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Profound Machinery Benefits Of A Multi-disciplinary Design

Profound Machinery Benefits Of A Multi-disciplinary Design

All engineering disciplines need to work in close collaboration to ensure a design is completed on time and manufactured and commissioned cost-effectively. Article by Alex Teo, Siemens Digital Industries.

In manufacturing, building a machine is a complicated process. Historically, the focus was on the mechanical CAD, and the functioning mechanical arrangement and assembly. Today’s sophisticated machines are still mechanical marvels, but over the last two decades, electrical power is now a part of motors, rotary equipment, and camshaft gears. Moreover, all are driven by advanced computing via the software, controlled by PLCs and CNCs. Gone are the days of addressing the mechanical design in one space and the electrical design and schematics in another. The software must be part of the equation in providing optimum design.

A multi-disciplinary design approach

Now more than ever, all the engineering disciplines need to work closely together to ensure the design is completed on time and cost-effectively manufactured and commissioned. That’s why machine manufacturers are leveraging a multi-disciplinary design approach, spurring manufacturing to greater efficiency. Multi-disciplinary design is assessing the complexities of machine building, including engineering design and manufacturing. 

For decades the machine manufacturer’s number one focus was on CAD and manufacturing parts within tolerance for everything to function mechanically. The machine was primarily a mechanical piece of equipment, such as yesterday’s automobiles or airplanes.  Therefore, the mechanical design resided in one area, with the electrical design, schematics, and software development in silos.

However, this dynamic is ever-changing with motors and equipment transitioning to gears driven by software and PLC codes, thus accelerating the desire for performance-based programs. The software must be adaptable to conditions on the floor with the machine reacting to real-time sensor readings. Simplistic processes, like a cylinder, extending and retracting, can be based on the pressure differential and flow regulation—technologies unavailable in the past to small and medium-sized businesses due to cost. This scenario increases mechanical capabilities and features with software – a game-changer for machine designers.

The multi-disciplinary design blends all the capabilities and skillsets needed for advanced machine engineering into a collaborative environment. It pays dividends for the output quality of the machine design with everything working together in its place. It is a type of art form as opposed to merely bolting on electrical, sensors, and cable runs. It is more than that—it is an integrated solution. This dynamic creates harmony in the multi-disciplinary design when each discipline has separate areas.

All engineering disciplines need to work in close collaboration to ensure a design is completed on time and manufactured and commissioned cost-effectively.

A new approach to machining

Manufacturers can no longer follow the established method: “we used to design it – build it and then see if it actually worked by testing it.” Now machinery companies have aggressively compressed timelines to get their more sophisticated machinery to market. That is why there is a substantial increase around embedding simulation into the design process, and incorporating multi-discipline domain, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, vibration, and harshness. 

Machine builders are also relying on a comprehensive digital twin. The digital twin holistically is a representation of the physical machine, its performance, and the recipe for manufacturing it. So, it corresponds to everything that constitutes the machine:  mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, fluid, pneumatics, design domains, performance, simulation, and automation code. Moreover, the digital twin encompasses manufacturing and service life, basically taking the machine from the point of origination through to the end of life, when it gets recycled.

There is a blurring of lines between mechanical, electrical, and software, so there cannot only be a digital twin of the mechanical, without representing all the other domains as well. A comprehensive digital twin is imperative because of the emphasis on machinery driven by the software and electrical. Therefore, these domains must be included in the digital twin to help and assist in creating and maintaining the most comprehensive digital twin.

Furthermore, design exploration is more profitable when simulating the entire digital machine for displaying performance in the virtual world. Therefore, items like Mechatronics Concept Designer, which is a digital industry software with specific capabilities around kinematics to define PLC code, use these capabilities to portray a virtual twin. Realistically, this entails the same work traditionally completed as a team, now achieved in a synchronised, collaborative manner but with the enhanced capability which allows designers to find failures quickly. 

Manufacturing companies are attaining improved levels of optimization within the mechanical system by performing kinematics with the electrical and software teams before the physical product or prototype even exists. This setting allows for uncovering the limitations of the desired mechanism and building that knowledge into the mechanical behavior—a compelling paradigm shift in machine design.

