Cisco pulled out all of the stops on four new digital offerings for industries and a new Internet of Things (IoT) security platform during a media event Monday at its San Jose, California headquarters.
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins alluded to some of the digital offerings for manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and oil and gas during his keynote address Monday morning at the company’s annual Global Editors Conference. Robbins also talked about the importance of security for the IoT environment, which included the unveiling of the new Cisco IoT System Security.
During afternoon sessions, journalists were treated to demos followed by a deep dive into the new platforms.
Fanuc Robots was the poster child for Cisco’s new IoT-based “connected machines for digital manufacturing” service. Andy Denny, vice president of robot operations at Fanuc America, said his company has saved its customers, which are largely in the automotive industry, $38 million during a test run of Fanuc’s “zero downtime” trial with GM.
By working with Cisco and high tech manufacturer Flex, Fanuc can predict when manufacturing robots are reaching a failure point, which is crucial since every minute of down time can cost automotive manufacturers $16,000. With Cisco and Flex, Fanuc can prioritize what needs to be fixed during scheduled down time. The trial is running on 1,800 robots right now with plans of hitting 3,000 by the end of the year.
Denny said the predictive nature of the coloration — “a facility that predicts when equipment is going to fail before it fails” — was just the first phase. Next up will be robots working with humans without the need for safeguards.
For its “smart-connected pipeline for digital oil and gas” platform, Schneider Electric Senior Vice President Larry Stack said working with Cisco allowed oil and gas companies more control over their pipelines, helping to protect assets from accidents or cyber-attacks. The integrated hardware and software system was designed to optimize transmission and distribution from the “meter to the boardroom,” Stack said.
Cisco also announced its “substation security for digital utilities,” which gives power grids additional layers of security ahead of complying with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC/CIP) Version 5 standards, mandated to be in place by next year.
Cisco executives also spoke about the company’s “connected mass transit for digital transportation,” a converged network architecture based on the Cisco IoT platform. A connected mass-transportation system can converge multiple services and routers in order to provide real-time data on things like bus and train schedules and performances.
Key to Cisco’s IoT platforms is its new IoT System Security, which included the new ISA-3000, a hardened switch for application visibility, policy enforcement, threat defense, and a fog data services security element.
The system security enables the IoT network to act as a sensor and provide security policy enforcement within routers and switches. It also includes video surveillance cameras, physical access control, and a video surveillance manager with security analytics.
“Having 45 to 50 [security] vendors is no longer an option,” Robbins said in his morning keynote. “You can’t correlate information in a timely fashion to stop the threat. You have to do deep traffic flow analysis and build intelligence from the network up so you can act on those threats.”