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Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee; www.rockwellautomation.com) and Cisco Systems Inc. (San Jose; www.cisco.com) have joined forces with the intent of employing Ethernet-based networking technologies to facilitate communication between a business’s office and its manufacturing floor. Rockwell Automation is a provider of industrial automation control and information solutions; Cisco specializes in networking solutions for the Internet.
Through collaboration on reference architecture and design guidelines for networking technologies across the plant floor and enterprise network, the two companies hope to promote efficiency and visibility. This network integration will enable different divisions of a company to share and access information in real time with the aim of reducing costs and increasing productivity.
“Both plant and IT managers need secure, real-time visibility between the production floor and enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and supply-chain management systems,” says Paul McNab, vice president of enterprise marketing for Cisco. “This network architecture will allow manufacturers to achieve real-time visibility with a secure control network using Ethernet.”
The two companies also are planning to host a series of educational seminars focused on establishing best practices and cultivating a dialogue between IT and manufacturing departments.