By taking advantage of collaboration parts of the mechanical system that have reached a level of maturity can be opened and exposed to the electrical and software teams for performing kinematics upfront in 90-degree motion. For example, already knowing the limits of a mechanism’s function, affords the ability to build that knowledge into mechanical behavior for use during the simulation. Since the teams are mindful of the behavioral action from the mechanical, they can incorporate that knowledge into the PLC software.

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Siemens Expands PLM Portfolio With New SaaS Offering

Siemens Expands PLM Portfolio With New SaaS Offering

Siemens Digital Industries Software has expanded its product lifecycle management (PLM) portfolio with the launch of Teamcenter X software, a new solution delivered as a service. Created with product innovators in mind, Teamcenter is a modern, highly scalable and industry proven PLM suite that connects people and processes across functional disciplines.

Teamcenter X is the new software as a service (SaaS) offering, helping enable companies of all sizes to quickly realize value, without the IT resource traditionally associated with on-premises PLM deployments. Teamcenter X offers the convenience of choosing from preconfigured engineering and business solutions that deliver immediate value, with the flexibility to add more capabilities as business needs grow. Teamcenter X brings the power of the cloud to all users, to help reduce time-to-market and connect distributed, cross-disciplinary teams while improving effectiveness and efficiency at any scale.

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“Teamcenter X is an important evolutionary step for Siemens’ highly successful enterprise data and process management solution,” said Peter Bilello, President and CEO of CIMdata. “It leverages a new and modern cloud platform with best practices built-in, and a business model in which Siemens has removed the burden of operating PLM for companies of all sizes. It is sure to attract the interest of companies from every industry.”

With this latest SaaS extension to Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio, Teamcenter X can help customers realize PLM benefits quickly and streamline product development. Companies can easily connect PLM with familiar applications for secure, agile, collaboration across the enterprise, and across functional domains. With an open multi-CAD approach and integrations to the world’s leading software tools, such as NX software and Solid Edge software for mechanical computer-aided design (CAD), Mentor software for electronic CAD, and Polarion X software for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Teamcenter X creates a multi-domain bill of materials (BOM) to provide visibility to the complete digital twin, including mechanical, electrical, and software components. The easy to use interface, with predictive artificial intelligence (AI) elements, helps users across the enterprise get up and running quickly and work smarter. Preconfigured solutions, such as Engineering Change, Release Management, and more, help users work more efficiently. Built on the Mendix software application platform, the knowledge contained in Teamcenter X can be integrated and extended across the entire enterprise.

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“Teamcenter X combines the leading suite of PLM solutions and services with the leading low-code application platform Mendix to allow customers to deliver multi-domain products on time, with high quality, within budget, and exceeding customer expectations. Teamcenter X is a true SaaS solution, building on our PLM expertise and leveraging tomorrow’s technology through microservices, artificial intelligence, and low-code development,” said Joe Bohman, Senior Vice President for Teamcenter, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “This new evolution of Teamcenter can benefit businesses of all sizes, and we can’t wait to work with new companies to help drive their PLM and contribute to the innovations of tomorrow.”

Siemens also announces Teamcenter Share, a new cloud-based, design-centric project collaboration service designed for companies that want to move to an engineering-focused collaboration tool from local and networked hard drives, or generic cloud storage solutions. Share enables product development stakeholders to synchronize desktop files to secure cloud storage, where they can view and mark up all common CAD formats from any device, and easily share project work with other stakeholders to facilitate collaboration on product development projects. Teamcenter Share also provides sophisticated augmented reality (AR) capabilities that can be easily accessed from a tablet or smartphone to enable users to better understand how designs will function in the intended environment.

 

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Siemens Revolutionizes CAD Sketching With AI Technology

Siemens Revolutionizes CAD Sketching With AI Technology

Siemens Digital Industries Software has launched a new solution for capturing concepts in 2D. The new NX Sketch software tool revolutionizes sketching in CAD, which is an essential part of the design process. By changing the underlying technology, users are now able to sketch without pre-defining parameters, design intent and relationships.

