MRO Magazine

GE and Cisco Collaborate to Accelerate Manufacturing Productivity

By Business Wire News   


To create the factory of the future where machines work efficiently and intelligently with increased speed, less waste and no unplanned downtime, GE and Cisco have teamed up to develop a set of best practices for deploying GE’s Brilliant Manufacturing Suite within a modern Cisco IT environment. This reference architecture from GE and Cisco, Architecting a Robust Manufacturing Network for the Internet of Things, provides a blueprint for combining GE’s digital industrial strength with Cisco’s flexible and highly-secure networking infrastructure in order to create a digital thread that will capture machine data on the factory floor.

This solution will marry GE manufacturing software that provides real-time, role-based dashboards to deliver more products, faster and with increased quality, with Cisco’s highly secure, contemporary networking technology. It will lay the foundation for brilliant machines that communicate, share data and insights with other machines and the humans that rely on them.

“In order to start down the path to becoming a Brilliant Factory, the first step is to deploy a modern IT infrastructure,” said James Beilstein, CIO for Advanced Manufacturing Deployment for GE’s manufacturing facilities worldwide. “This infrastructure will give our plants the flexibility and security needed to develop a ‘digital thread’ from product design to shipping. Cisco is part of GE’s Brilliant Factory architecture.”

“More than ever, manufacturers need to find ways to improve quality, speed, and utilization, and there is a dramatic increase in demand for real-time insights across manufacturing systems,” said Kate Johnson, Chief Commercial Officer for GE Digital. “Factory digitization capabilities are improving, and compute and connectivity prices are falling, but many companies are hamstrung by legacy IT infrastructure. Our joint GE-Cisco solution creates a state-of-the-art joint information and operations technology architecture necessary for machines to adapt, predict and diagnose their own failure, deployable in today’s real world manufacturing environments.”

Manufacturers are looking for ways technology can help them to achieve key outcomes of reducing downtime, and increasing efficiency and output. In addition, they are focused on increasing product quality and safety, and reducing energy consumption and waste. GE’s Brilliant Factory solutions use big data, software, sensors, controllers and robotics to increase productivity and deliver asset and operations optimization.

“Based on a recent survey, 47% of manufacturers are still trying to figure out how to take advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things,” said Matthew Littlefield, President and Principal Analyst for LNS Research. “GE and Cisco can help address this gap with best practices for deploying a modern and flexible IP-based industrial networking infrastructure. This can be used by manufacturers to help accelerate time to market, improve operations and support the cloud, big data analytics, and software applications being deployed in next generation manufacturing.”

“We are honored to be collaborating with GE to enable their first 100 brilliant factories,” said Tony Shakib, VP of the IoE Vertical Solutions Group at Cisco. “Moving data from machines and assets on the factory floor through a highly-secure Cisco network and edge compute will help provide a repeatable and scalable reference architecture that we believe will be the blueprint for GE’s Brilliant Factories and a model for the industry. We’re excited to take this important step together as two industry leaders work to make the Internet of Things (IoT) a reality in manufacturing.”

This go-to-market partnership builds on GE’s and Cisco’s strategy to seamlessly connect the growing number of machines to the Industrial Internet. Last year, GE and Cisco announced they are integrating Predix software on Cisco networking products to enable the collection and analysis of asset performance and operational data anywhere in the network. One of the first of these devices is a Predix-ready Cisco router in a ruggedized form-factor for harsh environments such as oil and gas facilities.

For more information, click here. To download a copy of the Architecting a Robust Manufacturing Network for the Internet of Things white paper, click here.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco’s trademarks can be found at Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

GE Digital
Ellie Holman, +1 508-698-7456
Marc Musgrove, +1 408-525-6320


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