Chicago's Navy Pier Welcomes Siemens exiderdome

July 21, 2008
Unique Technology Exhibit Gives Manufacturers a New Look at the World of Automation

Built and transported on a specially built barge for the first part of its nine-city tour, exiderdome will be open to visitors in Chicago through July 24 as the visually unique centerpiece of Siemens’ 2008 Automation Summit, being held at Navy Pier from Tuesday through Thursday.

“The United States is Siemens’ largest market, and our roots run deep in the Chicago area, where we have been operating for nearly 120 years,” said Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of Siemens Industry Sector, addressing the assembled guests. “Combined with its proximity to our customers, Chicago ranks as one of the top areas for potential market growth and is the ideal place to launch our U.S. tour.”

Alternatively called The World of Automation, exiderdome is a 10,000-sq-ft, three-story building constructed of 55 shipping containers in such as way to include two assembly halls and numerous display areas where Siemens showcases its products and technology expertise.

"At Siemens Energy & Automation, we sell productivity, and exiderdome tells this story through multimedia shows, demos, training sessions and more," said Dennis Sadlowski, president and CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation. "With exiderdome, we are showing our commitment to our customers by meeting them in their backyard to discuss how our solutions drive productivity in their industries."

Four atrium walls encompassing nearly 100 linear feet are moveable, full-wall, multi-media displays. Seven high-definition video projectors can project 625 MB—as much data as 25,000 written pages—per second, providing an experience that immerses the audience in video. A second multi-media experience ends the exiderdome tour, with multiple monitors highlighting Siemens and its customers in the U.S.

The exiderdome’s Global Tour

Before arriving in Chicago, exiderdome toured much of Asia and continues to work its way eastward. In this three-minute video see highlights of its past two years of touring, plus how it all comes together from 55 individual shipping containers.
Watch this video
Seven of the assembled containers showcase 137,000 products, organized by families of technology: Commercial & Industrial Power Infrastructure, Industrial Controls, Drives & Motors, Motion Control, Discrete Automation (2) and Process Automation. An eighth container features a global overview of Siemens technologies.

Siemens’ officials say the exiderdome uses some 20 km of power cable, 2 km of data cable, about 60 computers and six wireless access points. In addition the infrastructure requires a full kilometer of sprinkler pipes and has 2 600kW generators.

exiderdome next will travel by barge to Detroit, Boston and New York City. The barge is designed to provide a full-time platform for exiderdome, eliminating much of the construction and assembly needed at each stop. The builders say width was a key design criterion for the barge because it will travel through the locks along the St. Lawrence Seaway. It has four inches of clearance in the smallest of the locks.

After its stop in New York, it will be packed into standard DIN containers and transported by 55 tractor trailers to the remaining tour stops. All together, the exhibition elements and their transportation trucks weigh about 670 tons. Though a single convoy of these trucks would be very impressive, the trucks will travel in five or more smaller convoys to address traffic and logistical concerns. 

Siemens officials expect more than 9,000 existing and potential customers—ranging from plant and building engineers to top executives of major industrial companies—to visit exiderdome during its nine-city, 10-month tour of major U.S. manufacturing centers between July 2008 and May 2009.

After Chicago, exiderdome will visit Detroit (Aug. 7-15), Boston (Oct. 20-24), New York (Nov. 1-7), Charlotte (Dec. 8-12), Orlando (2009), Denver (2009), Los Angeles (2009) and Houston (2009).

exiderdome, which has been on a world tour since it 2005 introduction in China, is the biggest marketing campaign that Siemens ever has ever undertaken in the U.S. For more information on exiderdome, visit