Cisco Partners with Mazak and MEMEX to Connect Machines

Cisco Blog, written by Bryce Barnes – October 27, 2015

At the Mazak Discover Conference being held in Kentucky this week, I have the honor presenting daily keynotes during one of the largest industrial user events. It is an exciting week, as we are announcing an industry-shaping collaboration with Mazak Corporation, a global leader in the design and manufacture of machine tools, and MEMEX who provides an industrial Internet communications platform for machine-monitoring. Called a “SmartBox,” this technology will enable real-time manufacturing data and analytics from Mazak machines to significantly improve machine efficiency (OEE) for Mazak’s manufacturing customers. .

The SmartBox is a component within Mazak’s iSMART Factory concept and takes advantage of our Cisco Connected Machines solution to provide insights into machine operations. Using a fog computing model, manufacturing data is gathered via the MTConnect protocol. MT Connect software agents run directly on our ruggedized, industry-leading Cisco Industrial Ethernet (IE) 4000 switch – providing real-time visibility and insights into data right on the factory floor.  In addition to switching and compute capabilities, we are also embedding network level security to help prevent any issues with unauthorized access to or from the machines and equipment within a network. Take a look at this video on the Cisco IE4000 switch for more detail:

So far, the feedback I have been receiving at this show has been overwhelming- customers feel that this solution will provide immense value to their manufacturing operations. Mazak and customers will be now fully aware of program stops, feed holds, spindle overrides, tool changes, and other reasons why a machine is idle. By analyzing this data, manufacturing personnel are able to identify and easily fix downtime-related inefficiencies to improve overall equipment utilization. Moreover, this new iSmart solution attaches to any Mazak machine or even a competitor’s machine, regardless of machine type, model, or age so not only is the entire installed base of Mazak machines potential candidates for the SmartBox connected machine upgrade, so is any other machine in a factory! Bottom line, Mazak’s SmartBox fundamentally changes their customer experience driving even more value as customers move towards connected factories.bryce IMG_1168

This is great example of how we are working with our ecosystem of partners to help customers capture the value of digitization. Our scalable and secure IoT platform makes it possible for partners to quickly launch new IoT offerings that provide high-value customer experiences and business outcomes. We’re helping our OEM partners transform their business from selling products to selling more industrial services as Bryan Tantzen points out in his blog “Connected Machines: Reducing Unplanned Downtime and Improving Service

To see the full blog post, please click here.