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to infer relationships on the fly, users can move away from a paper hand sketch and truly create concept designs within NX software. This technology offers significant flexibility in concept design sketching, and makes it easy to work with imported data, allowing rapid design iteration on legacy data, and to work with tens of thousands of curves within a single sketch. With these latest enhancements to NX, Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio continues to bring together advanced technology, even within the core of modelling techniques, helping remove the traditional barriers users have experienced to dramatically improve productivity.

“The ability to make intelligent changes to 2D entities that one imports into the new sketcher is astounding,” said Steve Samuels, CEO of Design Visionaries Inc.

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With these latest enhancements to NX, Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio continues to bring together advanced technology, even within the core of modelling techniques.

With these latest enhancements to NX, Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio continues to bring together advanced technology, even within the core of modelling techniques.

Analysis has shown that in an average day or workflow, around 10% of a typical user’s day is spent sketching. In addition, within current design environments most concept sketching is happening outside of the CAD software due to the level of rules and relationships that must be decided on and built into the sketch by the user up front. Often designers in concept design stage do not necessarily know what the final product may be, which requires a sketching environment that is flexible and can evolve with the design. NX offers the flexibility of 2D paper concept design within the 3D CAD environment, as the first in the industry to eliminate upfront constraints on the design. Instead of defining and being limited by constraints such as size or relationships, NX can recognize tangents and other design relationships to adjust on the fly.

“Sketching is at the heart of CAD and is critical to capturing the intent of the digital twin,” said Bob Haubrock, Senior Vice President, Product Engineering Software at Siemens Digital Industries Software. “Even though this is an essential part of the process, sketching hasn’t changed much in the last 40 years. Using technology and innovations from multiple past acquisitions, Siemens is able to take a fresh look at this crucial design step and modernize it in a way that will help our customers achieve significant gains in productivity and innovation.”

 

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Mouldmakers Turn To Process Automation In Race To Recover

Mouldmakers Turn To Process Automation In Race To Recover

As production begins to ramp up in some sectors, mould and die manufacturers turning to automation of design and manufacturing to regain lost revenues.

Swoosh Technologies & Solutions, a certified-Smart Siemens Digital Industries Software business partner, has noticed more interest in mould and die-specific programs that automate tasks in the design and manufacturing of moulds.

“By automating some of the more tedious and predictable steps in the production process like creating parting surfaces or feature recognition for CNC programming, manufacturers can step up the speed of production throughput with the workforce they have in place,” notes Dan Wibbenmeyer, Managing Partner at Swoosh Technologies.

“And in an industry like consumer products or automotive, speed of delivery and cost will determine who receives the order.”

A recent survey from the American Mould Builders Association found that most plant operations fared well during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic operating at full capacity, while only two percent had to shut down operations entirely. Those who specialise in the medical device market are seeing the highest production levels with 91 percent of companies reporting they are 90-100 percent staffed and 55 percent looking to add staff.

 

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Siemens Workplace Distancing Solution Helps Manage ‘Next Normal’ Manufacturing

Siemens Workplace Distancing Solution Helps Manage ‘Next Normal’ Manufacturing

Manufacturers are facing new challenges as they look to restart or maintain operations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As preparations are made for the “next normal”, manufacturers must consider additional dimensions of employee safety, including the establishment of production environments and workflows that address physical distancing requirements.

Combining proven hardware and software, Siemens has created a new solution that enables companies to quickly and efficiently model how employees interact with each other, the production line and plant design. The new solution also enables organisations to build an end-to-end digital twin, in order to simulate worker safety, iterate on and optimise workspace layouts and validate safety and efficiency measures to help future-proof production lines.

With Siemens’ SIMATIC Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS), companies can continuously measure distances between workers, provide real time visual feedback to employees regarding their spacing from others and create a log of all movements and interactions over time. In this way, the Siemens’ SIMATIC RTLS continuously facilitates safe distancing while providing numerous additional benefits.

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Combining Siemens’ SIMATIC RTLS with a digital twin of the actual manufacturing environment permits companies to model and simulate how employees interact with the equipment and each other, enabling them to iterate and optimise safety and productivity in the short term, and validate a redesign of the entire operation before more costly physical changes are made.

