The feedback and reports are in, and the Siemens Automation Summit proves to be a great learning ground for Siemen’s integrators and users alike. As a Siemens Automation Solution Partner, Patti Engineering sent six members of our executive and sales teams to participate in the Automation Summit, held June 24-26 in Orlando, FL.
According to our Vice President of Operations, Ken Kutchek, PE, “the annual Siemens Summit is a great place to come and see all the latest Siemens technologies. It is also a great opportunity to meet and network with all the key sales and technical people for the various Siemens products and technologies. The breakout session presentations are an excellent way to learn how these technologies are being used in various industries.”
Patti Engineering teamed up with Comau, a worldwide leader in manufacturing flexible automation systems, for one of the breakout sessions. Ken joined Amir Shahnazary, PMP, Director of Engineering at Comau to give insights into a challenging time to market project where the companies worked together for an engine assembly line build project, which needed to take place during production on the customer’s plant floor. Combining Comau’s SmartCell technology with Patti Engineer’s SIMATIC S7 PLCs programming expertise, the engine assembly line build was complete in 20 weeks verses the traditional 48 weeks for the same cost and quality!
From a ‘30,000 foot’ overview level, a key takeaway from the Automation Summit was the fact that ‘Industry 4.0’ – the fourth industrial revolution – is well underway, and Siemens is right there at the forefront. So what does that mean for our end-users of Siemen’s technology? We will give you a glimpse here.
We have all heard it; ‘Big Data’ is the buzzword flying around the corporate world. Knowledge is power, right? Well, the same applies to analyzing and acting on data. As we all shop online, we see how Google, Amazon, Zappos, and many more seem to be inside our heads. Google seems to know exactly what we are searching for, managing millions of little bits of data in an instant to meet our inquiry. As for the retail giants like Amazon and Zappos, they certainly know how to increase their sales by suggesting exactly what we are interested in buying based on our past searches and history of purchases.
Before the internet and the explosion of Google, the ability to collect huge amounts of data, much less the ability to make sense of it in a usable fashion was very limited. Just as Big Data is making the corporate world more efficient and profitable, Siemens is fueling Industry 4.0 by providing manufacturers with the software tools on a digital platform to deliver a competitive edge through the collection and processing of data to drive results in efficiency, productivity, safety and quality.
As the keynote speaker, Anton Huber, Siemens AG CEO of the Industry Automation Division explained it, the whole idea of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is to literally have everything imaginable connected to a network so that information from all these connected “things” can be stored, transferred, analyzed and acted upon in new, and usually automated ways via network connections with everything else. Siemens is bringing together its products, systems and intelligent software tools onto a digital platform to help manufacturers harness the power of IoT.
Huber used Siemens Totally Integrated Portal (TIA) Portal as an example of its commitment to IoT in manufacturing. TIA Portal holds 55 million lines of code compared to its predecessor, the 2010 version of Step 7 software that held just 7 million lines of code. TIA Portal software can analyze complex shop floor data to optimize all planning, machine and process procedures.
By networking machinery, sensors and control systems together, the ability to collect and analyze an abundance of real-time shop-floor data creates transparency for smart decision making on the shop floor. For example, asset management can be optimized through statistical evaluation. The software can be used to anticipate maintenance needs, find bottlenecks and be programmed to establish measurements to maximize reliability – fan speed, temperature, humidity and other important variables can be monitored. If one of those variables moves out of the predetermined range, the software can automatically adjust the machinery, essentially solving a problem before it results in machine downtime or compromised quality.
In case you missed the conference, Siemens has placed all presentations online for your reference.
The presentations are available on the USA Online Community website. If you are already a registered user of the Siemens Online Support Portal, click here to log in and view the presentations. If you are not a registered user of the Support Portal, click the instructions link below to learn how to register for the Portal and the USA Online Community.