As technology experts discussed emerging technology trends such as the Internet of Things, convergence, Big Data and analytics this week in Houston at the Automation Fair, presented by Rockwell Automation, attendees also learned of a new source of network technology information: the Industrial IP Advantage community. Housed online at industrial-ip.org, the Industrial IP Advantage offers guides, case studies, technical white papers and online discussions on how Internet Protocol (IP) networking technologies can be used throughout the Connected Enterprise to boost productivity, efficiency and flexibility.
Industrial IP Advantage promotes the idea that manufacturing and industrial companies can build more successful businesses by deploying a secure, holistic, digital-communications fabric based on standard, unmodified use of the Internet Protocol (IP). Using Industrial IP, companies have an opportunity to turn this vision into reality through connectivity that drives better business intelligence, increased profitability and reduced costs.
Industrial IP Advantage was established by Cisco, Panduit and Rockwell Automation — three like-minded organizations that joined together to educate the market on the benefits of Ethernet, Internet Protocol and EtherNet/IP. Industrial IP Advantage was formed in cooperation with ODVA, the organization that manages and commercializes the EtherNet/IP specification and standard.
$3.88 Trillion Over 10 Years
"There's been a lot of talk around and about this subject and, as a whole, pretty much all of the manufacturing community is coming to see that the Internet of Things, the Internet of Everything, provides huge opportunities as a result of connecting its devices and the value it obtains from the information gathered from those devices," said Cisco marketing manager Kevin Davenport. "Just within manufacturing, we've identified the opportunity value in cost savings and efficiencies from this at $3.88 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. We believe that the best path to access that value across the entire manufacturing design chain from R&D to production, supply chain, and all the way to customer acquisition is by leveraging a standard protocol, namely Internet Protocol, and so we're promoting the value of Industrial IP as the world's defining network technology."
"The real message with IP Advantage is that this is the standard approach across all of industry, and users and potential users can trust that they have a future path to the levels of security they need." Panduit's Dan McGrath on how users can leverage the enormous cyber security investments the broader IT world is making in standard, unmodified IP-based networks.
Many of these "things" already operate in the production facility. Today, IP-enabled microprocessors — the brains inside digital devices — connect conventional automation equipment such as I/O modules and variable-frequency drives. But the explosive growth of other IP-enabled digital devices — many adopted from other disciplines — is transforming the industrial landscape. Video cameras, RFID readers, digital tablets, security swipe cards: These open-standard, IP-enabled devices help manufacturing and process operations reach new heights of production quality, efficiency, security and safety. To take full advantage of this intelligence, all devices within a plant need to talk with one another, as well as those at the enterprise level, using a unified networking infrastructure that is IP-centric.
"So this Industrial IP initiative takes our companies' collective core skill sets and market leadership to build a community to give information, training and thought leadership in how to obtain some of the value that we're promoting," Davenport added.
So why is Internet Protocol important here? "The key enabler for this Internet of Things movement is Internet Protocol," said Paul Brooks, business development manager, Rockwell Automation. "It's the technology that allows the Internet to be scalable, to be routable."