Integration of automation and digitalisation can be achieved in baby steps
Published on : Wednesday 08-06-2022
Suprakash Chaudhuri, Head – Digital Industries, Siemens Limited, India.
What are the highlights of the tech solutions Siemens is presenting at Hannover Messe 2022?
Over the years, Siemens has always believed in paving the pathway for future technologies in the space of manufacturing, infrastructure, and energy by showcasing them at Hannover Messe. This year we will be answering the most persistent question of driving sustainable growth. Under the motto: “Let’s combine real and digital worlds for a sustainable tomorrow,” we will be showing firsthand examples of how to achieve these goals and become a true Digital Enterprise. We will demonstrate use cases on using data more intelligently to combine the real and virtual worlds with the support of various technology highlights in the field of Additive Manufacturing, Energy Efficiency, Digital Twin, OT/IT Convergence, Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, Electrification, Industrial 5G, and Industrial IoT from Edge to Cloud. Our highlight showcase is the all-electric car SimRod. A technology carrier that shows how combining the real and digital worlds works in practice. It demonstrates the strengths of the unique Siemens portfolio and its Digital Twin that is fed with data to improve it constantly that helps customers to keep up with globalisation, ensure sustainability and fulfil changing customer needs.
Digitalisation and automation are said to be game changers – what are the technologies deployed to facilitate this change?
Digitalisation and automation are the game changers in today’s day and age. Industrial players must embrace digitalisation and transform – quickly and constantly. By combining domain expertise with our holistic portfolio offerings, we support companies of all sizes and industries to speed up the digital transformation, turn challenges into opportunities. We have been advocating how better-informed decisions can now be made across the entire value chain with the advent of Digitalisation and Advanced Automation offerings. One such instance could be today’s manufacturers’ need for production resilience with maximum flexibility. Siemens’ edge and cloud computing – including AI that spans entire product life cycles – are helping companies to combine the real and digital worlds. With our cutting-edge digitalisation and automation solutions we can lower costs, shorten production cycles, increase resilience, and make production more sustainable for our customers and partners.
How do these solutions help plants with legacy equipment and limited resources?
Brownfield optimisation of existing facilities is equally important for sustainability as are repairing and retrofitting services, as well as data analysis and predictive services solutions. Software and software-enabled hardware are increasingly becoming key competitive factors in plants with limited resources and legacy equipment. Our Digital Enterprise offerings address this across the entire value chain. It can be implemented through a consultative approach at any stage of the production process depending on the customers’ needs without extensive pressure of complete overhaul.
Companies today are under increasing pressure to follow sustainable practices that come at a cost and impact profitability. Is there a way out?
We are going through a rapid pace of social, environmental and technology changes. So, the obvious questions are always around where does one start their digitalisation journey? How much to invest? Will this be sustainable, etc. But we tell our customers to focus on the reasons to invest first before we get into discussion of return on investment. The good part is that the integration of automation and digitalisation can be achieved in baby steps starting with the lowest hanging fruits and then, improved returns can fund continuous investments. In short, the technology will pay for itself and more. Technology will keep evolving and an enterprise will have to design a blueprint and define milestones with respect to how flexibly they can integrate this into their design and manufacturing cycle. What enterprises need to do is to create a Digital Enterprise, by merging the virtual and the physical world in a continuous flow of data. Consequently, merging the virtual with the physical world is enabling a continuous loop of optimization. And with the Digital Enterprise approach, Siemens is enabling exactly that.
What are the solutions available for process plants that have different problems like availability and scalability in hazardous environments?
Optimal availability is essential for a plant’s safety, economic viability, etc. Increasing process and production scalability means expanding modularity of existing systems as well as ensuring seamless module integration without downtimes. Flexible, scalable power distribution also contributes to this. Starting from design to engineering and commissioning in the digital world to operation in the real world our software solutions can be used to create a digital twin, as well as for continuous monitoring and optimisation during operations.
That is why we support the process industry with comprehensive software and hardware solutions as well as services to ensure exactly that: The consistent availability of power supply and plant information for engineering projects, ongoing operations, as well as on mobile devices, e.g., for effective workflow management. In addition, our cybersecurity solutions ensure that systems, data, and networks are protected while our comprehensive physical security portfolio safeguards overall system stability and business continuity.
What is the scenario in the Indian industry vis-à-vis these tech solutions for productivity?
Today, Indian Enterprises have the ease of accessibility to the latest technology simultaneously with the rest of the world like Industry 4.0, Edge, IIoT, AI, etc. This was not the case even 10 years back.
The second part is how effectively we are harnessing this. Latest developments in I4.0 or digitalisation with the domain expertise of sectors like F&B, Pharma, Automotive, Logistics, etc., will play a decisive role in furthering India’s manufacturing growth.
Along with Government initiatives like the PLI scheme, enterprises can get better cost leverages by digitalising their processes. While some of the large businesses have been quick to understand and adapt to Industry 4.0 and its constituent technologies, majority of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the manufacturing sector are yet to put these digital technologies to work. But time is running out. Indian manufacturing enterprises especially SMEs can enhance efficiency, reduce cost of production, minimise manufacturing defects, shorten production time and most importantly achieve scale and competency to participate in the global supply chain. Thanks to the efficient, digital workflows using the Siemens portfolio, they can react quickly to changing market requirements and increase productivity, efficiency, and quality. It is our endeavour to walk together with our customers in their digitalisation journey towards ‘atma-nirbharta.