Smart Manufacturing 2015: Panel on Tech Innovations

Three panelists share insights on the impact of the Internet of Things, robotics and automation on advanced manufacturing.

[From left] Rockwell’s Frank Kulaszewicz with Cisco’s Bryan Tantzen, who urged CEOs to identify a goal for data analysis before focusing on collecting it.
WHO Frank Kulaszewicz, SVP Architecture and Software, Rockwell Automation, a provider of industrial automation and information solutions

ON LEVERAGING DATA One of the biggest trends we talk about is the convergence of information technology and operational technology. Those were kept separate in the past. All of the investment and value that was made in a factory environment to run operations was an isolated island. It was there but couldn’t be leveraged for other purposes. So the goal is to take advantage of that information to deliver value in productivity and, more importantly, transform the enterprise.

WHO Christian Pedersen, General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics, a developer of CRM and other software for corporate sales, service and marketing departments

ON APPLYING DATA ANALYTICS TO THE MID-MARKET The world is your data source. You need to think about how you can use that to differentiate your business. For example, for a beer company, there’s little worse than running out of the type of beer customers want on a hot summer day. So one beer manufacturer combined its own sales data with weather forecasts and historic weather reports to more accurately forecast demand.

Microsoft’s Christian Pederson says CEOs need a sense of what technology is capable of to leverage it.
Microsoft’s Christian Pederson says CEOs need a sense of what technology is capable of to leverage it.

ON THE CEO’S ROLE I don’t think CEOs need to know all about the technologies, but you do need to have a sense of what’s actually possible. Otherwise you’re limiting yourself on a lot of potential innovation in your business. That’s probably the biggest risk in any type of innovation—that CEOs don’t understand or don’t accept that there is innovation happening that they may not be fully up to speed with.

WHO Bryan Tantzen, Senior Director, Discrete Manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT) Group, Cisco Systems, a multinational provider of Internet Protocol-based networking products and
services related to IT

ON LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY It’s really important to start a level up from how you get the data or how you look at it. Start with what you want to do with the data. What is the burning pain point that you want to solve? Or your critical business objective? Then work back from that to what data you want to gather. Also, whether you’re a small manufacturer or a larger one,
start with one plant or one line on one plant. Pilot that and measure the before and after to build a concrete business case.


Gov. Mike Pence welcoming Tom Linebarger of Cummins and Hasnain Merchant of Kuss Filtration to a reception at his personal residence. Pence is addressing Indiana’s skills gap by making career and technical education a priority in every high school in the state.



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