Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Siemens leads industry to the next level of digital transformation

At Hannover Messe, Siemens is presenting numerous additions to its Digital Enterprise portfolio for the next level of digital transformation in the discrete and process industries.

At the centre of its booth, Siemens is using a model for the automotive industry to show how the unique portfolio of industrial software and automation technology seamlessly connects the virtual and real worlds.

Using cloud and Edge-based data analyses together with other future-oriented technologies, such as additive manufacturing and autonomous manufacturing systems, creates new possibilities in the areas of efficiency and flexibility.

The automotive industry is facing enormous dynamic challenges: in addition to growing customer demand for increasingly customised cars, electric vehicles are on the rise and new participants have entered the market.

With the aid of Siemens’ Digital Enterprise concept, the automotive industry can link all these different aspects together – including the development and manufacturing of batteries, the use of industrialised additive manufacturing, and automated transport vehicles.

“Through the integration of cutting-edge technologies into our portfolio, we can help industrial companies to benefit from rapidly growing data volumes in new, wide-ranging ways,” said Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO of Digital Industries.

“With the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence, Edge computing and additive manufacturing, we are paving the way for the future of industry.”

Under the slogan “Digital Enterprise – Thinking industry further!” Siemens is demonstrating how companies of any size can use industry-specific solutions to increase their flexibility and productivity and to develop new business models.

The basis for these cutting-edge technologies is the availability of data. Through digital twins, which map and link together all the steps of industrial manufacturing in a virtual world, comprehensive data pools can be created.

“The crucial factor is using the data from the digital twin of the product, production and performance in an innovative way that creates new potential for productivity,” Klaus Helmrich explains.

“When automation, software, hardware and cloud platforms as well as cutting-edge technologies are integrated and combined seamlessly, the data can be converted into valuable knowledge – increasing performance and flexibility. This is the next step of digital transformation.”

Through the use of machine learning algorithms, robot-based handling processes can be optimised, for example. For the learning process, artificial intelligence (AI) requires large volumes of data. And this data is only available if processes have been digitalised and linked together seamlessly.

With Industrial Edge, Siemens has extended its Digital Enterprise automation platforms to include a data processing solution on the shopfloor.

Digitalisation cannot be implemented without protecting industrial plants from cyber attacks. In the future, AI and Edge computing will also improve security, since data analysis can be used to detect cyber attacks far more quickly and reliably.

With Blockchain, the Siemens booth is presenting another future technology for industrial applications: in industry, there is considerable potential for improvement, for example in traceability for foodstuffs.

In the food supply chain, information is documented in a digital and tamper-proof format, and stored in Blockchain on every step of the journey, including details such as the farm location, batch number, processing data, factory information, expiration dates, storage temperatures and shipping details.

Relevant information is provided to users via the MindSphere-based app.

For process automation, Siemens is breaking new ground at the Hannover Messe and introducing a new innovative process control system.

Siemens is presenting a brand new system software package, which offers companies in the process industry new opportunities in the age of digitalisation.

This includes global web-based cooperation in engineering and operations as well as unique usability. In addition, the system offers the option of scalability from small process modules through to the largest process plants in the world.

In order to provide cross-sector data transfer and to increase flexibility and productivity, a wide-ranging, powerful communication infrastructure is required.

The new 5G communication standard creates exciting prospects here. High data rates, reliable high-performance broadband transmission and ultra-short latency periods support considerable increases in efficiency and flexibility in industrial value creation – especially for Industrie 4.0 applications.

Siemens has used this new communication standard from the outset and is supporting standardisation and industrial implementation through the development of an appropriate portfolio. Siemens is also running its own research projects for Industrial 5G and establishing several 5G interoperability test centres.

Siemens supports digital transformation with a range of services from consulting through to implementation. “We support our customers on the path to digitalisation – from consulting on strategies for industrial digitalisation through to supporting in the implementation and optimisation of digital solutions,” notes Klaus Helmrich.