The infinite possibilities with Siemens Industrial IoT.

I recently listened to a great topic from a panel of experts that certainly opens all our thinking to all the possibilities ahead of us in the Industrial IoT world.

At the Siemens Digital Enterprise Virtual Experience, held in the Hannover Messe 2021 week, entitled “Infinite opportunities from infinite data”, one specific panel discussion stood out.

When you have three leading experts offering insights into a new world of industrial possibilities, you do expect some exciting opinions from each of these leaders in their specialized area.  You hope and get some fascinating insights.

The discussion was between Rainer Brehm, CEO Siemens Digital Industries Factory Automation, Raymond Kok, Senior Vice President, Cloud Application Solutions and Derek Roos, the Co-founder and CEO of Mendix, the low-code application and development platform, facilitated by Sebastian Wolf, the Senior Marketing Director for Siemens MindSphere.

IT and OT have been notoriously hard to bring together.

Although there have been significant developments in recent years, far too many solutions and individual knowledge understanding stay in silos. Siemens’ approach is to bring together the virtual and real worlds, recognizing the “play of the infinity loop” to optimize and simulate the digital world as applied in the real world to learn.

This panel discussed how this solution would work in this real world to optimize its digital twin model and bring together the domain expert (OT) with the digital aspect (IT). This digital model approach will bring completely new opportunities in the advancement of manufacturing, advancing processes as manufacturers are looking to ride the next S curve of productivity.

Today many manufacturers still have no comprehensive plan for digitalizing their operations. As the recent crisis showed, it was flexible, connected, and digitally ready manufacturers who were flexible and highly adaptive to react, respond, keep operating, and even raise their production to meet radically different demands.

Siemens is not just a provider of digital solutions.

Its history and reputation are in building, designing and producing technology solutions for customers worldwide. The term “eating your own dogfood,” in the software industry, comes to mind here, means using the code you’re developing for your own daily needs: basically, being a user as well as a developer.

As advancements are made, it offers customers new solutions on what can they now do they could not do before. As IoT connects the physical world, then to the IT world, you can empower a large community of developers (IT / OT) to evolve the business side to do new things. The interoperability potential of both unlocking workforce and domain knowledge into the (digital) mix to turn this into finding new business solutions.

So why is this important? Producers are constantly under cost pressure; customers expect personalized, high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable, and eco-friendly products. The game-changer for resolving complexity is the integration of digitalization, automation and new technologies. Batches or production runs need to be more customized, highly flexible and able to speed up development cycles from design concept to finished product to meet the rapid demand changes.

In the past production, runs were set up just to run continuously. Today that manufacturing philosophy is outdated for most industries. Rapid response is increasingly reliant on digitally connected environments. This move from “static” to “flexible” operations. They need the optimization provided by managing both in this physical and digital world to plan this and enable even more business models.

The panel suggests we are moving into a far more goal-based, not rule-based environment with the IT and OT’s combined convergence to allow their worlds to merge, enabling technologies and greater collaboration to take place.

In Siemens, their IIoT stack sits in the middle of this convergence. It brings together the edge; it provides IIoT as a service and offers visibility to all involved.  It becomes the core to transforming a digitally connected enterprise.

The key is to search for the integrated value, think big on possibilities, start small in experimentation and collective learning and then make the scaling out fast to generate the return on investments to create the impact demonstrated in this.

Today it is all about interplay.

The interplay between software and hardware, the IT and OT experts, the solution “stack” that manages, stores, and enables the simulation and optimization required of operating in the digital and physical world of infinite possibilities.

As operators start to contextualize the data, they gain insights. In unlocking data through machine learning, it brings a greater understanding to more people, from the shop floor to the top floor. It is through exploiting all these stacks (shown above)

Each manufacturing environment is unique.

It is the interoperability of technologies and solutions coming together for a common goal of delivering customer impact in the finding of new solutions to generate new business models and offer digital experiences to all involved to have a greater understanding and transparency. It is finding the integrated value and planning out the new landscape to optimize and stimulate.

