Notching one of the major interviews, Gautam Dutta, Senior Director Marketing, Siemens PLM Software India elaborates to Niloy Banerjee, Consultant Editor, about their PLM business and how the company is leading in innovation and market-share by leveraging a comprehensive, scalable, and fully optimized “Digital Enterprise”. Edited Nub.
- Digital Industrial Revolution is nudging new principles for product lifecycle management (PLM). How pivotal is PLM for today’s businesses?
The digitalization of products and production has brought tremendous change in the Indian manufacturing industry. In its initial avatar, PLM helped manufacturing companies in the form of computer-aided design (CAD) manufacturing (CAM) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools integrated with storage/retrieval, workflow, visualization and collaboration.
But as the industry demands grew, companies became global, product complexity increased, information sharing became more complex and program management became key to the roduct development process, the OEM manufacturers and suppliers had to look at their extended enterprise and processes more holistically to optimize resources at every step of the Product lifecycle – from product design, production planning, production engineering, production execution to post-sales services.
With the new age-integrated Industry software solutions, manufacturers are able to facilitate new-age manufacturing methods and productivity tools such as digital twin concepts for product process & performance, the process of product reinvention, Product lifecycle Management (PLM) integrated with Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) for embedded application software, , program management across extended enterprise, product costing, Manufacturing Operations Management, additive manufacturing among many other new solutions , thereby saving time, labor hours and the overall costs with maximum effect and minimum wastage. Increasingly, manufacturers are incorporating emerging technologies to streamline their production processes for scalability and this is where integrated industry software solutions have started being recognized for their refreshed business value potential.
To survive disruption in the digital age, manufacturers must rethink every aspect of their business, become a digital enterprise, and take advantage of the new and disruptive technology drivers across each phase of their product development operation to become flexible, reduce end-to-end product development cycle time, minimize errors / vulnerabilities, increase yield and create new business opportunities.
- Is Digital Enterprise a reality, if so, how is Siemens PLM software collaring with the change?
Digitalization is making inroads into every industry, disrupting current leaders, and creating new demands and business opportunities. Though different requirements are needed by industries, the processes across enterprises are almost similar. With a fully optimized “Digital Enterprise”, manufacturers enjoy a competitive edge over a traditional business in terms of responding better to market challenges and introduce disruptive innovations earlier to market. In the recent times, it is mentioned often that digital technologies can help create level playing field for Small and medium businesses (SMB) against larger enterprises by fostering flexibility which helps them take advantage of mass customization.
Siemens PLM Software is investing in development and acquisition of relevant technologies to take the pole position in merging engineering insights of the virtual and physical world so that product development time and cost could be reduced significantly, mass customization needs could be met with increased flexibility and products are realized as per requirement, first time right. Siemens provides a fully integrated and adaptable software solutions across customers’ entire value chains, addresses their needs from initial conceptual design, manufacturing planning and monitoring execution through service and support software technology for both the products and plants that produce them. Creating and sharing precise digital twins of each stage of the product design, development and manufacturing is fundamental for transforming into a digital enterprise. Siemens portfolio of products addresses each of the domains with industry-leading technologies across all areas.
To predict product performance, Siemens combines system simulation, 3D CAE and test across all critical attributes earlier and throughout the entire product lifecycle. By combining physics-based simulations with insights gained from data analytics, the innovation platform helps optimize design and deliver innovations faster and with greater confidence.
MindSphere from Siemens is a cloud-based, open IoT operating system that connects products, plants, systems, and machines, enabling to harness the wealth of data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) with advanced analytics.
Utilizing augmented and virtual reality tools, Siemens has also been able to devise solutions to offer a first-hand virtual experience of the assembly line, allowing real-time change implementation by simply dragging a machine from its existing location, to a new one and automatically getting the revised line layout.
Siemens helps companies of all sizes around the world to transform the way they create, design and manufacture and helping them to develop innovative products and services. Our customers are better equipped to respond successfully to the changes market dynamics and turn the challenges of digitalization into a business opportunity.
- What are the technological transformations which are helping the PLM software technology to grow?
Manufacturers face a multitude of challenges today, including constant pressure to meet the ever changing demands, increase productivity and quality while keeping cost down. They also have to face new governance and regulations while contemplating with demanding customer service standards.
