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The Magazine


The Magazine
Digital Enterprise solutions allow companies to optimize all of the steps along the value chain – from the initial idea to the finished product.

Production & manufacturing

The future is digital and automated

The intelligent use of hardware, software, and automation will be the deciding factor for the future of industrial companies.

Hardly any other branch of business has been so shaken by the consequences of digitalization as industry. In the past few months, hundreds and thousands of conferences, studies, and technical articles around the world have revolved around terms such as Industrie 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet, Integrated Manufacturing, and Digital Enterprise.

This is not surprising, because the potential of digitally linked processes is huge. According to a study by McKinsey Global Institute, German companies expect to see a 20 percent increase in productivity through the digitalization of their processes. So it is not surprising that more than half of all German machine building and plant engineering industry are already focused on the subject of Industrie 4.0, according to a member survey of the German Engineering Federation (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau, VDMA).

The U.S. government and U.S companies are also working hard on the subject of so-called advanced manufacturing. The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has become a powerful association that includes more than 100 well-known and powerful research institutions, companies, and universities – including Siemens.

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Made in China 2025

In mid-2015, the Chinese government decided to set a goal of becoming synonymous with quality, innovation, and sustainability in ten key technologies by 2025, under the motto “Made in China 2025.” These key technologies include IT, as well as robotics, materials engineering, the production of eco-friendly cars, and the building of agricultural machinery.

One thing is clear to all market players: achieving competitiveness, prosperity, and progress while maintaining efficient and resource-conserving businesses requires a high level of commitment to technological change. This will transform processes, supply chains, and business models.

Climate protection and competition

The need for environmentally conscious production methods is also increasing – the discussions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 are the proof. At the exact same time, factories in Beijing had to suspend or reduce production due to smog concerns, and half of all cars were temporarily banned from the roads.

Governments all over the world issued ambitious climate protection targets, which can only be achieved with the industry’s cooperation; however, industry is under an enormous amount of competitive pressure, customers are becoming more demanding, and skilled workers are rare. The goal is to offer customized products at a mass-production price, reduce time to market, and be able to respond flexibly to market changes – with maximum process safety and fail-safe operations, as well as the minimal consumption of energy and raw materials.

This can be achieved, for example, by digitally connecting plants and equipment, production and management levels, and all levels of the supply chain, as well as by using the latest automation technologies.

To do this, Siemens offers the manufacturing industry an extensive portfolio that has been developed for many years and that comprises various elements. It is called the Digital Enterprise Software Suite. The solution uses Teamcenter as the collaborative platform (data backbone) and smoothly connects PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), MES/MOM (Manufacturing Execution System/Manufacturing Operations Management), and automation.

With Integrated Engineering and Integrated Operation, Siemens makes it possible for its customers in the processing industry to take the next evolutionary step on the path to Industrie 4.0. The solution has a consistent data model and offers a shorter time to market, more flexibility, and higher efficiency.

Siemens as a pioneer

Siemens has always been a pioneer in the development of industrial hardware, software, and automation technologies. This happens with a great deal of know-how, innovative strength, reliability, and a sense of responsibility for its customers, employees, and the environment.

Seventy-seven thousand customers use Siemens PLM Software worldwide. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is one of them. While developing the model for its Maserati Ghibli, the engineers at Fiat Chrysler created a virtual model – a so-called digital twin – of the car and the production plant using the PLM Software. The result was that they lowered costs and development time by around 30 percent.

PLM software solutions and modern plant automation increased the productivity in the manufacture of the Maserati Ghibli.

New business models

Digitalization of the manufacturing and processing industry not only leads to productivity gains, but also introduces new business models, including so-called “predictive maintenance” based on data that is constantly recorded by sensors on systems. This is later transmitted to service centers for analysis. According to a study by the World Economic Forum and the consulting services company Accenture, maintenance costs can be reduced by almost 30 percent through predictive maintenance, and unplanned stoppages can be dropped by 70 percent.

Automobile, mechanical and plant engineering, mining or food, chemical or pharmaceutical industries: Siemens has proven time and time again to be a reliable global partner in the manufacturing and process industry, thanks to its Digital Enterprise solutions. Siemens successfully helps its customers ensure competitiveness in the digital age.

Picture credits: Siemens AG