Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Hannover Messe: Siemens showcases its digital enterprise portfolio

Siemens has been showcasing its digital enterprise portfolio at Hannover Messe. The company says it has been continuously enhancing its digital services for Industrie 4.0, also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, wherein all machines are connected to the internet and everything is digitised, right down to individual components, which have what are called “digital twins”.

It’s a process also known as “digital transformation”.

Klaus Helmrich, member of the managing board of Siemens, at the press conference for Hannover Messe, said: “We created the technical prerequisites for this transformation with our range of consistent solutions. By implementing Digital Enterprise solutions, users and customers can now tap into the full potential of Industrie 4.0.”

Siemens usually has one of the largest presences at Hannover Messe, and this year took up 3,500 square meters of exhibition space. Its motto this year is “Digital Enterprise – Implement now!”, which the company says is designed to show how companies of any size can use the Siemens Digital Enterprise portfolio in various industries to secure real competitive advantages.

Helmrich said: “With our Digital Enterprise offerings, our customers are already achieving greater flexibility, shorter times to market, higher efficiency and better quality – and they’re accomplishing this during ongoing operations. Our customers are thus attesting to the benefits and added value that the Siemens Digital Enterprise offers for the discrete manufacturing and process industries.”

Siemens says its focus is on its expanded range of offerings for the Digital Enterprise – with solutions featuring “greater flexibility for design, manufacturing processes and structures”.

This includes solutions for digital twins, which are being used today to create a holistic virtual model of the value chain, along with Siemens’ world-leading automation portfolio, as well as the open, cloud-based IoT operating system MindSphere.

Connecting to MindSphere is one of the foundational aspects of new, data-driven business models for customers.

“By founding MindSphere World, we’ve taken another step toward further expanding the ecosystem around MindSphere together with our customers and partners. For our customers, our MindSphere IoT operating system provides access to new dimensions of connectivity and data analysis. In addition, I’m very pleased that the Management Board of MindSphere World has now already approved the applications of 16 new candidates seeking to join the association,” said Helmrich.

For the development of cloud applications, Siemens has also been “blazing new trails” — its own words — at Hannover Messe. Together with customers and partners, the company is using the MindSphere Lounge at its booth to present the latest developments and applications for MindSphere 3.0.

MindSphere is Siemens industrial internet platform, and it is believed to be among the largest platforms in the world. Similar size platforms include GE Digital’s Predix, ABB’s Ability, and Bosch’s IIoT.

In addition, as part of the MindSphere Open Space Challenge, external developers and startups are collaborating openly to craft creative approaches for new customer solutions and business models based on MindSphere.

Siemens is also showcasing the future-oriented expansion of data-driven applications – for example with the Siemens Industrial Edge concept, an offering for edge computing that enables users to take advantage of extended functionality and greater performance on site, combined with full control over data.

In the area of additive manufacturing, Siemens offers a seamlessly integrated portfolio as well as a virtual market place – the Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network. Here, different players – including suppliers as well as current and potential users of 3D printing solutions – can forge and finalize business relationships.

In the age of digitalization, ensuring an appropriate level of cybersecurity is a prerequisite for protecting sensitive data. When it comes to cybersecurity for industrial applications and infrastructures, Siemens is continuing to drive advances, and – on the basis of the “defense in depth” concept – the company is making a broad portfolio of products and services available to the industrial sector. This portfolio includes plant and network security as well as system integrity.

Siemens is using the automotive industry as an example that illustrates how both flexibility in design and efficiency in vehicle manufacturing can profit from digitalization. The Digital Enterprise portfolio offers the levers needed to gain these benefits.

This includes such aspects as full integration of the individual stages of production and the establishment of a uniform basis for the data – from car design to production planning and all the way to the actual manufacturing of the car and the provision of follow-up services.

This applies both to the construction of new production plants and to the upgrading of existing factories – particularly when it comes to expanding the portfolio to include electric and hybrid vehicles.

The digital transformation of the processing industry is already in full swing. For this task, Siemens offers the required portfolio of solutions with integrated hardware and software and thus enables companies of any size to implement digitalization.

At the Siemens booth, tradeshow visitors can experience how the customer Dulux is already using Siemens’ portfolio of digital solutions successfully at the first digital paint factory.

A virtual model of the real plant – a so-called “digital twin” – provides plant operators like Dulux with enough flexibility to react quickly to rapidly changing market requirements, for instance by producing paint in trendy seasonal colors or in smaller batches.

The aerospace industry is considered highly advanced when it comes to the digital transformation. The strong demand for its products can only be met through clear increases in productivity enabled by a higher level of automation combined with end-to-end integration of digital tools and workflows.

Siemens says its Digital Enterprise portfolio enables small and medium size businesses, as well as large enterprises, to achieve these enhancements today to ensure international competitiveness. Greater flexibility makes it possible to manufacture the increasingly diverse model variants efficiently, even when they are produced in smaller quantities, says Siemens.

(Main picture: Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens, presents German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto sports shoes – produced with Siemens technology.)