Innovation Day 2019 Siemens Showcases Digital Innovations
‘Maximise the Potential with Digitalisation’ was the underlying theme of the Siemens Innovation Day India 2019 held recently in Mumbai. Around 400 delegates from the target industry verticals, ranging from Aerospace to Water, virtually covering the entire process industry and discrete manufacturing besides core industry sectors, attended the proceedings where innovations flashed on the giant presentation screen slide after slide and a couple of important announcements were made.
The first announcement was about accelerating efforts to develop and bring to market innovative solutions that create sustainable value for businesses and societies. Under this, 4,000 IoT and software experts will collaborate with teams around the world to conceptualise, develop, test and bring-to-market applications in the areas of Smart Urban Infrastructure, Digital Enterprise, Connected Mobility, Future of Energy and Artificial Intelligence. The IoT solutions developed in India will complement the work done at the four MindSphere Application Centres in India – one each based in Pune and Noida, and two at Gurgaon – where software developers, data specialists and engineers work together with Siemens customers to develop digital innovations for data analysis and machine learning.
The second announcement was the opening of Next47 at Bangalore. Next47 is an independent global venture firm committed to helping connect Siemens customers to startup innovation from around the world. The significance of the nomenclature Next47 is that Siemens itself was a startup in 1847! Globally, through Next47, Siemens has invested in hugely successful startups like Claroty in the cybersecurity and Markforged in additive manufacturing, to single out just two, helping both to scale up dramatically with its experience and resources. India is the startup hub of Asia and seen as offering the next big VC opportunity, and Siemens is obviously not going to miss it.
In his welcome address, Sunil Mathur, MD & CEO, Siemens Limited, said, “The global arena is implementing digitalisation and we are already having factories and manufacturing facilities talking about 99.99% productivity, quality and so on. So India cannot afford to be left behind.” Mathur gave the example of how the Contactor Line at the Siemens Kalwa plant, a 50 year old brownfield factory was transformed dramatically by digital technologies, which not only boosted productivity but the enhanced quality means now the contactors manufactured at this plant are exported. “This is really the proof of what digitalisation can do, not only for large companies, but also for SMEs,” he asserted.
But it was the keynote delivered by Dr Roland Busch, COO, CTO and Member of the Managing Board, Siemens AG, that had the audience spellbound. He began the presentation asking what does it take to succeed in this digital transformation. The answer is speed and scale, so to help unlock customer value the company offers a platform, Siemens IoT @ Scale, with the Siemens technology stack at the centre, and the MindSphere open, cloud based IoT operating system right at the top. This is connected to Siemens core technologies and capabilities on one side, and the ecosystem that helps achieve the results at the other. The platform is protected by end-to-end cybersecurity system and equipped with an easy-to-use intuitive interface. Dr Busch gave the example everyone is familiar with – Amazon, the one-time book seller now a global supplier of over 350 million products, and what lies behind the scenes of this transformation! Over a thousand robots deployed across more than hundred world class distribution points powered by AI, loads of data residing in the cloud, algorithms that make sense of the data, high speed connectivity and much else that enables same day delivery in a matter of hours. It is not just about technology but an ecosystem.
Next Dr Busch gave a few examples of successful transformation:
- Expo 2020 Dubai, UAE – Siemens smart city app designed to digitally optimise the event, enhance visitor experience and reduce energy and water use during the event. It effectively demonstrates the potential to connect an entire city to the IoT with MindSphere.
- The cooperation with Volkswagen for industrial cloud where Siemens as integration partner ensures efficient networking of production systems, machinery and equipment at 122 Volkswagen plants.
- How machine tool manufacturer Heller with the help of MindSphere now sells machine tool hours instead of machines.
- AI based thermal optimisation at data centres lowers energy consumption by up to 40%.
- 33% fewer delays and higher availability of trains with data-based monitoring and maintenance optimisation.
- Digital twin and AI for smart motor surveillance and optimisation by simply applying software, with no need for real sensors, avoiding costly and time consuming process.
- Siemens factory in Amberg – a world class digital factory with Euro 200,000 annual savings through Edge Computing and AI.
“India is a key focus market and plays an important role in our global digitalisation strategy. Research and Software Development in India coupled with the sharpened focus on Start-Up innovations through Next47 will actively drive the implementation of cutting-edge technologies,” Dr Busch concluded.
Bettina Rotermund, Head of Marketing & Sales Support, Siemens IoT Services, made an interesting presentation, ‘From Buzzwords to Business Case – How to maximise your potential through IoT.’ While it is obvious IoT can make visible difference in everyday scenarios, what explains the fact that only 30% are using it? Well, a recent Siemens & HBR pulse survey about IoT adoption has some interesting findings with over 74% executives feeling it is not time yet, to 46% uncertain about outcome. But between 34-40% find it difficult to get external advisors with IoT experience of their industry. That makes an interesting case for a strong partner in executing IoT.
Dr Michael May, Head of Core Technology Data Analytics & AI, Siemens, made a presentation on Industrial Artificial Intelligence and the presented selected examples of data-driven value generation in diverse segments ranging from Energy Analytics at the Siemens Amberg factory, Predictive Maintenance in 20 high speed trains in Spain, Condition Monitoring & Wear Prediction in power plants and 20 years of online learning neural networks in steel plants.
The concluding presentation, ‘Put the world to work for visionary entrepreneurs’, was by Robert Hardt, Partner Global Catalyst Lead, Next47. It elaborated on how Siemens invests in the best startups in areas of strategic interest by selectively creating new businesses through accelerators to foster deep collaboration with Siemens and its customers to grow startups and source expertise.
The event also showcased in an experience zone concrete proof points together with selected customers that demonstrated how Siemens is maximising the potential with digitalisation.
Pix1: Sunil Mathur, MD & CEO, Siemens Limited.
Pix2: Dr Roland Busch, COO & CTO, Siemens AG.