“We are helping our customers create a safe work environment, which is extremely important as they look to produce efficiently and reliably under unprecedented circumstances,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, President and CEO of Siemens Digital Industries Software. “The combination of real time distancing management and digital simulations will help companies maintain safe work environments today and make educated decisions about ongoing and long-term optimisation.”

In order to implement this solution, Siemens’ SIMATIC RTLS transponders are embedded in badges which are worn as personal protective equipment by all employees. RTLS receivers placed throughout the operation can then continuously track and record workforce movement. When two employees are in a risk scenario (e.g., less than six feet apart), their badges will display a warning, alerting them to their distancing situation. The data collected over time can be analysed to identify “hot spots” where risk scenarios occur frequently. Such situations become easily actionable via the digital twin, which is provided by Siemens’ Tecnomatix Process Simulate and Plant Simulation software. Utilising the collected data, new manufacturing layouts or workflows can be simulated until one is determined to provide the desired outcomes, which can then be implemented in the physical operation.

Beyond this, manufacturers can add traceability to the solution through Siemens’ on-premise solutions or an application such as Siemens’ Trusted Traceability Application on MindSphere, the cloud-based, open IoT operating system from Siemens, which helps enable rapid, comprehensive contact analysis in the unfortunate event of an actual workplace illness. All movement and contact with the affected employee can be visualised, enabling rapid notification of those who came into close contact and selective (rather than site-wide) deep cleaning of exposed physical environments.

“Siemens is providing a powerful, rapidly deployable solution that helps manufacturers take control of their operations and achieve better safety, productivity and cost outcomes today and in the post-Covid era,” said Raj Batra, President of Digital Industries for Siemens USA. “Our solution consists of proven technologies that can begin delivering results for most manufacturers in one to two weeks.”

 

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Siemens Improves 3D Printing And Scanning Workflows

Siemens Improves 3D Printing And Scanning Workflows

The latest improvements in Siemens Digital Industries Software’s Parasolid can help enable engineers to solve the toughest technical challenges and achieve a clear and growing advantage when implementing 3D printing and scanning based workflows.

Further advances in Convergent Modeling give engineers greater efficiency in workflows that need to mix facet and B-rep geometry, while new functional foundations have been implemented to support lattice structures. Lattices are comprised of repeating networks of nodes and beams and were extremely difficult to manufacture until the advent of 3D printing. Lattices offer increased strength-to-weight ratio compared with solid material, so engineers can design parts with reduced material requirements and mass, while maintaining the required structural integrity.

Additive manufacturing techniques are now bringing the performance benefits of lattice structures into production, driving new requirements for lattice modelling in the design process. Vendors of design and manufacturing software applications that license Parasolid can help deliver the benefits of new lattice modelling functionality to their customers.

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The Parasolid geometric modelling kernel is used in Siemens’ own Solid Edge software and NX software and is at the core of the Xcelerator portfolio’s open and flexible ecosystem. Parasolid is also used by over 350 other products including many world-leading CAD/CAM/CAE/AEC software applications.

 

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[WATCH] Siemens Discusses Initiatives, Outlook Amid COVID-19

[WATCH] Siemens Discusses Initiatives, Outlook Amid COVID-19

Amid growing concerns regarding the Covid-19 outbreak and the global economic slowdown, Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) understands that many business operations have been impacted by the pandemic. In this exclusive interview series, Stephen Las Marias, Editor of APMEN sits down for a video call chat with industry players to delve deeper into the issues and challenges faced.

In this episode, Raimund Klein, Executive Vice President of Digital Industries, Siemens ASEAN, discusses with APMEN the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on their business, and the initiatives done by the company. Klein also provided his industry outlook for once the global pandemic is over.

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Pandemic Highlights The Need For Smarter, More Adaptable Cities

Pandemic Highlights the Need for Smarter, More Adaptable Cities

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is creating a paradigm shift: we are on the cusp of a leapfrog into a new era of digitalisation. Article by Cedrik Neike, CEO, Siemens Smart Infrastructure.

The coronavirus pandemic is a new experience for every one of us. It has changed life as we know it—at work, at home and for public interactions. As some countries start to ease restrictions on public life, how can we go back to ‘normal’ while still maintaining social distancing and feeling safe? How do we manage crowded public spaces like shopping malls, cinemas and restaurants? How do we optimise safety in our offices and factories? More importantly, how do we avoid shutting down entire cities and countries when the next pandemic hits?

