Siemens is one of the world's leading providers of automation, control and electric drive technology for industry. Electric motors for industrial use have been manufactured at a Siemens site in Bad Neustadt, Germany for 80 years. Digitalization is playing an increasingly important role at this site. Hence, the company is turning the plant into a showcase factory for digitalization in metalworking. In the new "Arena of Digitalization" covering an area of more than 800 square meters, Siemens is now showing customers and partners how digitalization is used in metalworking and motor production, and what results can be achieved with it. In addition, using its own development and the way production has grown over many years as an example, the showcase factory demonstrates how digitalization already offers advantages in terms of productivity and efficiency for the discrete manufacturing industry.
According to Siemens, with advancing digitalization, industry faces entirely new opportunities and possibilities. All these center on a growing individualization of products as well as of quality, efficiency, speed and flexibility. Companies in the manufacturing sector have to respond to increasingly differentiated customer requirements and are therefore reliant on flexible production, right down to a batch size of one.
As a response to these challenges, Siemens is offering its customers from the manufacturing sector a comprehensive portfolio of products and solutions under the Digital Enterprise umbrella. The company’s solutions cover the entire value chain, from product design, production planning and production engineering to production execution and services. Spanning all these are Teamcenter, a database that is accessible to all parties involved, and MindSphere, a platform for lifecycle and data analytics. If this production process is integrated and digitalized from end to end, a company can achieve substantial overall optimization outcomes. At the electric motor plant in Bad Neustadt, Siemens uses six specific topic areas to show how products and solutions from its own portfolio can be implemented step by step in a production process that is already up and running.
The challenges companies face include:
Individually tailored products, and the resulting high degree of product diversity
Digitalization helps to tackle these challenges. Siemens plans to use the "Arena of Digitalization" to demonstrate to customers – machine builders as well as machine operators – the advantages that using Siemens digitalization technologies provide. The company’s objective is to share knowledge and experience of digitalization at this location with customers from the machine tool industry.
Digitalization of the processes in the plant requires continuous development. Initially, Siemens focused on using digitalization in manufacturing to create consistency throughout the CAD-CAM/CNC chain, including tool and NC program management. Systems that had previously functioned separately were synchronized and fitted with digital interfaces. In addition, new tools were used, NC programs were optimized, and various design adjustments were made. As a result, the electric motor plant in Bad Neustadt has so far successfully achieved 40 percent faster throughput times where processes have been modified, shortened correction loops by 50 percent, and increased ramp-up times for new machines by 60 percent.
Keywords: Siemens, Arena of Digitalization, Digitalization, Machine Tool Industry, Automation, ARC Advisory Group.