As we move closer to 2020, we are reaching the next level of digitalisation. Globally, manufacturers are digitising operations in innumerable ways, including advances in design, engineering, operations and maintenance. Keeping this in mind, Siemens India recently organised Siemens Innovation Day, which was held in Mumbai, that showcased concrete proof points together with selected customers that demonstrated how the potential with digitalisation is being maximised, and showcased innovative technologies that are helping industries, from manufacturing to energy management to transportation, for embracing the power of data in a digital and connected world.
Digitalisation is a must
The event took off with a warm welcome by Sunil Mathur, MD & CEO, Siemens Limited, where he threw light on digitalisation gaining momentum in India, and at the same time, there is apprehension about what it means in terms of jobs and long-term impacts in terms of security issues. “From an India perspective, the government is talking about the manufacturing industry’s share going from 15% to 25% of GDP. This will not be possible without digitalisation,” he told the audience and went on, “So, India cannot afford to be left behind on this as global players are already implementing digitalisation. From a Siemens perspective, we wanted to implement this for ourselves first. We are working with over 150 customers trying to solve issues most important to them.”
Making the customer central
Next, Dr Roland Busch, CTO and Member of the Managing Board, Siemens AG, took over. He averred that we must put customer value in the middle of our picture, where it is about everything from productivity to efficiency. He further expounded, “If a customer says that he/she would like to execute his/her digital strategy, then we must start with IoT consulting & understand the needs of the customer. Siemens has its own IoT unit. We have our MindSphere Application Centre, where we have over 500 applications. Besides, we have close to 1000 AI experts. We work together with our customers, creating applications which are useful to them.”
Busch went on to say that connectivity is of essence. “Which is very complex because we have to speak so many different languages,” he clarified and went on, “all of our devices have an embedded RTOS or linux-based connectivity OS. The whole thing has to be designed with a high level of cybersecurity which starts with the architecture.”
IoT – an ocean of opportunities
This was followed by Bettina Rotermund, Head of Marketing & Sales Support, Siemens IoT Services, turning the attention to what makes IoT so significant. She implied that it’s an ocean full of opportunities, where companies applying IoT use cases are outperforming their peers by far and applying it leads to increased productivity and reliability, enhanced efficiency, and increased security and prediction. So, Rotermund highlighted the question – If IoT is so rich in opportunities, why are only 30% doing it? She explained, “One of the main reasons behind why many are not doing IoT is because how to create value out of IoT might not be visible at first sight – you have to elaborate it. Furthermore, most people get hick-ups when they think of making amendments to their critical infrastructures.”
According to the results of Siemens & HBR pulse survey about IoT adoption, some of the obstacles in the way of IoT include 74% of executives saying that IoT will become a competitive differentiator in their markets over the next two years, while 70% strongly agree that the need to adopt IoT technology will grow over the next two years. “That is why clients search for somebody who knows about the industry and about IoT. They want to have a trusted partner who goes through the process of digital transformation with them from A to Z,” Rotermund elucidated. Coming to cybersecurity, Rotermund said, “Cybersecurity is mandatory. Do not bring your critical assets into the cloud unprotected. For example, Siemens IoT services support major electrical equipment distributor in preparing entry into digital business.”
No automation without AI
This was followed by a session on ‘Industrial Artificial Intelligence’ by Dr Michael May, Head of Company Core Technology Data Analytics & AI, Siemens. He asserted, “Siemens has over 170 years of innovation, where AI is one of the core technologies that the company depends on. There is no future for automation without AI.”
Further throwing light on AI autonomous learning of turbine control, May cited that AI learns from the behaviour of a gas turbine in operation as well as fleet data. Also, it learns a control strategy that outperforms manually tuned turbines & AI autonomously lowers the NOx emissions. The focus then shifted to Next47 and its work towards investing in start-ups. It fosters deep collaboration with Siemens and Siemens customers to grow start-ups and source expertise, invests in the best start-ups in areas of strategic interest to Siemens, and selectively creates new businesses through accelerators.
Technologies that make an impact
Robert Hardt, Partner, Global Catalyst Lead, Next47, who presented this session, asserted, “Companies work with their customers and develop solutions for the industry. There is a transformation going on. We have capital available that can go into innovation, while innovation, too, is transforming. We look for technologies that have a profound impact on the industry. We can create new business models and market capitalisations, which will lead to these technologies creating new business opportunities.”
AI, Digital Twin, IoT & Next47
After the event, there were four breakout sessions on Artificial Intelligence, Digital Twin, Internet of Things & Next47. The session on Artificial Intelligence addressed the topics of ‘AI Enabled Forecasting’ and ‘Non-invasive Monitoring of Oil-level in Distribution Transformers’ and also discussed where Siemens applies knowledge graphs.
At the session on Digital Twin, topics on ‘Digital Twins with SIMIT Simulation platform’ and ‘Digital Twin Rotodynamic Analyser (DiTRA)’ were discussed. Coming to the session on Internet of Things, it was conferred how IoT and digitalisation are becoming a reality & disrupting businesses, yet, however, companies tend to face multiple challenges in implementing IoT solutions. As for the session on Next47, it addressed the topics of 3D printing & cybersecurity.
The innovation day concluded to be a pioneering one, where latest innovations and industry trends were talked about and how Siemens solutions help create value for businesses and society.