Rockwell and Cisco back network integration via standard Ethernet technology
Optimizing network integration across the factory floor and throughout the enterprise using standard Ethernet technology brings IT standards onto the plant floor, and is an expressed goal of a growing number of manufacturers. Taking measured steps to help them achieve that goal, Rockwell Automation—a global provider of power, control, and information solutions—and networking solutio...
Optimizing network integration across the factory floor and throughout the enterprise using standard Ethernet technology brings IT standards onto the plant floor, and is an expressed goal of a growing number of manufacturers.
Taking measured steps to help them achieve that goal, Rockwell Automation —a global provider of power, control, and information solutions—and networking solutions supplier Cisco Systems last year announced plans to collaborate on a common technology view, and build reference architectures using standard networking technologies such as EtherNet/IP.
Since then, the companies have made considerable progress. Among the developments, the two vendors have released resources for reference architectures for the manufacturing environment that include detailed designs and best-practices implementation guidance for a plantwide or enterprisewide architecture.
They also bring together relevant applications, contemporary technologies, and design principles that decrease implementation costs and eliminate some of the guesswork related to deploying technology in manufacturing environments.
Equally important, however, leadership at both companies recognizes that integration of network standards also requires a mutual understanding of the issues and challenges facing both IT and manufacturing, says Gregory Wilcox, business development manager for networks, Rockwell Automation.
According to customer feedback, establishing communication between the two departments is vital to better understanding potential risks for each and, ultimately, to successful network integration, says Wilcox.
“Our customers understand the value of this technology convergence, but they also tell us there is a critical need for education designed to bridge the cultural gap between IT and manufacturing,” he says.
Rockwell and Cisco are answering the call with Webcasts, seminars, and presentations. As part of an ongoing education series, the companies recently presented a Webcast, What Every IT Professional Should Know about Plant-Floor Networking .
Next up in the series— What Every Plant-Floor Controls Engineer Should Know about Working with IT —is scheduled for April 16.
“Feedback from customers has been positive,” Wilcox says. “It validates that we're taking the right approach with the reference architecture, design implementation guides, and education series.”
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.
Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.