Insights need to lead to action. The need is to connect data, take it and apply it in more valuable ways; this could be in process optimization, predictive maintenance. It could be in new innovative concepts, different shop floor designs combining AI, Robots, Humans to work in other, more intelligent ways.

The IT / OT convergence

Siemens is taking a holistic approach to enable your IIoT business by combining three solution stacks that offer versatile and robust industrial IoT solutions- Industrial edge, Mindsphere and Mendix. The new stack supplies speed, scalability and versatility. This solution set is following on from the recent launch of the Siemens Industrial Edge.

With Industrial Edge, you leverage machine data in real-time and at scale to improve processes. Mindsphere helps you maximize the benefits of industrial data with AI and advanced analytics in the cloud. And with Mendix, you have application development capabilities to hand, even without coding experience.

This solution set is about unlocking the interplay of the different solutions found in the solutions to transform your business into a Digital Enterprise.

The aim is to take IT technology and make it industrialized for broader connectivity, optimization, and insights.

This solution stack takes a total view from the shop floor firstly in machines, processes and data connectivity, and data from products in the field. Then along with Mindsphere, the application and cloud-based analytics with low-code application capabilities development from Mendix, it enables an integrated portfolio of software, services and application development platforms.

Where should one start in building the Digital Enterprise?  

The panel’s advice, do not overthink, get going quickly, start learning and empower your people to discover the solutions that give impact and return and making sure you remove all the unnecessary friction.

As Derek Roos nicely put it, “Remove the friction”. It is about unlocking the interplay of the different solutions found in this combined stack to help you transform your business.

This solution stack combines the two worlds of digital and domain knowledge through connecting digital to physical in the digital twin solution. Siemens makes the OT world accessible to the IT world and vice versa in intuitive ways; they become more empowered and create the future potential, more assessable and valuable.

The goal here is in unlocking and translating insights into new business value. Achieving real impact and return to enable the existing and potential new business to find new opportunities and models. The ability for clients to find a unique competitive advantage combining the two worlds of digital and physical.

Resources and links

Explore your infinite possibilities now: šŸ‘‰

Disclaimer: This article is published in partnership with Siemens. Siemens is paying for my engagement, not for promotional purpose. Opinions are my own. #SIEx








The Power of Innovation Ecosystems

The power of a powerful networked ecosystem

We are entering the world of innovation ecosystems where broader, more complex innovation challenges, through greater collaborations can be achieved. So to help, there is a dedicated site to building the arguments and explore options for your future here in collaborative designs and you have found it!

Collaborative Ecosystems are forging a new direction and momentum for innovation to travel and tackle more demanding innovation that requires the capabilities of more than one to deliver what is becoming increasingly possible through technology and the network effect we see through our growing connections.

For many today, innovation is simply not working, it remains a disappointment for a variety of reasons, especially for those leading organizations required to be seeking out new growth, operating in increasing volatile and tough markets where disruption and copying are increasing the pressures. Something has to change and it is this recognition that it can come from managing innovation in ecosystems can provide part of the answer.

We believe innovation needs to enter a new era of prosperity.

Incremental innovation can only take you a very limited way, it needs a bolder resolution as we must move from the era of discreet products, There is a need to deliver some changes in the way we operate, collaborate and create. Perhaps this is even more radical than we initially would like but this needs a different set of thinking and growing understanding and here, we aim to provide part of this.

We are finding ourselves in a race to the bottom when it comes to maintaining a competitive edge. As soon as the product is available within ever-decreasing time, it is being copied and any advantage has vanished. Can we continue to chase our tail?

We require a different way of thinking. This is more centred on innovation ecosystems.

So on this site; it will be dedicated to telling the innovation stories that provide the understanding of the value and growth opportunities that can come from exploring innovation ecosystems.

These will include what makes up innovation ecosystems and the changes this can offer. How the platforms we see everywhere can fit and work for us.

