The (R)Evolution in Industry: Siemens Style

Industrial (R)Evolution Siemens Style

Siemens PLM CEO Chuck Grindstaff Shows how digitalization is changing everything at 2016 Industry Analyst Conference

Everything is changing so fast it’s difficult to fathom. Does that sound trite? That is the truth of Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, Digitalization, or whatever you call it.

Last week, the Siemens PLM Industry Analyst Conference theme was:  “Digitalization Changes Everything, Everywhere.” The question I came away with is whether this is an evolution or a revolution.

The core technologies are hardly new. For one, two or even three decades we have had CAD, CAE and simulation, PLM data management and workflow, robotics, machining, MES/MOM, artificial intelligence, analytics and knowledge management. This suggests an evolution.

Yet the actual progress in just the past one or two years seems so fast that it feels more like a revolution.

Multi-tech integration

Various technologies are now integrated in deeper, more meaningful ways, for example:

  • Simcenter is a CAE backbone with integrated simulation and test solutions that allows 1D concepts and 3D models to interact meaningfully.
  • Generative design encompasses not only structures and solids, but also facets such as you get from a scan or simulation optimization in a single model.
  • Robotic additive manufacturing is in the works where robots operate and feed materials into mobile 3D printing.
  • Hybrid additive and subtractive machining in a single piece of equipment allows optimal use of methods and materials.

 Multi-discipline collaboration

For 30 years, the vision has been for every group to contribute effectively and coordinate; now they can:

  • Software, hardware and mechanical: As Polarion application lifecycle management (ALM) comes into the Siemens PLM portfolio, smart product design can be more coordinated. As agile practices come into product development, we expect faster time to market and deeper match to requirements.
  • Process and control engineering: Line Designer can now auto-generate PLC code from the simulated process design.

Multi-stream data meaning

The IoT is not new, but its proliferation into so many new applications and segments leads to a need to manage and make sense of connected everything.

  • Mindsphere is Siemens’ Cloud designed to easily capture and organize IoT data. It includes an app development environment for machine builders and other solution providers to go beyond previous IoT implementations, as we discussed in this previous blog.
  • Omneo provides the big data collection, cleansing and context required to rapidly ensure that its pattern recognition analytics are operating on a sound version of reality. This is critical as we discovered in our research, Capitalizing on Big Data from Products.

Result: Marrying virtual and real

We have talked about integrating virtual and real before. Now, the ‘digital twin’ has expanded across the lifecycle. Finally real physical products and processes are coming together with virtual models of them in a two-way closed loop fashion for better design, manufacture, and service.

That’s a quick tour of some of the Siemens PLM news. These are important enablers to succeed with new business models, new solutions for your customers, new design, production and customer support processes.

Now what a software company can do and what the customers do with it can be two different things. So next time, I’ll give a quick run-down of what some of the customers are doing to revolutionize their business.

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