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The Internet of Things is expected to connect an astonishing 50 billion devices by 2020. In the manufacturing world, this increase of devices is providing deeper insights into operations and new opportunities to improve quality, productivity, efficiency, and security.
Along with the new opportunities are new challenges. The demand to collect and analyze production information in real time is driving the need for manufacturers to converge their historically disparate industrial and enterprise networks into a single network architecture. A well-designed and reliable physical layer, known as the “network fabric”, serves as a critical foundation and strategic business advantage for forward-thinking manufacturers seeking to differentiate themselves from the competition.
This white paper discusses the importance of the network fabric in today’s information-enabled manufacturing environments, outlines the steps that proactive manufacturers can take to capture its full value for years to come and describes a four-stage methodology for improving an existing network to a higher maturity level.