Photo: Viet Tuan
Mr. Tindaro Danze, Industry (DF PD)* Country Division Lead and Vice President at Siemens Vietnam, tells VET how Siemens supports customers in building their own individual roadmaps to become truly digital enterprises.
■ The new industrial era is often described using terms such as “Industrie 4.0” or the “Internet of Things”. Siemens is said to have a leading role to play in the newly-founded Industrie 4.0 platform. Can you explain to our readers what Industrie 4.0 is?
Industrie 4.0 is a concept developed by the German Federal Government for the automation industry in Germany. It signifies the latest industrial revolution. The first industrial revolution was triggered by the introduction of the steam engine and the mechanization of manual work in the 18th century, while electrified mass production drove the second industrial revolution in the early 20th century. The third followed in more recent decades as a result of the use of electronics and computer technology for manufacturing and production automation. The real and virtual worlds are now beginning to merge in production, which is why we’re talking about “Industrie 4.0” - the fourth industrial revolution.
The goal of Industrie 4.0 is to develop a forward-looking strategy that prepares the German manufacturing industry for the internet age.
■ So what is the most significant impact of Industrie 4.0?
As a result of Industrie 4.0, in the future billions of machines, systems and sensors worldwide will communicate directly with each other and share information. This new, digital industrial revolution will not only enable companies to make production significantly more efficient, it will also give them greater flexibility when it comes to tailoring production to meet market requirements.
■ What can Siemens offer its present and future customers towards Industrie 4.0?
Siemens terms its way to Industrie 4.0 as the “Digital Enterprise”. With the Digital Enterprise, Siemens offers solutions to address the specific requirements of the manufacturing and processing industry. These solutions combine the world of planning and operation to create an integral plant management concept covering the entire lifecycle of an industrial plant. The path to the Digital Enterprise is comprised of four core elements that logically build on one another. These four core elements are our Software, our Industrial Communication networks, our Security in automation, and our Business-specific industrial services. Each of these core elements is comprised of a unique portfolio that prepares our customers for Industrie 4.0.
For example, under our Software banner we provide our Digital Enterprise Software Suite - a comprehensive portfolio of software-based systems for discrete industries, built up for more than 15 years and based on Teamcenter as a collaborative platform (data backbone) that integrates PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), MES/MOM (Manufacturing Execution System / Manufacturing Operations Management) and TIA (Totally Integrated Automation).
■ Digitalization and Digital Enterprise are wide ranging terms. What do they mean for the manufacturing and processing industry in Vietnam and where should enterprises start?
“The path of change must be based on progressive evolution, starting with small pilot projects that get implemented step-by-step in reasonable doses. Siemens is committed to supporting Vietnamese customers to become digitalized bottom-up from the shop floor to the top floor."
Digitalization and the Digital Enterprise touch all levels of the operation, from the “shop floor” all the way up to the “top floor”. But the real question you want to ask first is “How well prepared is our shop floor?”
Considering that sensor, automation and material tracking capabilities are developing with high speed, the statement “in the not too distant future, work pieces will tell machines what to do” is a very real one.
In fact, there are many applications in production, machining and packaging where this is already implemented today. A solid and fully integrated automation platform on your shop floor is truly a “must have” for bottom-up production and services digitalization.
Digitalization can only be realized if machine and plant data are transported consistently through every level and are usable in a valuable way. TIA is therefore fundamental for a successful Digitalization strategy.
■ So TIA is all it takes to become a digitalized enterprise?
No, but TIA gives our customers the foundation to be prepared for the next steps to be taken on the journey to becoming a truly digitalized enterprise.
After you have prepared your shop floor by implementing TIA, the next question you may want to ask yourself is “how satisfied are we with our manufacturing operations performance and real-time transparency?”
