Digitizing the human-machine and man-factory relationship: the Siemens dream

Simulation based on digital twin, virtual reality, artificial intelligence. From the “simple” interconnection of the machines, we enter a new phase ofindustry 4.0it off metaverse, where the digital form becomes the model for dynamic interaction with the physical world. The real goal is the digitization of the human-machine and man-factory relationship. “The cost of accessing new technologies is no longer an obstacle,” he says Giuliano Busetto, Head of Digital Industries at Siemens and President of Siemens Industry Software. Machine and deep learning algorithms can go into production and optimize the entire manufacturing value chain with minimal investment. The solutions are within the reach of small and medium-sized companies and allow the creation of a new automation based on Ot-It integration ».

Data collection, processing and analysis in real time, at the edge and in the cloud. Siemens is able to bring the Industrial IoT into enterprises for business, financial and environmental sustainability. Remote monitoring, zero downtime, waste reduction, energy efficiency. The new automation is based on an open and homogenous system architecture with industry and security standards that reduce the total implementation costs, ensuring a level of productivity that is higher than before, even the latest. Remotely monitor factory assets, from the individual machine to the entire production line. The Covid experience has emphasized how important it is to be connected. But this advantage can be extended to create a digital twin enterprise where simulation becomes the Industrial Logic 4.0 for product, process and performance development. A virtual experience that Siemens has decided to make even more immersive with the help of the design and collaboration platform 3D Omniverse from Nvidia. Based on a powerful artificial intelligence engine, it will be able to bring to life more and more real digital, product, machine and factory models.

Busetto also reminds that “Digital Industries Italia continues to invest in the skills and resources of generation Z, which are necessary for the easy management and learning of new technologies”. Digital Industries also plays an important role in the digital transformation of Italian companies thanks to the Dex competence centers in Piacenza and Milan and those linked to the Transition 4.0 plan of Put (Cim 4.0, Made and Bi-Rex), is developing a strong connection to academia and its high school network. «As Digital Industries, we are proud to represent Italy for Siemens, one of the top three countries (with China and Germany) in terms of volumes and the importance of the production market. A leadership that has been achieved thanks to the trust and the relationship with Italian companies», says the manager.

From serial production to flexible production

With Siemens Digital Industries Software for Smart Manufacturing, car manufacturers can modernize their existing capital, processes and resources

In the scenario just described, the machine goes beyond the limits of the traditional one automation And it ensures flexibility and adaptability to an increasingly variable and personalized demand, often involving the reconfiguration and setup of machine tools and automatic machines. The days when a line had to produce the same product in large quantities every day are long gone. The new demand requires dynamic and flexible systems. From mass production to batch-one production, the Siemens solution portfolio reduces time-to-market and increases productivity even in the face of fluctuating demand. it is pMarch manufacturing for one lean production where the data is used to generate increased knowledge for production optimization. Digitization of products, processes and business models. It is necessary to be in line with the market’s challenges, as digital waits for no one. It’s risky to delude yourself that you can change direction and only introduce changes when customers request it. As if to say, the time to invest is now.

New security rules for Industrial Iot

“But never underestimate the cyber security issue, a theme that is often overlooked in Industrial Iot,” says Busetto. THATIn a context where the need for connectivity is increasingly extreme, the risk of being exposed to cyber attacks increases. Secure production environments with defense mechanisms and methods to ensure production continuity is the new challenge. “Industrial security – affirms Busetto – must be part of the entire digitization process in every company ». Existing gaps on the OT security front will be filled from the new one international legislation that will replace that introduced sixteen years ago. The new draft of the Machinery Regulation is estimated to be implemented in 2023: it will be based on the IEC 62443 standard, which already represents the basis for the current Siemens offer for the safety of plants and factories.

Siemens’ “Defense in Depth” approach includes both technology and training

With the “Defense in Depth” approach, Siemens has developed a multi-level security strategy that includes not only the necessary technology, but also all the training to support companies in the level of risk awareness at all levels of the organizational structure.