While the crisis raises many questions, it also forces us to reflect on how our cities can be more human-centric and resilient in the face of unforeseeable challenges. Many would argue there are very few, if any, human-centric cities in the world. Reasons for this include air pollution, poor urban planning and traffic congestion, to name a few. However, despite the chaos of the past months I am convinced there’s a silver lining—it is in adaptability. It is now clearer than ever that the main characteristic of our future cities needs to be adaptability. Here is why I believe so.

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Adaptability as the game changer

The pandemic has given our environment a much-needed breather, but it hasn’t removed the biggest challenges we are up against. Our resources are still finite and using them efficiently so we can live sustainably on this planet remains a top priority. Today, we have a golden opportunity to reassess how technology can be applied to tackle the challenges of climate change, urbanisation and population growth. The pandemic is creating a paradigm shift: we are on the cusp of a leapfrog into a new era of digitalisation.

While 99 percent of city infrastructure remains dumb today, technologically speaking, digitalisation can make it more flexible and quicker to respond to crises. Digitalisation allows us to create a digital, adaptable twin of a city in the virtual world. We can test and simulate a city’s resiliency to events like natural disasters and pandemics. This helps us understand how adaptable it is to such events and simulate a number of responses to activate in the future.

Our goal should be to create cities that balance environmental impact and economic growth. While natural resources continue to dwindle, data is an infinite resource at our disposal. Data is at the heart of digitalisation. Using it can help us achieve this goal by eliminating waste and saving energy and cost. We are already doing that in buildings—and getting better at it. But leveraging data to the advantage of people in cities is still at its infancy. In the future, we envision smart infrastructure becoming all-sensing; an ecosystem that knows you and adapts to your needs, thanks to data and digitalisation.

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This process is continuous—in the sense that we should create an infinity loop: constant improvement based on the connection from the physical and virtual worlds. It’s like children whose brains develop based on sensory experience—gaining knowledge through feedback from senses or others: learning not to touch something hot, for example. The infinity loop for infrastructure connects input from all the sensors and experts to continuously improve the experience of those in the city and enhance the value of solutions for our customers.

All-sensing infrastructure

Sensors make all-sensing infrastructure possible. They are used almost everywhere today, from detecting earthquakes, measuring your heart rate on a fitness tracker to ensuring safety of workers on industrial sites. Data collected through these sensors is sent to a computer to be analysed and used intelligently.

The significance of sensors is growing and is only going to increase after this pandemic, with intelligent sensors contributing more to our public and private lives. This is because they allow us to monitor our surroundings like never before. The challenge is to create an ecosystem by joining all the dots.

Adaptable Cities

Today, through our subsidiary Enlighted, IoT, smart sensors collect and monitor real time occupancy, light levels, temperatures and energy use. They can distinguish between people and objects and customise controls for specific purposes. There are 3.5 million sensors installed across our customers’ buildings globally, helping them make the best use of their office space and cut energy costs. In the UK, they enable an NHS outpatient facility to cut energy spend by 80 percent annually.

Smart sensors are also useful in case of a fire—giving firefighters reliable information about the number of people and their location in the building. In other cases, they monitor air pollution, helping cities comply with clean air and emission reduction targets.

While in the past we placed sensors to protect and operate our infrastructure, now we are extending that to make our environment anticipatory, interactive and caring. We realise that using smart IoT sensors can significantly contribute to secure business continuity during a pandemic.

Possible future applications of sensors

What if a pandemic hits again? Sensors could help us continue to work in the office and meet in public by enabling social distancing. They can quantify the density in any given area at any given time, making sure people keep their distance and avoid overcrowding. This means we may not have to shut entire cities and countries in the future.

We also expect the focus on office space efficiency and utilisation to increase. It’s something we have looked at for different use cases, such as comfort or asset efficiency, for a while. In response to COVID-19, more customers are asking for applications that help them design their offices in more optimal ways. Today, 33 percent of commercial real estate space is underutilised or unused, creating an opportunity to save cost. Add to this the opportunity for a significant increase in ongoing home working, thanks to the biggest forced test in history, and the potential for reducing real estate costs becomes compelling.

