Focus on Digital Enterprises

The digital transformation of enterprises took centre stage at the Siemens stand during the recent SPS IPC DRIVES Italia trade show. A holistic approach, represented by different theme areas aimed both at machine manufacturers and end users.

by Silvia Crespi

The presence of Siemens at SPS IPC DRIVES Italia was focused on the digital transformation in the industrial domain. By implementing Digital Enterprise solutions, companies of all sizes may benefit from the advantages of the digital revolution and exploit fully the potential inherent to the concept of Industry 4.0. Digitization is transversal to all Siemens activities; in the Digital domain Siemens has been concentrating its investments in the past years with a series of acquisitions in the software world. Since 2017 investments in this field have reached 10 billion Euro. As a support for digital transformation, a Digital Enterprise Team was also created.

A holistic approach to digital transformation
The motto which identified Siemens’s presence at the trade show was the following: “Creating the digital enterprise. Technologies. Performances. Competences”. With this motto, Siemens confirmed its willingness to support Italian manufacturing and processing companies in the implementation phase of solutions and technologies for digital transformation. Contents had been anticipated by Giuliano Busetto, Country Division Lead Digital Factory and Process Industries and Drives, Siemens Italia, in a preview press conference at the Milan headquarters.
A holistic approach, presented during the trade show, which was evident in the stand subdivided into specific theme areas addressed both to machine manufacturers and end users. The area addressed to OEMs showed how, by means of the integration of the hardware/software portfolio, it is possible to develop, with evident advantages even in terms of reduction of the time-to-market, an automatic system or a machine in an integrated way along the entire production workflow, from design to construction, commissioning and functioning.
The area dedicated to end users, on the other hand, started from the product’s design (with all the solutions to turn an idea into the digital twin of a product, so as to simulate test and verify its performances and afterwards define the system requirements); the design and validation of production (by programming integrated lines and accurately analysing the impacts); production engineering through virtual commissioning with TIA Portal and TECNOMATIX (for the validation in a virtual environment of automation systems with the possibility of reducing times and costs and identifying in advance any mistakes); manufacturing execution (by means of MES and MOM software systems which connect PLM systems to automation at the shopfloor level); right up to data analytics and digital services (particularly within MindSphere, which enables digital transformation).

A cloud based IoT open operating system
Mind Sphere, the cloud based IoT open operating system, was presented both during the May press conference and during the trade show. The connection to MindSphere is one of the fundamental aspects of new business models based on data. On this PaaS (Platform as a Service) platform it is possible to develop, use and supply applications (apps) and digital services. It is possible to gather and analyse in a fast and efficient way the amount of data produced by an asset, a plant or infrastructures, thereby contributing to its optimization.
Indications coming from MindSphere offer valuable help to manage consistently a facility, for instance, to optimise resources. Advantages may also be obtained in terms of predictive maintenance, thereby allowing to adopt the correct decisions at the right time, avoiding production downtimes.
But this is not all. With Mind Sphere World, recently founded in Germany, Siemens created a worldwide organization which promotes the use of the system and its positioning at a global level among partner companies. The organization aims at expanding the global extent of Mind Sphere, while promoting R&D, training as well as the definition of uniform rules for the use of data. The association is now ready to take the next step in Italy by creating a corresponding organization of MindSphere users in our country, the second after Germany at world level.