By Marcus Smith and Ken Vanthielen
The Cisco IoT Design-In Program is a partnership framework providing unique benefits to customers and partners who integrate Cisco IoT technologies into their own solutions or products. The program helps machine builders and niche solution integrators to create repeatable, scalable, and reliable solutions with Cisco IoT technology embedded within.
The benefits of the Design-In Program include direct access to a range of IoT experts, inclusion in a joint marketing program, access to a unique support model, as well as participation in a commercial partnership framework. All these benefits are available throughout the solution lifecycle.
Leading machine tool builder Yamazaki Mazak leveraged the Design-In program to accelerate and optimize the digital solutions offered to customers as part of the Mazak iConnect solution.
Mazak iConnect is a comprehensive service that connects customers, machine tools, and Mazak’s support center with cloud network technology. It provides various support services such as remote diagnosis of equipment.
Historically, deploying machines to new customers was time consuming as the process required site visits to implement the customer specific configuration. The Cisco IoT solution enables remote, secure access to the onsite machines and customer specific configuration can be implemented remotely. Meaning Mazak can deploy this service at a large scale, quickly.
The chosen technical solution consists of a Cisco Catalyst IR1100 Rugged Series Routers with 4G connectivity, combined with Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard, a cloud-based management platform that enables Zero Touch onboarding of the remote IR1101 and subsequent provisioning of the required configuration template. The Cisco IR1101 then provides the connectivity required to allow remote access to the machine by Mazak staff and enables machine data connectivity to the Mazak cloud.
The IoT Operations Dashboard also provides the ongoing lifecycle management of the IR1101 as well as the ability to access the machine for technical support. Alarm monitoring, firmware upgrades, and future changes to configuration templates are some examples of the tasks that can be performed remotely. The Cisco IoT solution provides a repeatable setup that can be administered centrally and remotely.