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There could be more demand for critical environment applications, for example in pressurised rooms for hospitals and labs. In indoor spaces, often more polluted than outdoors, we can use occupancy data to adjust airflow, so it circulates better when there is a density of people in one area. This ensures better air circulation in supermarkets, for example.

Imagine coming to the office during a pandemic, how do we ensure infected people stay at home? Sensors can also play an important role here by measuring temperature and communicating with access control systems. Workplace apps, such as Comfy, can play a role, allowing people to only book desks that are two metres apart from the next occupied desk.

But more sensors in smart cities also raises important ethical concerns around data privacy—even if our sensors ensure anonymity.

Ethical smart infrastructure

Data privacy is about balancing what is feasible, legal and ethically right. If we want to create all-sensing infrastructure that helps preserve natural resources and tackle global challenges, we need to collect and analyse data. There will be hard choices to make—privacy vs. safety, environmental impact and convenience. Individuals have the right to decide what matters to them. We want to make sure our data is used for the limited purpose we signed up to and not misused. Global companies have a big responsibility to manage data ethically and show transparency about what is stored and for what purpose.

Let’s benefit from what we’ve learned

In summary, our world has changed forever: let’s create a new normal that benefits from new uses of technology and from the positives of the experiences of lockdown. We must take the time to reflect on what we want to take forward—more home working, increased virtual collaboration, fewer airmiles and corresponding carbon footprint reduction, flexible working to gain more hours with family. Even a recognition of what really matters in life.

Data exchange will be key to making our cities more adaptable and resilient to crises. With the right setup, the infrastructure that is most adaptable to change—be it pandemics, natural disasters or climate change – will not only survive but also help society to thrive.

 

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Siemens On Automotive Manufacturing Trends, E-Vehicles, COVID-19, And VinFast

Siemens on Automotive Manufacturing Trends, E-Vehicles, COVID-19, and VinFast

Alex Teo of Siemens Digital Industries Software talks about the current automotive manufacturing trends; their collaboration with VinFast; and the impact of COVID-19. Article by Stephen Las Marias. 

Siemens on Automotive Manufacturing Trends, E-Vehicles, COVID-19, and VinFast

Alex Teo

Alex Teo is the Managing Director for Southeast Asia at Siemens Digital Industries Software. In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, he discussed the trends happening in the automotive manufacturing industry right now, how these trends have changed the requirements from manufacturers, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, and their collaboration with VinFast.

WHAT TRENDS ARE HAPPENING IN THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING SPACE RIGHT NOW?

Alex Teo (AT): Overall, the automotive manufacturing sector is expected to continue its rapid journey of transformation. Global competitive intensity will also rise, as manufacturers in China and Vietnam expand their attention beyond domestic markets. Technological advances—including interactive safety systems, vehicle connectivity, and self-driving vehicle technology, among others—will continue to drive development. 

READ: Siemens Connects Healthcare Providers And Medical Designers To Produce Components Through AM

In particular, two trends are leading the way in automotive manufacturing. On the one hand, autonomous vehicles are expected to become mainstream soon, with some estimates projecting that up to 15 percent of all vehicles sold worldwide will be autonomous by 2030. For automotive manufacturers, the rise of autonomy also comes with a new premium on agile development cycles, shorter production runs of a wider array of vehicle types, and new partnerships and collaboration across the supply chain. The new autonomous vehicle ecosystem includes new chip, software, sensor, and systems-oriented technology companies, in addition to the traditional manufacturers and their upstream partners. Meanwhile, automakers must still maximise revenue from existing product lines and appropriately balance R&D spending to refresh these lines today while investing for a likely radically different future.

On the other hand, growing efforts to fight climate change in the region are also likely to drive an increase in demand for electrification in vehicles. Government regulations, such as Singapore’s recently announced plans to incentivise electric vehicle adoption, will drive significant shifts in consumer demand. To capitalise on this demand, car-makers must be able to develop and produce electric vehicles with adequate range, fast-charge capabilities, and multiple design variants in each vehicle segment. Achieving all this with the same (or lower) cost of ownership as conventional vehicles requires bringing innovations and engineering efficiency that has been unheard of in the automotive industry – without risking safety, reliability, and quality.

