Cisco: Transforming Manufacturing with Digital Technology and Collaboration

Digital transformation is fueling what is often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. To be competitive, manufacturers must move from static to dynamic operations by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, supply chain technology and the Industrial Internet of Technologies. objects (IIoT).

To do this, manufacturers need workers who can use these technologies, but there is a critical shortage of these skills. According to a May 2021 CNN article, the industry posted over half a million job openings. [1]. And a study published by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute predicts that up to 2.1 million manufacturing jobs will remain unfilled through 2030. [2].

This report raises a red flag that labor shortages will negatively impact production and incomes and could cost the US economy up to US$1 trillion by 2030. Watching this shortage in the Milwaukee metro area over the next 10 years, there is a projected 63% growth in the need for employees with cybersecurity skills and a projected 34% growth in the need for data analysis and visualization skills [3].

In addition, the technologies themselves, often from multiple vendors, must be integrated. Doing so requires offering a full ecosystem of vendors – compute, network, sensors, robotics, security, ERP, and artificial intelligence – where it can perform proofs of concepts that meet the requirements of specific use cases.

Academia also needs tools and resources to help formulate and test hypotheses that will allow further research into expanding manufacturing capabilities and competitiveness. This research benefits from a facility where testing can be done as a precursor to applying for government grants. Finally, academic institutions must teach students about modern technologies if they hope to build a manufacturing workforce that can immediately make a difference through digital transformation.

To help industry, academia, and technology providers join forces to address these challenges, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has partnered with Cisco and Rockwell to launch the Connected Systems Institute, a center for excellence in next-generation manufacturing.

The Connected Systems Institute, driving next-gen manufacturing

The Connected Systems Institute brings together UWM’s schools of business, information science, and engineering to drive the adoption of advanced manufacturing methods and technologies. Essentially, CSI is changing the way academia works with industry to advance thought leadership and drive desired business outcomes. The intent is that all work done at CSI be sustainable and replicable at the grassroots.

UWM is also home to an internationally renowned faculty with extensive expertise in IIoT-related disciplines, giving CSI a rich talent pool experienced in using digital tools to accelerate innovation. This capability enables the institute to drive economic growth by supporting the development of innovative production solutions and filling the pipeline with digital manufacturing specialists.

CSI is a center of excellence for a global community of practitioners transforming manufacturing processes. The institute brings together the best of industry and academia to provide education and research opportunities focused on the unique needs of advanced manufacturing and facilitating the evolution of the IIoT.

Leverage partnerships with Cisco and Rockwell

Industry partnerships are an integral part of CSI’s work. With the support of its partners, the institute helps scholars and students to become more knowledgeable multidisciplinary collaborators. For example, Rockwell Automation and Cisco donated equipment, software and subject matter expertise to the University of Wisconsin to form CSI, which occupies 11,000 square feet on the University of Wisconsin campus in Milwaukee. .

CSI leverages the global knowledge and expertise of Cisco’s National Digital Acceleration Program, which has more than 1,000 projects in 40 countries aimed at powering secure and sustainable digitalization through cross-vertical solutions. Partnerships and co-innovative environments such as these in turn help CSI develop new business processes based on current and emerging technologies. Strategic information helps industry partners make their own production environments and processes more efficient.

The UWM Connected Systems Institute would not function today without Cisco. We are just deeply grateful for Cisco’s input, because when you look at how the whole project was specified, the Cisco components were an integral part of the project design.

Jennifer Abele, Senior Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Also, as a founding member, Rockwell Automation plays a leading role in several CSI capabilities, such as a manufacturing test bed. This testbed is a fully functional production environment where students gain hands-on experience in production and order fulfillment. The testbed provides exposure to Industry 4.0 technologies, including robotics and artificial intelligence. The test bed includes factory control and automation tools from Rockwell Automation and switch controls from Cisco.

Building a Bridge to Next-Gen Manufacturing

Designed to help build the resilience and competitiveness of U.S. supply and manufacturing chains, UWM’s Connected Systems Institute is truly interdisciplinary, reflecting a convergence of business, computing, and engineering . In fact, CSI reflects this convergence through an open concept floor plan that allows participants working in all disciplines – from cybersecurity to robotics – to easily interact with each other.

Obviously, this is not how old manufacturing facilities are built. Instead, the founders of CSI believe that the workforce of the future must have an interdisciplinary mindset to implement digital transformation in a manufacturing environment. And the CSI is designed to deliver just that. Students graduate from the program knowing they need to get to work and knowing what they need to do to meet the needs of their employers quickly.

Learn more about the history of UWM CSI and in this Government technologyitem.

Find out how the Cisco and Rockwell partnership can benefit your manufacturing operations.

We’d love to hear what you think. Ask a question, comment below, and stay connected with #CiscoPartners on social media!

Cisco Partners Facebook | @CiscoPartners Twitter | Cisco LinkedIn Partners

[3] Burning Glass Technologies report, received under license from UWM

To share:

Comments are closed.