WELCOME TO PLANTVILLE! Thank You Siemens. Now go out and hook a bunch of kids on this game!

In 2006, I began suggesting that one way to get ahead of the curve on the looming crisis of manpower shortages in the process industries was to get to young people before the go to college or trade school, and get them interested in manufacturing. In 2008, with the help of our brilliant art department, we invented a name for a proposed video game that would be the way to hook young people on manufacturing: Process Hero.

Since then, I've talked to every significant automation vendor's CEO about helping to create the game, since Control doesn't have the cash to do it, and neither to I personally. I'd begun to think that maybe I was talking to deaf ears.

Today, I would like to thank Siemens for taking up the challenge. In this press release, you will see a fully developed interactive game that allows people with little or no manufacturing experience (teenagers) to make one of four plants operate better on the basis of KPIs.

Sure, this is so Siemens can sell product. So what? Go forth and tell your teenagers to go to www.plantville.com and sign up and play.



Online Game Simulates a Plant Manager’s Experience – Challenging Players to Increase Productivity, Sustainability and the Overall Health of an Industrial Plant

ATLANTA, March 24, 2011 -- Siemens Industry, Inc. today launched PlantvilleTM, a new online gaming platform that simulates the experience of being a plant manager. Players are faced with the challenge of maintaining the operation of their plant while trying to improve the productivity, efficiency, sustainability and overall health of their facility.

Plantville is an innovative, educational and fun way for Siemens to engage customers, employees, prospects, students and the general public while driving awareness of Siemens technologies and brand. The game enables players to improve the health of their plants by learning about and applying industrial and infrastructure products and solutions from Siemens. Gamers will be measured on a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), including safety, on time delivery, quality, energy management and employee satisfaction.

“Siemens is capitalizing on the tremendous growth of online engagement to demonstrate how our expertise can make industry and infrastructure more competitive by increasing sustainability, energy efficiency and productivity in a fun and educational environment,” said Daryl Dulaney, president and CEO, Siemens Industry, Inc. “We also hope Plantville will generate excitement in the areas of math, science and technology while inspiring a new generation of plant managers and engineers.”

Throughout the game, players will be able to interact with Pete the Plant Manager, whose plant has just won the “Plant of the Year” award.  Pete shares his best practices throughout the game to help players achieve outstanding results in plant performance. He will use webisodes, the Plantville Café, Puzzlers, and Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to dialogue with gamers, provide hints to playing the game, and host a leader board for contestants. 

In Plantville, players can select which of the three virtual plants they would like to manage first: – a bottling plant, a vitamin plant or a plant that builds trains. At the start of the game, each type of plant is faced with different challenges.  The players must identify the challenges facing their plant and implement solutions to improve the plant’s KPIs. Gamers will compete with one another on a number of levels, including plant-to-plant and on specific KPIs. Pete’s leader board will keep track of which players are performing the best on each of the levels.

Pete’s Puzzlers. 
These brain teasers test a gamer’s problem solving abilities and provide tips to enhance their play.  A player attempts to solve a puzzle or problem, and in doing so gets new insights for enhancing their plant’s performance.  The first person to correctly answer the puzzler will receive bonus points and will be recognized on the Plantville Facebook page.

Plantville Café. 
The Café is a fun and educational platform within the game that offers periodic online chat sessions with Pete on topics like process control, energy efficiency, industrial networking and more.  Chat sessions will be kept in a library as a resource for current and future players.  The sessions will enable gamers to collect tips that will help them manage their plants in Plantville more effectively, while also learning more about these topics and associated solutions.

“Driving preference for our company by illustrating how Siemens can be America’s partner for infrastructure and industry is only part of what we hope to accomplish with Plantville,” said Dulaney. “We also designed the game to educate our current and future employees about the breadth of Siemens portfolio and to strengthen our position as an employer of choice.”

Plantville, like the plants within it, will undergo updates and changes. Siemens will continue to develop and enhance this innovative platform to reflect the continuing advancement of its technologies, as well as other elements that change or have an impact on Industry and Infrastructure. 

For more information or to play Plantville, visit: www.plantville.com