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Cisco Unveils Wireless Location Solution for Manufacturers


Cisco Wi-Fi Asset Tracking Solution Improves Asset Utilization and Operational Efficiencies in Aerospace, Automotive, Mining and Semiconductor Industries

SAN JOSE, Calif., January 29, 2007 - Cisco® today announced a new turnkey Wi-Fi Asset Tracking solution specifically geared for aerospace, automotive, mining and semiconductor manufacturing industries. This solution utilizes Cisco Wi-Fi location tracking technology to improve asset utilization, reduce costs and increase operational efficiencies.

The misplacement of industrial assets such as mobile toolkits, machinery, parts and WIP inventory is a significant issue for manufacturers, sometimes costing companies as much as $1 million per incident. By implementing Cisco’s Wi-Fi Asset Tracking solution, manufacturers gain greater visibility into their enterprise, can track the presence and real-time location of high-value manufacturing assets, and substantially increase operational efficiencies by reducing misplacement incidents.

“A Cisco wireless-enabled environment gives manufacturers a highly secure, robust and scalable platform to utilize next-generation mobility services, such as voice over Wi-Fi, location and asset tracking, and contractor and guest access,” said Alan Cohen, senior director of mobility solutions at Cisco. “Built on the foundation of a Cisco Unified Wireless Network, the Cisco Wi-Fi Asset Tracking solution yields unparalleled management and control of vital assets throughout the manufacturing process.”

Cisco’s Wi-Fi Asset Tracking Solution is comprised of the Cisco 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliance, the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS), Lightweight Access Point Protocol Controller, Cisco Aironet® Access Points, AeroScout Wi-Fi-based Active RFID tags and AeroScout MobileView Software. Together, these components deliver a comprehensive RF location architecture that allows organizations to gather location information and track assets in the most demanding environments.

“Asset visibility has always been a business-critical issue within manufacturing, and now there is a convenient network-based solution that has been proven to increase efficiency and save organizations substantial time and money,” said Gabi Daniely, vice president of marketing and product strategy at AeroScout. “Together, Cisco and AeroScout address the specific needs of a wide variety of environments with a complete, proven solution for lean and efficient manufacturing.”

The following vertical markets can all benefit from wireless location tracking:

Aerospace - The aerospace industry must keep track of a unique array of expensive systems, sub-assemblies, equipment and materials to complete its projects on time and on budget. Misplaced parts can cause assembly to stop, impacting direct labor costs, capital equipment utilization and cycle time. In addition, manufacturers may be required to pay large fines for late deliveries. Using Cisco’s Wi-Fi Asset Tracking solution to monitor airplane parts throughout the building process - from the factory floor to final assembly - limits process delays and reduces costs.

Automotive - As in the aerospace sector, the automotive industry must track high-value tools and parts through the vehicle assembly and production process, as any missing or misplaced parts can result in delays, high costs and quality issues. With Cisco’s Wi-Fi Asset Tracking, quality issues can be addressed quickly to minimize the offline work-in-progress, eliminate costly delays and help ensure the rapid, cost-effective production of vehicles in this highly competitive industry.

Mining - As recent events have demonstrated, safety is of paramount concern in the mining industry. Better management of tools and people underground is increasingly critical to improving visibility and ensuring safety. Cisco’s Wi-Fi Asset Tracking solution provides a clear signal underground to help maintain miner safety while speeding ore production. In addition, by using RFID tags and technology that are certified to be safe for explosion-sensitive environments, mining companies can better track trucks, containers, equipment and their miners, to assure continuous monitoring of all the mine’s assets at all times.

Semiconductor Manufacturing - In the semiconductor industry, constant monitoring of valuable materials and equipment is essential to keeping costs low and quality high. The Cisco Wi-Fi Asset Tracking solution can facilitate work-in-process cases in fabrication facilities, mask shops and advanced test manufacturing environments. Real-time location of manufacturing lots improves capital equipment utilization, saves on labor costs and increases throughput. With rack-level accuracy of parts, materials and entire projects, semiconductor manufacturers can minimize waste and better drive toward completion.

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