Siemens recently briefed ARC Advisory Group analysts about the company’s Digital Industries Software and Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) portfolio, one of its business segments. The company is realizing its vision as an enabler of the digital enterprise with new innovations for MOM and continuous software improvements. Siemens’ MOM portfolio consolidates and integrates its several acquisitions of the past decade, enabling customers to use the same “smart data” from design to production and beyond.
ARC research indicates that Siemens is now among the world’s largest software companies for industrial digital transformation. The company recently rebranded its MOM/MES portfolio as Opcenter (previously known as “SIMATIC IT and Camstar”). Opcenter unifies and orchestrates its MOM solutions as part of Xcelerator, an integrated portfolio of software, services and application development platform that can be used to simulate and model the behavior of real-world production systems and the equipment within the system.
Opcenter functionality includes advanced production planning & scheduling, manufacturing execution, quality management, manufacturing intelligence, and closed-loop improvement aspects with interoperability and data exchange options with Opcenter Connect.
Managing Increasing Manufacturing Complexity
Because manufacturing is changing rapidly and becoming increasingly more complex, Siemens is providing out-of-the box applications that support everything from closed-loop, end-to-end product and production design to product quality management. According to the company, these applications provide a comprehensive digital twin via a personalized user experience within an open and flexible solution ecosystem.
Xcelerator provides a way for manufacturing end users to personalize how they view and consume the vast quantities of data being generated. Digital twins play an important role here. By bringing together the virtual and physical or real worlds, Siemens blurs the lines between engineering and operational domains, and digital twins enable users to obtain better insights from the combined data. The comprehensive digital twin that Siemens enables for its customers can produce a highly visual, dynamic digital representation of the product and its production process in operation. Leveraging this twin, Opcenter enables closed-loop continuous improvements in production.
Personalized Adaptable/Modern User Experience
While Siemens acknowledges that MOM/MES applications will always require some customization because processes are never the same from customer to customer, the company is producing applications that reduce the need for customization. Siemens believes that it can tailor as much as 80 percent of the application to the industry requirements. Siemens’ MOM approach is to provide a modular portfolio that minimizes the level of customization required, yet still provide a personalized user experience. Customers can start with a small application, understand what their challenges will be, and then expand as needed.
Complete End-to-end Visibility
Siemens’ manufacturing operation management solution is designed to provide full visibility and control of manufacturing processes to support operational performance improvements. The solution consolidates all production processes to enable quality management, production intelligence, advanced planning and scheduling (APS), track and trace, process execution, and improved workflow for both discrete and process industries.
Flexible Open Ecosystem with Cloud-native Applications
Siemens’ strategy is to provide cloud- ready MOM platforms, cloud-native apps that can be self-hosted or as a native SaaS offering, and modular, multi-tenant applications and micro-services that run on-premise, in the cloud, or at the network edge. MOM applications are all available for cloud and managed services. Siemens is seeing increased adoption of MOM subscription services, mostly for small-to-medium sized companies, but also for some larger enterprises. The company is developing cloud-native modular applications and true multi-tenant micro-services using a deployment-agnostic model that enables on-premise, cloud, edge, or hybrid deployments that align with the customer and industry needs. Modular apps and MOM micro-services applications available in the cloud help optimize time to value for customers. The solutions are consistent, interoperable, and can leverage Siemens’ cloud ecosystem.
Streamline Enterprise Data Preparation
Companies spend over 85 percent of their time preparing and managing data. The Teamcenter data management backbone can help take a bite out of the process deployment by enabling design data to be pre-pared only once, using standards, and contextualizing data across all sites. Because Siemens’ Opcenter portfolio stores data from Teamcenter software system in a central location, design changes can be made in one plant and then compared to another plant or asset data. This often yields actionable insights. Design data can be integrated to the Bill of Materials (BOM) with new intelligence from the design formulation, design artwork, design packaging, design production process and design production equipment; and extended to the production process for complete end-to-end intelligence. This results in a more flexible process that can incorporate product design changes into the production process faster.
Smart Data for Actionable Intelligence
Siemens’ ”5Cs” integrated approach for digitalization can result in actionable insights based on smart data from the company’s MOM, Industrial IoT (MindSphere) and Low Code or no-code platform (Mendix) offerings. Siemens 5Cs for smart data are: 1. Collect/Connect to data, 2. Contextualize the data, 3. Coordinate the data and 4. Comprehend the data and 5. Control the process.
Siemens’ 5Cs are unlocking data value to help ensure predictive transparency through quality; logistics; and actionable, closed-loop analytics. This helps maximize resource utilization through better scheduling, work in progress traceability, and ERP interoperability and supports the decision-making process through operational KPIs (OEE, downtime) and role-based dashboards and analytics. The data is collected in an extraction layer and combined with other types of data to enable production insights with information about abnormal process behavior or bottlenecks so activities can be rescheduled, or other actions taken, as needed. This approach also provides manufacturers with the flexibility to start small and minimize disruptions to operations while gaining the needed insights and later scale up as needed.
Opcenter Digitalization Experience Across Industries
Siemens’ Digital Industries Software group spans a variety of industries and includes many use cases.
In the automotive industry, for example, VinFast, Vietnam's first volume car manufacturer, successfully produced its first cars ahead of schedule using Siemens' integrated portfolio. Siemens solutions helped VinFast build the factory, complete car design, and start the production in only 21 months, well ahead of an already-ambitious schedule. This is half the average time typically required to build such a manufacturing plant. The VinFast plant in Hai Phong went live in June 2019 and has a total design capacity of 250,000 cars per year. The first vehicles have been e-scooters, compact cars, sedans, and SUVs. These will be followed by battery/electric passenger cars as well as electric buses.
In the beverages industry, a vineyard customer leveraged Siemens’ Opcenter execution and intelligence products to collect data about weather changes and insects and how these affect the grapes and wine to optimize its process. The business benefits included fewer process errors, improved efficiency and quality, production process standardization, and better wine quality.
In medical devices, Penumbra Inc., a global leader in interventional therapies, has selected Siemens Opcenter Execution Medical Device and Diagnostics from Siemens Digital Industries Software to support its growing businesses. The solution, which enables paperless manufacturing in an FDA-regulated environment, will provide the foundation for an operational platform designed to establish a more rapid, predict-able manufacturing process and supply chain.
Additional industries that take advantage of the Opcenter offering include machinery, electronics, consumer product goods (CPG), and food & beverage. Siemens is also working with customers to explore opportunities to leverage its scalable approach for digital initiatives in industries such as personalized medicines for pharmaceuticals and chemicals. This attractive approach enables users to add MOM functionality incrementally where it makes the most sense depending on issues, requirements, and resources.
ARC believes that Siemens is well positioned to help manufacturers accelerate industrial digital transformation globally. MOM will continue to be a leading mission-critical technology for digital transformation and for Siemens as the company integrates its closed-loop continuous improvement capabilities into other areas. MOM applications are not going away anytime soon, but moving forward, successful MOM implementations will have to be approached within the context of overall digital transformation initiatives. Siemens appears to understand this well.
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Keywords: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Production Management, Opcenter Execution, MindSphere, Teamcenter, Production Lifecycle Management (PLM), Xcelerator, Siemens, ARC Advisory Group.