Rockwell Automation, Cisco Announce New Product Reseller Agreement

MILWAUKEE — Rockwell Automation recently announced a new agreement with Cisco that allows it to support and deliver services incorporating a wide range of Cisco’s infrastructure solutions.

This development positions Rockwell Automation as a single source provider of the products, support, and services manufacturers need to build complete industrial and enterprise-level network architecture.

As a Cisco Solution Technology Integrator (STI) partner, Rockwell Automation can provide Cisco’s routers, wireless controllers, firewalls, and many other infrastructure solutions. This step in Rockwell Automation and Cisco’s relationship will further help enable plant and IT managers benefit from secure, real-time visibility between the production floor and enterprise resource planning.

To further help manufacturers achieve network convergence, Rockwell Automation is expanding its popular Stratix industrial switch family with the Allen-Bradley Stratix 8300 Layer 3 managed switch, allowing maximum flexibility in providing secure segmented architectures for EtherNet/IP applications. The new switch combines the expertise of Cisco and Rockwell Automation. It uses the Cisco Catalyst operating system, feature set, and user interface while providing comprehensive diagnostic information from within the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system. The new Stratix 8300 switch provides VLAN and subnet routing capability, including static, dynamic, multicast and policy-based routing.

Rockwell Automation and Cisco also have expanded their resource portfolio by releasing a significant expansion of their Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) Design and Implementation Guide (DIG) 2.0. This jointly developed guide provides tested and validated detailed design guidance, recommendations, and best practices for deploying EtherNet/IP network technology and for integrating industrial and enterprise-level networks. The DIG is based on the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system and Cisco's Ethernet-to-the-Factory, and addresses topics relevant to both engineering and IT professionals.

“A converged network architecture is crucial for delivering the deep insight end users need to quickly and efficiently adapt manufacturing operations to changing market demands,” said Craig Resnick, research director, ARC Advisory Group. “It is important that end users match their manufacturing capability with market demand signals to avoid the expense of excess inventory or lost sales due to a lack of inventory. By becoming one of Cisco’s STIs, Rockwell Automation is well-positioned to help its customers create a unified network architecture where information flows freely and securely throughout the enterprise, arming everyone from operators to executives with the real-time insight needed to make intelligent business decisions that positively affect profitability.”

“Partnering with Cisco helps our customers more easily achieve network convergence, which ultimately enhances their agility and business performance,” said Frank Kulaszewicz, vice president and general manager, Control and Visualization Business, Rockwell Automation. “Working with one vendor for their entire network infrastructure helps our customers reduce risk, and streamline design and implementation – all while harnessing the expertise of two market leaders.

“In 2007, Rockwell Automation and Cisco formed an agreement based on a shared vision for the manufacturing industry. “We committed to delivering unprecedented visibility, flexibility and collaboration by optimizing network integration across the plant floor and throughout the enterprise,” said Steve Steinhilber, vice president, Emerging Solutions Ecosystems, Cisco. “Today, we’re taking another step toward making that vision a reality.”