These issues are driving the development of holistic automation technology and process driven solutions to reduce the turn-around time and facilitate the introduction of improved product and services in a seamless manner.
A large number of trends and technologies are affecting the future of product lifecycle management such as AI/ML, Big Data, Cloud & Big Data, Mobility, Robotics, Simulation & System integration and these are synergizing to result in explosive growth of automation and manufacturing software adoption by Indian industry as a whole.
Connected devices are already changing the way we communicate with a particular product. The industrial internet of things (IIOT) is rapidly opening up a whole new world to manufacturers.
With the Internet of Things (IoT) generated data, important insights of even the smallest of customer requirements have become readily available and improves our understanding of customer requirements. This further allows to monitor products enabling manufacturers to track performance on a real-time basis with the help of data and its analytics. In such circumstances, the deployment of high-end connected technology can help manufacturers with enhanced visibility and traceability of product-specific insights throughout the product lifecycle.
Additionally, connected PLM is ushering new possibilities by enabling manufacturers to integrate multiple systems and gain insights into the product development process. In the current industry scenario, PLM appears to be at the forefront of this transformational process and the digital technologies are helping the natural evolution in integrating Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Electronic Design Automation (EDA), Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) software portfolios.
Siemens has also successfully deployed innovative technologies from manufacturing to energy management to transportation embrace the power of data in a digital and connected world.
- How pivotal is India as a market for Siemens PLM Software – what major scopes and challenges does it inculcate for the company?
India is also a significant source of innovation for Siemens, with global product development and delivery teams located here. The team in India works with large enterprises and major R&D organizations, as well as small to mid-sized manufacturers providing solutions to help them achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by making real the innovations that matter. The growth engine of India is the mid-size engineering manufacturers who make a variety of industrial equipment like valves, motors, pipes, or switches, electrical goods, household appliances as well as components or sub-systems for other OEMs.
They have a need to innovate, develop IP and produce quality goods that compete in the global arena. To achieve this, they need confidence in their day-to-day engineering decisions.
Tier 1 manufacturers in India have predominantly been the leaders in adopting product lifecycle management solutions. They can afford to invest in solutions that enable integration with their global manufacturing locations, customers, and vendors. The technology is yet to reach small and medium enterprises. However, the trend has changed, Industry software including PLM has been finding takers in tier-II and tier-III industries, majorly small business companies also looking to invest in such solutions to move up the value chain and deliver better product quality and reliability.
In recent times, PLM vendors are focusing on developing customized out-of-the-box solutions to cater to growing client needs and enable faster deployment for better product management and scalability. With increased internet penetration, a lot of vendors are incorporating emerging technologies to streamline their production process and for scalability.
Siemens is supporting manufacturers in India with pioneering concepts and technologies as they advance toward the future of manufacturing. Siemens role for these companies is to provide them with the foundation they need for a complete digital transformation.
However, research and innovation to develop smart products will encourage the adoption of PLM in India but lack of awareness and traditional ROI concerns will restrain the market growth.
- Siemens lately acquired Austemper Design Systems. What key strategy has been behind the acquisition?
This acquisition was Siemens’ digitalization strategy and investments in the IC market, to help customers quickly bring to market innovations in autonomous vehicles, smart factories and smart cities enabling customers to realize innovation.
Adding Austemper technology to the Mentor IC portfolio, along with the Teamcenter portfolio and Polarion ALM software, will give customers the ability to develop and test digital twins of their systems for the highest degrees of functional safety before manufacturing and deployment.
The innovation platform for the digital enterprise where the customers can model the possible, creating the digital twin of what needs to be realized physically. Our innovation platform creates an orchestration layer for operations evaluating alternatives to optimize production.
- Can you elaborate on ‘Digital Twinning’ and why this interesting concept spurring across industries?
With increasing demands and requirements for next-generation smart products that are complex, the current processes can make the current development processes obsolete and irrelevant.
Smart factories with digitally enabled and driven smarter, faster and cheaper robots, along with additive manufacturing processes are disrupting factories and transforming the entire manufacturing domain.