Sustainability, energy efficiency, digital twins and virtual commissioning

The “GRAD” model: Decarbonisation, ethics, governance, resource efficiency, equity and employability

“Many projects stem from sustainability goals, says Busetto. With an important international group that deals with automotive components, we have developed a project to measure consumption within their assembly line. Here is an example of how important it is now to could develop ever more efficient energy management kpi. How is it done? With the collection and analysis of data ». Siemens’ vision of sustainability is summarized in the “DEGREE” model, where each letter represents a specific goal: Decarbonization, Ethics, Governance, Resource Efficiency, Equity and Employability. “Everything we work on leads to increased sustainability. Productivity actually means eliminating waste, doing more with less.

That digital twinthanks to the ability to provide a virtual representation of the physical model, it also enables virtual commissioningAndessential for reducing the design time and above all the commissioning time and therefore has a decisive importance for reducing the time-to-market. It is used to reproduce the physical behavior of a machinery or plant through a software simulation and allows you to test all the designed elements and related automations and eliminate any errors before proceeding to production. “Those who used it during the Covid period had great advantages because it allowed them to carry out projects and installations without having to send technicians to the site. It is also sustainability”.

Giuliano Busetto talks about industrial edge, cyber security, artificial intelligence

“IoT ready” machines to enable models as a service

Giuliano Busetto, Head of Digital Industries at Siemens

In any production environment, there are always deviations from optimal operation. Here, then, is the value of real-time monitoring as a control and monitoring system. Functional data collected at appropriate sampling frequencies enables monitoring of machine status 24 hours a day, 365 days a week.

With Siemens technology, digital is embedded in every phase, from the initial concept phase to the design phase. The data is shared according to an It-Ot convergent logic. “The shop floor provides a lot of data, but to exploit the potential you need an appropriate hardware and software combination,” emphasizes the Siemens boss. The infrastructural reference is edge computing: it produces an extended knowledge for a highly digitized environment.

In Siemens code, it is the “IoT Full Stack”: it includes front-end technology, middleware and hardware for data collection and management of communication flows. As Busetto says, «We take data from the field and bring it to the industrial edge or to the cloud, to be properly processed with machine learning algorithms. It is the technologies that enable an improved machine architecture, IoT ready, that enable oems to perform an as a service way ».

Xcelerator for digital transformation. Hardware, software and services, ecosystem of certified partners and marketplaces

Xcelerator allows you to collect, analyze and visualize data to constantly improve products and production processes

“Our strength is being a leader in industrial software,” says the manager. We are the only automation company with such a broad portfolio of products and solutions. It is a quality that is increasingly appreciated by customers who see us as the right partner for digital transformation. We will increasingly move towards a hardware and software-as-a-service model, and in the near future it is likely that we will even sell machines with subscription licenses ». It is in this direction that the Xcelerator platform was introduced globally: it includes hardware, software and services, an ecosystem of certified partners and a marketplace of solutions and applications. With this announcement, the German giant intends to create a more inclusive and participatory dimension, giving space to all those who bring innovation. Start up and above all digitally native companies, which show a digital mindset oriented towards new business, industry and production models. The offer transforms to include a growing number of as-a-service solutions and IoT hardware that can be constantly updated. In this perspective, for example, Industrial Operations X was created, the suite that brings together all the technologies that enable Industrial Iot, from sensors to the edge and the cloud, as well as the low-code development component. Mendix.

Artificial Intelligence: From Predictive Maintenance to Vision Systems to Collaborative Robotics

Through Siemens’ Industrial Edge software and technology, data analysis andartificial intelligence they can be rejected in different ways: for improving production capacity, product quality, for aspects related to automation of maintenance. Is the machine not working properly? With predictive analysis decisions can be made that lead to higher performance ratios, reducing risks and downtime caused by unexpected downtime. And then solutions to integrate the robot world in automation with vision systems. Here robots are designed for format changes: the images captured by cameras are sent to hardware with Nvidia gpu that supports the necessary computing capacity to perform the vision task. The share of robotics will continue to grow.

The Simatic Robot Integrator app leverages the Simatic Robot Library to integrate robots from different manufacturers in the factory

Machines are no longer limited to cages and automated production lines. Cobot, agv and amr are now an integral part of the 4.0 factory. This means that companies must be able to easily program devices. With this in mind, Siemens provides Simatic Robot library, a library to program the robot from the plc. In this way, all those with automation skills can control robots with the same logic in which industrial machines and equipment are controlled.

(Republishing the article published on July 15, 2022)

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