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Siemens drives forward digital transformation

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Siemens drives forward digital transformation

Industrial enterprises with an affiliated servicing department are transforming into service providers with added production. Siemens is helping its customers achieve the transformation needed to become digital enterprises, and will be showcasing a range of concrete customer applications in Hall 11 at the SPS IPC Drives 2016. Under the banner of “Driving the Digital Enterprise”, Siemens will be presenting integrated applications which will allow customers to optimise their production systems and processes across the entire life cycle of their products and plants. Siemens is working together with customers from the discrete manufacturing and process industries to develop new solutions for plant and production processes.

“We are actively driving forward the digital transformation. Our strategic alliance with Bentley Systems and our planned acquisition of Mentor Graphics will allow us to continuously expand our industrial software portfolio,” explains member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG Klaus Helmrich at the SPS IPC Drives 2016. “By cooperating with Bentley, we are expanding our industrial software eco system from 2D to 3D solutions. This will raise the simulation portfolio of our Digital Enterprise offering to a completely new level. It will allow us to consistently implement our vision of the “Digital Twin” from the virtual planning stage to the actual product.” The announced takeover of Mentor Graphics will expand the Siemens portfolio to include leading solutions for the design, simulation and production of electrical and electronic systems.

Forming the foundation and fulfilling an essential condition for data-based industrial services is MindSphere – the cloud-based, open Internet-of-Things-ecosystem from Siemens. “We are consistently further expanding the MindSphere-ecosystem and are delighted to be able to announce our association with Microsoft and its cloud platform Azure as partners in this venture,” said Helmrich. This follows the recent announcement of partnerships with Atos and Accenture, both of which will be providing services for the MindSphere ecosystem.

As an open cloud platform for industrial applications, MindSphere opens up scope for the link-up of devices and plug-and-play connectivity using open standards. As well as offering data analysis and versatile connectivity, it also supplies tools for developers, applications and services. MindSphere helps customers to evaluate and utilise their data in ways they had never previously envisaged – for instance to optimise the performance of their operating equipment to achieve maximum availability. MindSphere also paves the way for completely new business models such as the sale of machine hours, while users profit from benefits such as a transparent pay-per-use pricing model. “By establishing MindSphere, we have created a robust infrastructure, and consequently provided both the foundation and the conditions necessary for data-based industrial services,” said Helmrich. “And we are continuing to drive forward the expansion of MindSphere as the basis for new digital business models for industry.” In the “MindSphere Lounge”, an area covering more than 400 square meters within the Siemens booth, Siemens and its partner enterprises will be presenting their ideas and applications. Visitors will also have the chance to find out how simply machines and production facilities can be docked onto MindSphere applications with the aid of Totally Integrated Automation.

Siemens will be providing a practical illustration of its digital expertise in the form of two highlight exhibits. The discrete manufacturing application highlight is a model of a pilot plant illustrating the efficiency of the Mechatronics Concept Designer from Siemens PLM Software. All the modules which make up the plant will be merged to create a kinematic model, enabling the creation of a detailed digital copy of all the components. The model is capable of mapping their functional characteristics and simulating both their physical (multibody physics) and automation behaviour. This allows users to simulate and optimise the sequence of all individual movements prior to real production using the virtual copy. The Mechatronics Concept Designer also provides open interfaces for additional tools and a Gantt chart depicting all the different phases and dependencies. This means that right from the early planning phase, development engineers are able to detect where sequential movements are required or where parallel ones are possible. For plant builders, this means tangibly reduced project lead times, faster commissioning and – because existing data can be re-used – far simpler replication of identical or similar plants.

The second highlight exhibit uses the example of a pump application to demonstrate the possibilities for systematic optimisation across the entire life cycle of a plant based on actual projects. Using Comos as a central engineering and data management platform, a standardised and continuously updated database is available to all those involved at the planning stage, ensuring consistent data management. The virtual identical copy of a plant generated during the engineering phase – the digital twin – can be used to simulate and optimise commissioning, operating and servicing processes. Comos Walkinside provides the user with a high-resolution 3D virtual reality depiction visualising all the engineering data. This allows the user to navigate through the virtual copy of a plant right from the initial planning phase, to check issues such as the availability of critical assets. The control system’s functionality is tested using the Simit simulation software, which enables any errors to be detected at an early stage and worked around before the plant is commissioned. The bidirectional exchange of data between Comos and Simatic PCS 7 means that the digital twin is always fully up to date. Plant operators benefit from a cohesive, optimised flow of information across every level of the production process and throughout the entire operating period. The Operations Intelligence Software XHQ transforms Big Data into Smart Data, making available prepared up-to-the-minute process and plant data almost in real time as the basis for management decisions. The exhibit at the Siemens booth demonstrates the optimum interaction between all the components used for electrification, automation and digitalisation using the example of the real pump drive train. The simple integration of energy-efficient drive solutions into the customer’s application and the automation environment over a plant’s complete life cycle (Integrated Drive Systems) enables customers to reduce their time-to-profit.

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