Digital twin means an integrated multi-physics, multi-system simulation of a complex product, which functions to mirror the life of its corresponding twin. Digital twin consists of three parts- (i) the virtually defined product including its subsystems (ii) the physical product and (iii) the links between physical and virtual product. It serves as a bridge between the physical world and the digital world. Digital twin is different from a Computer Aided Design (CAD) model, which is entirely the digital definition of the product and it is also different from IoT that captures the physical characteristics of the product. Digital twin is characterized by the two-way interactions between the digital and physical worlds, which may result in many benefits. In the physical world, the real product can be made smarter to actively adjust its real-time behaviour according to the recommendations made by the virtual product or the twin. Whereas in the virtual world, the digital version of the product can be made more realistic to accurately reflect the real-world state of the physical product.
Before building physical counterparts, digital twin creates a virtual-physical connection that lets you analyze how a product performs under a number of conditions and make necessary adjustments in the virtual world to ensure that the physical product will perform exactly as planned in the field. It leverages the ability to the companies to enable a fully digital enterprise and get their products to market faster than their competitors by eliminating the need for multiple prototypes, reduces total design and production time, better quality of the final product outcomes.
Depending upon on what stage of the product lifecycle it models, there are three types of digital twin- Product, Production and Performance. This combination of all three digital twins is known as a digital thread that brings together all the data from all stages of the product and production lifecycles.
Digital twins will change how businesses produce, design, predict and self-heal.
- What are your strategies for Indian market and any major clients with which Siemens is working? Alongside, how important is the Startup sector for Siemens which is rowing a billion-dollar potential?
The focus is to utilize technologies that aid in streamlining the entire product development process to ensure superior product design and a lower lead time in developing new products.
The potential in India market for PLM is immense. With deeper internet penetration, PLM is finding many takers in India, to support product planning, collaborative product development, and validation and manufacturing planning among others.
The backbone of PLM software, Teamcenter, is the fundamental integrating platform working in the background to connect and bring together the multitude of operations of large companies including manufacturing OEMs and machine builders.
It offers an immense level of data construction and sharing abilities, even including vendors and aftersales dealers into the network. Its recent feat has been the successful implementation of Teamcenter at Daimler, wherein Siemens has been able to deploy a fully customized solution set for the automotive giant and run it without encountering any bugs, within a few months of the release of the extremely critical software. This concatenation and condensation of the entire value chain for a company has improved work efficiencies by up to 40 percent by reducing the human time consumed in doing regular tasks.
On the other side, NX is one of the company’s strongest CAD tools, helping clients run their product designing activities on the software.
Coupled with its CAE platform, Simcenter allows analysis within the system, utilizing finite element modelling, computational fluid dynamics and multi-body dynamics, to virtually gauge the impact of forces using tools like NX CAE, LMS Virtual Lab and LMS Test Lab, engineers are able to further improvise product designs. One successful application of its designing tools lies at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). The automotive major, that recently introduced the Jeep Compass SUV in the Indian market, has seen the vehicle and powertrain engineering of the compact crossover take place entirely on NX and the group also relies heavily on Teamcenter to seamlessly flow the designs through its entire global work chain.
Ease of doing business in India is also playing a crucial role in making India the global manufacturing hub. Siemens will continue to follow its two fold strategy to upgrade and add new products to cater to the evolving needs of the manufacturers and also to add new customers. The company has a strong focus on the industrial sectors like automotive, machinery – construction, power, textiles – defence, aerospace, automobile, pharma, apparel, retail and packaging.
The government initiatives such as Smart cities, Digital India, Make-in India, etc. have driven a lot of SMEs to feed into industries such as aerospace, auto ancillary and automotive which are amongst the biggest adopters of PLM in India. Siemens is an active participant in this program.
The company is also committed to utilizing the enormous talent pool available in India for software development in its new and emerging business areas globally, including India. Siemens is expanding its commitment to education, not just by providing software but also by supporting programs that engage students in design and problem solving.
- How real is AI and ML and as mentioned by few critics is it a new corridor of opportunities or an unbridled innovation?
It’s no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) has been a pervasive topic lately. AI and ML abilities in a machine are programmed to achieve fast problem solving skills. With such capabilities, enterprises and manufacturers can store a huge amount of data that can be further processed and utilize to fine tune product quality in the shortest turn-around time with minimum overheads.