HOW HAVE REQUIREMENTS FROM AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURERS CHANGED?

Siemens on Automotive Manufacturing Trends, E-Vehicles, COVID-19, and VinFast

AT: Across the region, trends in automotive manufacturing are largely being driven by governments, through policy and regulatory initiatives, as well as end-consumers, whose preferences continue to shape the market. Automotive manufacturers will have to tap on digital technology and software-driven solutions to balance these needs while maintaining profitability.

READ: Siemens Addresses Overheating Challenges in Additive Manufacturing

Regulations arising from the need to go green will likely require manufacturers to better understand both the performance of their final products, as well as the sustainability of their supply chain. Aside from emissions data of the finished vehicle, manufacturers also need to assess the environmental impact of their operations throughout the value chain. At the same time, evolving regulations relating to autonomous vehicle development will require that automotive manufacturers are able to ensure the safety of passengers, pedestrians and property.

A lot of this can be addressed with digital twin technology, which will allow automotive manufacturers to simulate and test at much greater scale, and lower cost. This will allow them to uncover in greater detail the performance of their products, as well as gain visibility into their product lifecycle.

HOW DOES INDUSTRY 4.0 IMPACT AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES?

AT: The car of the future will be connected, working seamlessly as part of a larger, intelligent mobility network. It will be able to communicate with other vehicles, devices and smart roadway infrastructure. As every vehicle becomes a source for receiving and transmitting bits of information, key concerns for consumers, governments and manufacturers alike will include factors such as cybersecurity and energy efficiency. As interconnectivity between vehicles and systems grow, automotive manufacturers will have to work with a large range of other technology partners to provide a seamless customer experience for their products.

READ: VinFast Deploys Siemens’ Full Portfolio To Deliver Cars Ahead Of Schedule

Similarly, Industry 4.0 brings unprecedented connectivity to the product lifecycle, while allowing manufacturers to innovate at lower cost, step up efficiency across the supply chain, and reduce their impact to the environment.

However, manufacturers—especially in various parts of developing Asia—should also focus on upskilling their workforce to fully realise the benefits of a digital factory. While new technologies possess great autonomy, humans must provide direction and control—and apart from overseeing technology, they are needed to gather, compare, analyse and apply data. Implementing Industry 4.0 technologies without knowing how to interpret, manage, and act on the insights leaves businesses with just a buzzword that has no real applicable value. There is a need for organisations to develop talent strategies, as well as build up staffing and training plans to meet the changing needs in terms of skills, job description and organisational models of the companies.

Siemens Digital Industries Software addresses this issue through initiatives such as its Technical Competency Hubs, one of which was launched in Penang in 2019, the only such facility in Southeast Asia. It is part of Siemens’ efforts to support Industry 4.0 development efforts with countries in the region. The hub will also serve as a platform for Siemens to help companies, especially SMEs, begin their digitalisation journey in order to meet the needs of the new economy.

HOW WILL THE TREND TOWARDS ELECTRIC VEHICLES IMPACT THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IN ASEAN?

AT: Undoubtedly, automotive manufacturers in the region will need to adapt their production capabilities to accommodate these changes and trends. As the ASEAN region grows in importance as an automotive manufacturing hub for the world, businesses here will have to cater to these changing trends.

More importantly, however, businesses need to recognise that the shift towards electric vehicles is just one trend in a long line of many. Consumer demand is always shifting—and at an ever-increasing pace. Instead of concentrating on one trend, automotive manufacturers in ASEAN should focus on becoming more nimble and agile, which will allow them to capitalise on the pace of change in consumer preferences, especially amidst growing uncertainty in global markets.

For carmakers, the ability to analyse real-time road data should improve the efficacy of sales and marketing, while digital design and manufacturing can raise productivity in a dramatic way: big data simulations and virtual modelling can lower development costs and speed up time to market. That should resonate with customers conditioned to the innovation clock speed of consumer electronics, such as smartphones or laptops.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC: WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT IN THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY, AND WHAT LESSONS CAN BE LEARNED FROM THIS?

