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Digitalization and automation are game changers to meet challenges on way to Industry 4.0: Suprakash Chaudhuri, Siemens

Digitalization and automation are game changers to meet challenges on way to Industry 4.0: Suprakash Chaudhuri, Siemens

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Pradeep Chakraborty
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Industry 4.0

Siemens Ltd recently launched industry-ready 5G routers that are needed for the end-to-end wireless networking of production, maintenance, and logistics, ensuring a significant improvement in efficiency and greater flexibility in industrial added value.

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Suprakash Chaudhuri, Head, Digital Industries, Siemens Ltd, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview:

DQ: How is the launch of the industry-ready 5G routers a milestone on the path to Industry 4.0?

Suprakash Chaudhuri: Manufacturing companies around the world are under extreme competitive pressure due to shorter business and product lifecycles. To compete globally, Industrial companies must constantly focus and improve their processes and find innovative ways to respond and adapt quickly to changing market requirements.

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New applications like industrial edge, remote diagnostics and maintenance, autonomous machines, intra-logistics, and augmented reality applications for service technicians promise major potential in this area. Leveraging cyber-physical systems and striving towards ever more automation and autonomous decisions in environments such as smart factories, autonomous vehicles, smart buildings, smart cities, and connected industrial applications, requires substantial resources to deal with the resulting amount of data that needs to be gathered, analyzed, and transferred. The success of these applications depends on extremely reliable wireless broadband communication with the lowest possible latencies.

Suprakash Chaudhuri

Suprakash Chaudhuri.

Thanks to reliable, powerful broadband transmission with massive machine connectivity and ultra-low latencies, industrial 5G is the response to a need for end-to-end wireless networking of production, maintenance, and logistics, ensuring a significant improvement in efficiency and greater flexibility in industrial added value.

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With the launch of Siemens SCALANCE MUM853-1 and SCALANCE MUM856-1 routers, customers can now achieve extremely high data rates, such as enhanced mobile broadband or eMBB, that support easy and secure remote access use cases, greater reliability, lower latency, and lower power consumption delivering streamlined 5G connectivity today. Thus, the deployment of industrial 5G is a milestone on the path to Industry 4.0 that acts as catalyst accelerating the digital transformation.

DQ: Aren't there others too offering the same? How is Siemens different?

Suprakash Chaudhuri: Deployment of Industrial 5G requires not just awareness of the telecom or IT side, but also needs domain expertise on the shop floor or the operating technology (OT) side. For example, the compact SCALANCE MUM853-1 router is designed for cabinet use, while the rugged IP65 housing of the SCALANCE MUM856-1 means it can be directly mounted on stationary or mobile components.

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The built-in IPv6 support and fallback to lower cellular standards (4G, 3G) whenever 5G connectivity is not available, make SCALANCE MUM853-1 and MUM856-1 the required flexibility in the OT environment. Since they use VXLAN, the routers already enable PROFINET communication via private 5G networks (Release 15), meaning that they can leverage new potentials for industrial enterprises. Extensive expertise, many years of experience, and a lot of enthusiasm went into the development of these industry-ready 5G routers.

DQ: How will end-to-end integration of automation systems accelerate digital transformation?

Suprakash Chaudhuri: To thrive-in and sustain in today’s fierce competition, the industrial companies need to be more efficient and flexible. Companies that are highly digitalized can quickly cope up with the sudden changes arising in the market.

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The end-to-end integration of automation brings together processes that were previously separate. It breaks down traditional silos and helps bridge the gaps between software and hardware, IT and OT, shop floor and top floor an end-to-end integration of system. Connecting data for product, production, and performance. Integrated cutting-edge technologies in the Digital Enterprise portfolio enable smart usage of data. This paves the way for the next level of the digital transformation of industry with the convergence of information technology and operational technology.

The industrial 5G user equipment is also one of the critical components for the manufacturing industry in its digital transformation journey offering long-term benefits to a wide range of customer segments like intralogistics, autonomous machines, industrial edge, remote diagnostics, augmented reality, assisted work, wireless backhaul, edge computing and mobile equipment that rely on the backbone of strong communications. Thus, in an integrated automation system, 5G acts as the key aggregator enabling faster, reliable, and secure communication within the IT/OT environment accelerating the digital transformation of an enterprise.

DQ: What steps is Siemens taking to increase automation across industries in India?

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Suprakash Chaudhuri: Siemens is focused on developing innovative and sustainable solutions that benefit our customers be it, building a more accurate picture of manufacturing processes and addressing inefficiencies, resulting in higher-quality production, or virtual validation of products - speeding up the design process and eliminating the need for physical prototypes, or connecting real-time data from products’ performance in the field to the next versions of those products for definitive improvements There are many such applications that we are working with our customers on.

Digitalization is being rapidly adopted by multiple disciplines in the public and private sectors, and is ongoing in mature disciplines such as education, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, utilities management, transportation, and infrastructure development. Digitalization integrated with automation empowers companies of all sizes to embrace complexity and leverage it to enhance productivity and gain a competitive advantage.

DQ: What is Siemens’ outlook for Industry 4.0?

Suprakash Chaudhuri: The industrial world is subjected to rapidly changing challenges. The available resources are finite, and we all need to do more with less. It is essential to collect, understand, and use the massive amount of data created in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The Digital Enterprise is doing exactly this by combining the real and the digital worlds. As a result, the infinite amount of data allows us to use our finite resources efficiently and with that make the industry more sustainable.

Digitalization and automation are the game changers to meet these challenges on the way to Industry 4.0. Siemens solutions for the Digital Enterprise enable our customers to invest in future-proof solutions for the gradual implementation of Industry 4.0.

industry-4-0 siemens digitalization automation
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