Data scientists are helping to build prediction models through machine learning techniques, which enable companies to optimize product quality and reduce potential field failures and performance issues. Understanding what happens next – and when – empowers companies to make proactive decisions, schedule preventative maintenance, disrupt fatal sequences of events and significantly reduce the volume and severity of potential issues. Companies can now utilize big data – including IoT data – to make proactive decisions that will increase actual product performance, perceived product performance and enhance the overall customer experience.
With rapid digitization, a large number of tech startups have come into existence working on advanced technologies to offer solutions in the areas of ecommerce, healthcare, retails and others. Siemens sees a lot of potential in predictive maintenance where AI can help reduce costs. The solutions are deployed on edge devices, operating data is consistently gathered, processed, analyzed, and stored. Ai and ML driven predictive tools can monitor the health of critical machine components. For example, one will receive a notification of pending maintenance when an algorithm is 95% confident that a critical component will fail or cause errors within certain hours.
AI algorithms can increase the process efficiency by recommending the most efficient path for optimizing usage of materials, minimizing energy consumption, and minimizing functional errors or quality checks. Many developed and developing countries are investing more and more in such transformational technologies to achieve manufacturing excellence. It can be accurately predicted that manufacturing will soon be dominated by smart factories.
- What key solution is Siemens catering today for the Indian market and how it outstands from other available competitive products available in the market?
Siemens continues to lead the PLM market in India. Today, successful manufacturers are using Siemens PLM Software solutions for innovation and growth. With Siemens Digital Enterprise solutions, enterprises are able to integrate and digitalize their entire value chain, building consistent and seamless digital platform covering all steps from product design to production planning, production engineering, production execution, and service to form a digital representation between the virtual enterprises based on models and the real enterprises based on automation technologies.
Siemens has built a portfolio that already enables our customers to integrate important parts of the product- and production lifecycle and digitally supports their entire value-added chain. We call this the digital enterprise software suite.
With our solutions, we help companies weave the digital thread they need in product ideation all the way through product utilization. The products and solutions in our Smart Innovation Portfolio provide the foundation our customers need to create a fully digital enterprise. This portfolio includes the products and solutions to transform operations now and meet any future needs.
Siemens’ partners in India such as TCS, IBM, Wipro, HCL, and other companies act as authorized system integrators for Siemens and provide engineering, installation, and training support to clients.
While there are other market players, Siemens offers end-to-end PLM portfolio with a higher market share in cPDM.
Only Siemens has the solutions across the entire value chain to weave Digital Thread in “Ideation => Realization => Utilization” – realize innovation.
- Lastly, how is Siemens aligning with government’s major initiatives like, Digital India and Make in India?
Siemens visions India as a great destination offering huge growth potential for its business in the coming future as the company is already witnessing a lot of interest coming in from its customers, as well as the Indian government towards adoption of industrial digitalization tools to be future-ready.
Siemens has been aggressively pursuing its Manufacturing Excellence initiative in India, in absolute alignment with the Prime Minister’s “Make-In-India” campaign. With its differentiated initiatives to impart technical knowledge digitally, Siemens aims to reach scores of youth across the country and empower them to contribute towards India’s manufacturing excellence.
In recent years, Siemens had enhanced its R&D and Global delivery support footprint in India, with offices in Pune, Bangalore and Chennai with nearly 2000 top-grade engineers, further strengthening its commitment to India’s make in India initiative. Siemens PLM has been working with government to establish domain-centric Centers of Excellence (COE) that have become valuable assets for sharing knowledge, providing a steady supply of skilled industrial manpower, and introducing new technology and necessary guidance to industries.
Siemens also launched its digitalization platform, ‘Mindsphere’, in India, along with four application centers in Pune, Noida and Gurgaon (two), around 900 software developers, data specialists and engineers work together with customers to develop digital innovations for data analysis and machine learning.
In India, the opportunities are not confined to traditional areas like Automotive, Machinery, Construction, Pharmaceuticals or process companies. A lot of activity is happening in food and beverages, mobility (highways, ports, high-speed trains, metros, etc.), Aerospace, defense and smart infrastructure. With new government initiatives such as Make in India and Digital India, a lot of SMEs and existing players are associating with these industries. Siemens is an active participant in supporting such growth areas.