The mash-up of software, IT, the Internet and other digital technologies with real-world, plant-floor equipment, applications and manufacturing systems is causing plenty of upheaval in most industries. However, these earth-shaking forces can be reined in and successfully managed, and some of the main resources for doing it were at the Siemens Automation Summit 2017 on June 26-29 at the Waldorf Astoria Resort in Boca Raton, Fla. The three-day user conference featured keynote addresses, more than 50 end user presentations, training workshops product exhibits.
"The focus on digitalization has never been stronger," said Raj Batra, president, Siemens Digital Factory USA, during his opening keynote address. "When we bought UGS Corp. in 2007, people wondered how its software would contribute to what we do. Now, everyone knows that they've got to embrace digitalization, and for Siemens, this meant billions in investment in devices and software to bring the virtual and physical worlds together to deliver true business value."
Scalability fuels value
However, Batra explained the difficult part of extracting value from digitalization is that return on investment (ROI) must be produced quickly. To help its customers navigate this disruptive environment, Siemens recently organized its multi-faceted Digital Enterprise program. This strategy optimizes a company's value chain with Siemens industrial software and automation portfolios, communications, security and services, and helps users transition from integrated engineering to integrated operations.
"Luckily, digitalization is a very scalable world, so participants can start small, and quickly work up to bigger enterprises," added Batra. "Time to market is the most important driver in business today, and so digitalizing and integrating an organization's entire value chain is key to staying competitive. We do this by making a digital twin of that value chain, and use it to create the most holistic approach and solution for our customers."
During his keynote address, Batra also announced the recipients of Siemens' 12th annual Customer Recognition Excellence Awards. The four winners are:
• Tenaris Bay City just completed a $1.8-billion, automated seamless pipe manufacturing facility in Bay City, Texas, which employed all aspects of Siemens' Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) portal, Integrated Drive Systems (IDS) and Totally Integrated Power (TIP) solutions. The 1.2-million-sq-ft facility includes a hot rolling mill, heat treatment and finishing processes, and has a production capacity of 600,000 tons.
• Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. in Titusville, N.J., transitioned from traditional batch to continuous manufacturing, installed a Simatic PCS7-based line control and SCADA (LC&S) system at its Janssen-Ortho plant in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, and secured the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for conversion from batch to continuous for its Prezista medicine for treating HIV.
• Shaw Industries Group reports that its new, 700,000-sq-ft, carpet-tile plant in Adairsville, Ga., became its first major installation to use safety PLCs and safe communications to I/O and drives, which saved on wiring/installation, and delivered improved diagnostics.
• Intec Automated Controls in Sterling Heights, Mich., designed, installed and maintains the Boeing FAUB cradle-control system to reduce manual riveting and cradle manipulation during assembly of the fuselages of Boeing 777 aircraft. This robotic system was commissioned at Kuka Aerospace, and is supported by Intec at Boeing's headquarters in Everett, Wash.