Globalization and consolidation have often created enterprise platforms that manage the Supply Chain and PLM processes with no link to the manufacturing base. This has proven to be a barrier to replicating improvements across all plants and integrating intelligence from the shop floor to the top floor. This is critical for gaining the full benefit of investments in manufacturing operations management covering the whole enterprise.
MES/MOM plays a crucial role in the digitalization of manufacturing operations by providing the optimal interconnection between shop floor and top floor. This holistic solution supports the entire value chain, from product development through production planning, production engineering, and production execution to services.
Siemens was one of the first to understand the challenges facing manufacturing industries, offering SIMATIC IT as a solution for MES and MOM.
■ TIA is what Siemens offers to digitalize the shop floor and MES/MOM is the interconnection to the top floor. To close the loop, what does Siemens actually offer to digitalize the top floor?
Another important question you want to ask when drafting your Digitalization Strategy is “how tight is our integration of design, engineering and manufacturing?”, which is where the top floor comes in.
Two-thirds of today’s decision makers say that innovation is one of their top three strategic priorities. The key to innovation, to quickly convert new ideas to marketable products and to bring them faster to the customer, is the PLM (the top floor).
Siemens’ comprehensive PLM software portfolio covers and integrates the entire manufacturing value chain, from product design, engineering and production to services.
Siemens offers a wide range of classic services as well as data-based services such as Plant Data Services, Plant Security Services, and Plant Cloud Services.
Plant Cloud Services for industry are based on an open cloud platform utilizing SAP Hana technology. Siemens customers will use this to develop, extend and operate apps in the cloud. Today, intelligent data analysis and evaluation already helps support industrial decision processes and makes a decisive contribution to productivity increases. In this context, digitalization has for a long time not only meant the provision of a fast-growing volume of data generated on a worldwide scale; it also means collecting such data, analyzing its content, deducing conclusions or developing completely new business models and, in the end, creating a great deal of value.
■ What are the success factors on the way to becoming a Digital Enterprise?
As I mentioned earlier, having a well prepared shop floor and a well thought through strategy is vital to successfully becoming a Digital Enterprise. Siemens aims to support customers, regardless of their starting point, to identify barriers and provide solutions for streamlining shop floor to top floor operations and communications.
One key concept in this process is “smart data” - meaning the intelligent use of “big-data” as well as automation and process know-how. A technical understanding of both of these terms coupled with a profound comprehension of industry business models are both necessary to succeed.
At the end of the day, it’s all about turning digital data into value for the company, be it by using real-time asset data to run predictive service models, which substantially increases plant reliability, or energy analytics to reduce energy costs, just to name two examples.
■ So what is your specific advice for those Vietnamese enterprises that are determined to become digitalized in the future?
Digitalization starts bottom-up at the shop floor. The path of change must be based on progressive evolution, commencing with small pilot projects that get implemented step-by-step in reasonable doses that can be coped with during plant operation.
The first main step is to ensure production data transparency before going further on the journey of digitalization. With our TIA platform, our Vietnamese customers will be fully prepared for the next steps and Siemens is offering a “gateway” to that next level. In fact, I consider Siemens to be “The Gateway” to the next industrial era, or Industrie 4.0.
■ Can you explain to us in a bit more detail why you consider Siemens as “The Gateway” to the next industrial era?
I consider Siemens “The Gateway” since we support our customers in building their own individual roadmaps to become truly digital enterprises. We therefore consider that each manufacturer is more or less at a different, or unique, starting position. Obviously, enterprises will not be able to renew their complete IT infrastructure and software within a short period of time. It is important to start at the right place and to systematically drive migration and renewal with mid- to long-term plans considering also the financial side of this transformation.
Manufacturers might focus first on the shop floor to ensure production data transparency, and/or decide to invest in a collaborative data platform to start interconnecting various design and engineering disciplines.
Whatever the starting point might be, Siemens offers the gateway to the next digitalization step. And by doing so we are the only company that is driving full end-to-end (shop floor to top floor) solution support with our Digital Enterprise Software Suite.