AT: It is difficult to assess definitively the impact of COVID-19 on the automotive manufacturing, or any other, industry in Asia at the moment, given that the situation is still developing, and is expected to persist for quite a while more. 

READ: Vingroup To Produce Ventilators And Body Thermometers In The Fight Against COVID-19

What we do know is that there is now a pressing need for manufacturers to pivot their operations to become more innovative and agile, so that they are able to quickly capitalise on new trends, or leverage technology to become more efficient. For example, capabilities such as additive manufacturing may allow manufacturers to minimise the impact of supply chain disruption, as it allows for a much larger range of complex parts to be built onsite, while also reducing the need for tooling. Manufacturers need to take this period of downtime to upgrade their capabilities, so that they can fully realise the positive effects from when the economy recovers.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR COLLABORATION WITH VINFAST. WHAT WERE THE COMPANY’S CHALLENGES AND GOALS, AND WHERE DID SIEMENS COME IN TO HELP ADDRESS THEIR ISSUES?

AT: VinFast had big goals. Before its 335-hectare plant in Hai Phong was established, there was no Vietnamese brand for passenger cars. It wanted to be competitive both domestically in Vietnam and globally right from the beginning, and relied on Siemens’ expertise to utilise the latest technology. This resulted in a closed-loop manufacturing system which uses digital twins of the products, the production, and the performance of production and product. The fully digital factory was built in 21 months—50 percent faster than usual—and is designed to be easily scalable for future expansions.

READ: Siemens Partners With VinFast To Develop First Made-In-Vietnam Automotives

VinFast uses the comprehensive offerings from Siemens that combines Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software such as the Tecnomatix portfolio with Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), through the new harmonised, holistic portfolio Siemens Opcenter, to realise lean manufacturing across all phases, and with Totally Integrated Automation for all automation, including robots, conveyors, presses and milling machines. 

This holistic approach has increased the speed and flexibility in development, ensured high global standards in production, optimised the manufacturing process, and made the entire plant future-proof for further expansions and new business models.

VinFast also works closely with Siemens Digital Industries Software to implement a fully functional digital twin. Developing new cars and scooters, planning the new plant, and finally producing with the help of digital tools creates a detailed virtual image, the digital twin. The digital twin creates new insights, thanks to the combination of physics-based simulations with data analytics in a fully virtual environment. This makes it possible to realise innovations faster and more reliable, while also requiring significantly fewer real prototypes. Even more data are created when the product is being produced or a plant begins operation.

These performance data of the real production and of the real product can be collected, analysed, and fed back into the development cycle. Here, they help VinFast to improve and optimise new products and processes at an early stage.

 

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Siemens Connects Healthcare Providers And Medical Designers To Produce Components Through AM

Siemens Connects Healthcare Providers And Medical Designers To Produce Components Through AM

In response to the ongoing global health crisis caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Siemens is making its Additive Manufacturing (AM) Network along with its 3D printers, available to the global medical community to speed design and production of medical components.

READ: HP Inc. And Partners Battles COVID19 With 3D Printing Solutions

The AM Network connects users, designers and 3D-print service providers to enable faster and less complicated production of spare parts for machines like ventilators. The Siemens AM network is available globally and covers the entire value chain – from upload and simulation to checking the design up to the printing process and associated services.

“Having worked on Additive Manufacturing for years, we offer AM solutions along the entire value chain and can print 3D parts quickly according to acute demands. To help fight COVID-19, we have opened our AM Network for hospitals and other health institutions needing spare medical parts to efficiently manage their design and printing requests”, said Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO Siemens Digital Industries.

READ: Accelerate Smart Additive Manufacturing with Simulation

Siemens’ designers and engineers are a part of the AM Network so they can answer design requests and help convert designs into printable files. Afterwards, these components can be printed via medically certified 3D printers of partner companies that are also part of the AM Network.

In addition to numerous 3D printers from partner companies, Siemens’ 3D printing machines are also connected to the network and if suitable, will also be used to locally print components and spare parts for medical devices. Printing capacities from additional service providers can easily be added to the AM Network.

 

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