We all need to explore ecosystems, understand the delivery mechanisms of platforms along with other collaborative methods and push towards the new need of today, to deliver a seamless total solution that provides customers what they are constantly asking for, to solve their needs and give them greater engagement and experiences. This thinking is driven by a need for new products and services and experiences, otherwise, we believe customers will continue to turn away from discrete, disconnected products and services increasingly over time

Shaping and introducing new innovation ecosystems is not easy but it has enormous potential to transform competition and deliver on this ā€˜seamless experienceā€™ that will be valued and recognized by its unique set of offerings. It can become the unique competitive positioning due to this connected ecosystem of collaborators, it offers an advantage to all engaged in its potential as it has diversity, dynamics, differentiation and distinctiveness in itsĀ  design and delivery

Continue to browse on this site to help in this understanding of a new innovation era where ecosystem thinking and platform management are combining in ways that are giving far greater impact and growth to the business that participate. They offer a multiplier effect.

Thinking About Relationship and Network Management

By looking outside we open up. More and more demands are being placed on us via our customers, suppliers, our regulators and a host of other stakeholders all wanting to contribute into our existing knowledge. The ability to collaborate, to cooperate is coming by purposefully designing ecosystems and platforms

We struggle to adapt to these new external pressures as the more we engage outside we realize there are (often) stark differences in approaching problems. This adaptation demands a very different approach to anyone organizations structures, processes and systems. They need to adapt to and support these changes in working within an ecosystem designed one.

We all need to be more flexible, adaptable and agile so our resources grow their capacity to absorb and strengthen the competency and capability in new more dynamic ways. To design in ecosystem thinking needs a very different approach.

Continue reading

Look around you the cross-industry or community ecosystem is exploding.

Many of the changes that will emerge in the next twelve to twenty-four months will become more cross-industry and service ecosystems. The search is far more today looking for synergies.

Connecting into a Ecosystem is necessary to extract those collaborative synergies. It requires a host (platform provider), different apps, weblinks and consistent ways to integrate these so those using the airport or train station can navigate their way around their personal needs. It needs an ecosystem and platform management to bring this together.

We are increasingly expecting as consumers, uninterrupted connectivity, and virtual integration and that need for continued connectivity will spur new value propositions for technology and AI to take over and manage more of your daily, repetitive tasks. Continue reading

The building of a Hydrogen Ecosystem in Europe

The global challenge of climate change is coming rapidly to the points where it is forcing governments, businesses and knowledge organisations all over the world to mobilise behind carbon-reducing innovations, e.g. large-scale renewable energy implementation and electrification.

When it comes to innovation and leading the energy transition, Europe is showing clear leadership and in one specific and important technology, a global leader in electrolysis technology required to produce green hydrogen. The challenge today is to convert that leading position into a sustaining best of class one, that leads the world in electrolyzer expertise, production and research.

Today, Europe has a promising start, but it has significant challenges to break down the silo’s of knowledge and expertise and seize this opportunity to learn how to collaborate and build a thriving, robust and collaborative ecosystem around the building of a world-leading position in the electrolyzer market space.

At this time though, despite a promising outlook for the use of the eƶlectrolyzer for hydrogen, water electrolysis technology is not sufficiently mature to fit that purpose. It still is at a limited scale and is not yet at the point of the expectations building up around it. An enormous challenge lies ahead in upscaling currently available technologies to GW-scale factories required to drive forward the energy transition. Continue reading

The Evolving Platform Strategies in the Industrial Space

There is far more focus on the consumer platform market where Facebook, Alibaba, Google, etc. all get the publicity and consequential high valuations to their business models. Yet, the size of the Industrial Platform market will be bigger, perhaps not in “eyeballs” but far more in economic value and growth to those that commit to these changes by collaborating through a networked designed platform ecosystem.

Redesigning a specific industry space to adapt and adjust to a platform business model is hard work. The investment in years of building internal systems is rapidly becoming worrying “legacy” issues. The new way to perform in business is through open, collaborative networks of collaborators that achieve far more growth potential by participating in an ecosystem of partners.

Strategic Industrial relationships are radically changing Continue reading