoT network can now act as a sensor and enforcer to provide security policy enforcement within router and switches. It also provides solutions for IoT physical security with video surveillance cameras, physical access control, and video surveillance manager with advanced security analytics. Cisco will continue to expand its IoT System security offering through additional developments and collaboration with key ecosystem partners, including Rockwell Automation.
A Few Quotes
Rick Schneider, North America CEO, FANUC: “Preventing unplanned downtime is a huge savings for our customers and makes the FANUC robots with ZDT a tremendous value. With Cisco, we are helping our customers access this new value and also re-imagining our go-to-market strategy for after-sales service and support. This has the potential to have the biggest impact of anything I’ve seen in my 35-year career.”
Murad Kurwa, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Advanced Engineering Group at Flex: “Cisco’s vision of the power of Industrial IoT was realized through joint collaboration using automation as the enabler. With Universal Mechanical Assembly process partnering with FANUC, we are now able to get data to create a pool of knowledge. This helps us take action through analytics and ultimately leads to a more robust ‘process’ performance – leading to a world class, smart factory.”
Ed Rodden, CIO, SugarCreek: “We are using Cisco’s Connected Machines solution as we build our new 418,000 square foot factory of the future. Cisco’s new Industrial IoT platform will provide us the ability to use all our company’s available pieces of data, including video and security, from all kinds of devices and to tie them all together to drive more operational efficiency in the new factory.”
Sujeet Chand, Sr. Vice President & CTO, Rockwell Automation: “The Cisco IoT System Security solution will make an immediate impact for customers by accelerating secure IT-OT convergence with an end-to-end security solution, simplifying compliance and mitigating threat vectors. Together with Cisco, we are helping industrial operations maintain the integrity and confidentially of their network in support of holistic enterprise risk management strategies throughout a Connected Enterprise.”
James Bielstein, CIO, Advanced Manufacturing Deployment for GE’s manufacturing facilities worldwide: “In order to start down the path to becoming a Brilliant Factory, the first step is to deploy a modern IT infrastructure. This infrastructure will give our plants the flexibility and security needed to develop a ‘digital thread’ from product design to shipping. Cisco is part of GE’s Brilliant Factory architecture.”
Georg Linhard, Project Manager for LINZ AG TELEKOM: “We decided to build on our existing Cisco network and channel its agility and simplicity to incorporate new security, mobile, and analytics technologies that help us achieve our goals and gain greater business insight.”
Patrick Albos, SVP, Oil and Gas Segment, Schneider Electric: “The Smart Connected Pipeline brings SCADA and IT infrastructure together in a converged, secure, easy to deploy and use platform, and brings significant business value in optimizing and reducing cost of pipeline operations.”