Siemens Ltd today held the Siemens Digital Enterprise Virtual Summit. Companies in different industries and regions have encountered challenges over the past few months. What technologies are helping them master these challenges? What will they need to flexibly and efficiently adapt their business and production to changing conditions and demand in the future?
CEOs focused on how the companies can partner to take the next step in the digital transformation of industry. The participants were: Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO Digital Industries, Christos Varsakelis, Senior Manager Global Data Analytics & Innovation Technical R&D, GlaxoSmithKline, German Wankmiller, Chairman of the Board & CEO, GROB Group, and Dr. Yu Yong, Chairman of HBIS Group, HBIS Group.
Opening the session, Klaus Helmrich said that today, the customers are very excited. We expect over 40,000 participants. Customers and partners can view what our experts say. They can see the benefits of digital enterprise technologies.
Christos Varsakelis, said the challenge has been mitigated. At R&D level, we have been facing unprecedented disruptions. We are adjusting to the new conditions. German Wankmiller noted that they have been influenced by changes. We have been in crisis for more than a year. Dr. Yu Yong said there have been issues, especially with goods delivery.
Klaus Helmrich, Siemens said the industry has never been in such a crisis. What can we do from a pure safety situation? We were able to keep our operations running, and also for our customers. We are keeping contact and maintaining dialog with our customers. We have opened additive manufacturing for hospitals and health organizations.
Dr. Yong said that for the Chinese industry, there has been impact in the short-term. China metal and steel companies have made use of technologies, such as remote diagnostics. Automation has also helped avoid having too many people in one place.
German Wankmiller said we have been in partnership with Siemens for long. We use Teamcenter for production. We also use quite a lot of Siemens software tools. We have brought more effectiveness into our production.
Christos Varsakelis, added that we talk about innovation. We are now doing an innovation project with Siemens, and it lies in the heart of Industry 4.0. Trust and transparency are very important. We have drafted a strategy how we can move forward. We have a strategy that is agile. We managed to continue working.
Adapting to conditions
So, what are the solutions that can be deployed to help adapt to these conditions? Wankmiller said that the best chance is to develop more quickly to meet demands of the market. The machine tools business is focusing on mobility. We have to investigate all the processes to lean up. We are doing everything to become lean and fast. Dr. Yong added that they have recognized the full potential of digital solutions. It helps us to perform remotely and do transactions online.
Varsakelis added that digitalization in the pharmaceuticals industry is not new. It had started a few years ago. AI will transform the pharmaceuticals industry. We should not unilaterally place all of our investments in drug discovery, but also for process development.
Klaus Helmrich noted that flexibility is the key. So is productivity! The productivity component has been added to the software tools, from the design phase to the production phase. You can also maintain social distancing. We see the inside of our company, where there are various initiatives going on. We are already having the Industry 4.0 portfolio. We also need to look at the data and see how that can help us improve. We can also predict much better.
In this scenario, the role of new, emerging technologies is key. Varsakelis said that their company is currently evaluating a lot of technologies. A lot of these tools are being evaluated, started and at proof-of-concept stages. We are having a trust-and-verify approach, so that we are sure that the accommodation and deployment of technology can have benefits.
Dr. Yong agreed that there is focus on flexibility. In the metal and steel industry, we also have to meet the customers’ specific needs, including niche customers. Manufacturing enterprises can meet the demands with digital solutions in the 21st century. We also have to talk about how we are to implement big IoT.
Wankmiller added that they are also using the technologies for the future. We are using more simulation software. We are also using edge technology from Siemens. We are exchanging data with customers using cloud computing via Mindsphere, from Siemens. In future, all technologies for design and production are very important for us.
Klaus Helmrich concluded that customers can build up their scales. We are also investing heavily. It definitely means a lot for process industries especially, to focus on digitalization. Flexibility is definitely a key element. This is also the target of our digital enterprise portfolio. We combine the real world with the virtual world.