People expect seamless Wi-Fi – outdoors, walking across campus from buildings to parking lots, and everywhere in between. The same is true of industrial sites. Smooth operations require reliable wireless connectivity at the factory, into the warehouse, and across loading docks and ports. Machines need reliable, high bandwidth connectivity as businesses increase automation and connect more assets like autonomous robots and AGVs.
As organizations are automating and establishing remote operations, Cisco IoT is expanding the portfolio of industrial wireless and management tools to meet the secure and reliable connectivity requirements of businesses wherever they operate.
IoT Innovations to Connect, Automate, and Operate Anywhere
Today, we’re introducing new technologies purpose-built for operational environments to help organizations connect, automate, and operate anywhere.
- Cisco Catalyst IW9167 Series: This is our new, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi access point bringing next generation wireless technologies to outdoor and industrial spaces. The flexible hardware is the first platform that can operate in two modes:
- Wi-Fi 6/6E Ready Access Point: As a high-performance Cisco access point, it doubles the available bandwidth for outdoor and industrial deployments by accessing 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and the new 6GHz bands.
- Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul: This proven technology has been enhanced and now delivers the added benefits of Cisco’s industry-leading, built-in security where zero-packet loss and fiber-like performance is required.
- Enhanced Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard: We’ve added new capabilities to enable remote operations, uncover more digital blind spots with new industrial sensors, and expand and simplify network management.
Extend Reliable Wireless Connectivity to More Places and Applications
Since 2020, businesses have deployed Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul technology for industrial automation – with exciting use cases ranging from General Motors speeding innovation in electric and autonomous vehicles to the Malta Freeport enhancing productivity.
As part of the new Catalyst IW9167 Series running on Cisco hardware, the proven technology now delivers the benefits of Cisco’s built-in security. We’ve also enhanced Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul to deliver even higher data rates and reliability to ensure more applications can be supported without interruptions.
The new Catalyst IW9167 Series expands our industrial wireless portfolio with greater flexibility than ever. With one hardware product and two wireless options, we’re providing more choice for businesses to deploy the best wireless technologies for their applications – and to future-proof deployments by simply switching between the two technologies when business needs evolve. The Catalyst IW9167 brings the latest Wi-Fi standard to life for businesses to connect Wi-Fi 6/6E-ready assets. Catalyst IW9167 in Wi-Fi AP mode is managed by Cisco DNA Center via the Catalyst 9800 Wireless LAN Controllers, allowing IT to use the same tools to manage their entire network across their headquarters, parking lots, and operational spaces.
For example, an organization looking to connect workers’ devices in common areas can deploy Catalyst IW9167 in Wi-Fi mode. For wider coverage with seamless handoffs as autonomous vehicles or equipment move from one coverage zone to another, they can choose to operate the device in Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul mode.
As connectivity demand grows, Wi-Fi 6E will provide the right mix of spectrum and features to drive next generation IoT and enable a wide range of innovations across industries.
Next-Level Efficiency for IT and Operations
Operations teams manage assets and processes where any outage can impact the bottom line and worker safety. Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard is a cloud-based tool designed for operational teams to deploy and manage networks and gain visibility across the business with integrated sensor and data solutions.
We’ve enhanced Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard to help operations teams more efficiently remotely operate and manage industrial IoT – whether connecting traffic control systems, service vehicles, kiosks, and more. These enhancements include:
- Remotely manage connected assets and applications: Operations teams can now use IoT Operations Dashboard to remotely deploy and troubleshoot assets and applications connected to Cisco Industrial Routers and Gateways. Secure, role-based access ensures that any employee or third-party accesses only what they need.
- Streamlined network management: As part of the Cisco Platform Suite, IT professionals can use the same Cisco single sign-on credentials to log into IoT Operations Dashboard. We’ve expanded IoT Operations Dashboard’s network management to include support for Catalyst IW9167 in Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul mode for a holistic view of the network.
- New sensors for deeper insights into industrial assets and facilities: A new industrial-grade vibration sensor and an industrial sensor bridge that supports third-party 4-20mA current loop sensors expand the breadth of asset data available in the IoT Operations Dashboard.
These enhancements provide improved visibility across the business, bringing the industrial network and connected assets and applications together in a single cloud-based toolset. Energybox, a leading IoT automation company, uses the IoT Operations Dashboard and its secure equipment access to support increasing numbers of customer sites without increasing costs.
“Our customers, like Wendy’s, were looking for a remote site energy management solution that would automate their operations, reduce costs, and improve sustainability. We wanted to reduce reliance on manual labor and to be able to support thousands of sites remotely,” said Tony Carrella, President, Energybox. “With Cisco Catalyst IR1100 Routers and the Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard’s secure equipment access, we can save our customers thousands of dollars per site by providing actionable insights to reduce their energy usage and their equipment downtime, while cutting site visits. At the same time, we have reduced our costs through remote operations, and are saving over $1 million per software upgrade.”
The Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard’s secure equipment access capability is available today, and the new industrial vibration sensor and industrial sensor bridge will be available in July 2022. The Cisco Catalyst IW9167 Series will be orderable in mid-2022.