Digitalisation: Making it real!Digitalisation has the power to transform industry and society in ways which we are only beginning to understand. On April 30th last, an invited audience of Siemens customers and business partners gathered in the company’s Irish headquarters in DCU Alpha, Glasnevin, Dublin to learn from industry experts about how digitalisation can enable the construction of better and smarter buildings, make manufacturing processes more efficient and much higher quality, and transform power generation and distribution. There followed a series of presentations on Smart Buildings, Smart Manufacturing, and Smart Energy. The event concluded with a series of interactive technology demonstrations which showcased how digitalisation is enabling companies and organisations to do things better than ever before.
In his opening keynote presentation, Siemens CEO Gary O’Callaghan, explained the Siemens Vision 2020 strategy which aims to give businesses within Siemens the entrepreneurial freedom to focus on the markets they serve and lead in a range of areas including the internet of things (IoT), distributed energy, smart campuses, smart businesses, and electric mobility. This has led to fundamental change at Siemens which is now more like a co-ordinated fleet of smaller, swifter and more nimble vessels as a result of its Vision 2020 strategy.
Smart Buildings: Creating perfect places with the power of data
Thomas leads the Digital Buildings group at Siemens Smart Infrastructure Service and Solutions Europe. He used the example of how Siemens is helping Swiss brewer Feldschlossen with their fire safety systems to explore how the digitalisation journey is evolving in relation to buildings and systems and facilities like fire protection, lighting controls, charging stations for e-cars and so on. He also explained the three pillars which create buildings that care: comfort and safety; energy and asset efficiency; and space and user efficiency.
Jamie runs the sales, services and partnering efforts for the UK&I, Nordics & Benelux for Enlighted, a Californian intelligent buildings start-up which has been acquired by Siemens but retains its identity and autonomy as a separate entity. He explained how Enlighted’s real time location services (RTLS) use sensors and Bluetooth beacons to track devices and pieces of equipment as they move around a building. The technology can allow hospital staff to locate free wheelchairs and portable medical devices such as ECG machines in real time to improve care standards and overall efficiency.
Unleashing the power of digitalisation in the manufacturing industry
John is Managing Director of Killarney-based Straightline Energy Solutions. He explained how the company is using Siemens cloud-based data visualisation technology as a business enabler. Straightline has developed the EscoPod sysyem, a thermal technology for the production of hot water for manufacturing processes. A gas turbine powered hybrid heat pump system leads to savings of around 80 per cent compared to conventional methods of producing heat along with consequent C02 savings. The Siemens system is used to monitor the financial and environmental performance of the EscoPod system.
Dr Colin Clarke
Colin is a Principal Investigator with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT). He looked at the impact digitalisation is having on the manufacturing processes used to produce the latest generation of highly complex and targeted biologics drugs. NIBRT is using AI and data analytics to improve the understanding of the manufacturing processes in the biopharma industry with the goal of improving efficiency in drug production. Mindsphere, the Siemens cloud based open IoT platform, is being developed to apply data-based analytics solutions to real time manufacturing activities and identify potential improvements in the manufacturing process of a range of medicines.
Kevin is Energy Manager with global construction materials company Roadstone. The company has worked with Siemens to fundamentally alter its approach to materials production. Prior to working with Siemens, the company operated on an interpretation of the processes based on familiarity rather than hard data. Siemens audited Roadstone’s and delivered a solution which enables the company to deal in facts not opinions and quickly identify problems and opportunities for cost avoidance, recipe refinement, quality improvement and new marketing drives. Overall, the solution has delivered savings of 30 per cent to this aspect of Roadstone’s operation.
Digitalisation in Power Distribution: Innovations in front, on and behind the meter
Florian works in Business Development for digital applications within Siemens Low Voltage Power Distribution. He explained that the challenges presented by environmental targets and technology changes in terms of reliability and efficiency of power supply can be met by the digitalisation of power distribution. He outlined how Siemens customer automotive components manufacturer Gestamp is generating value from IoT in power distribution by improving energy efficiency and performance. The company has 15 factories in six countries and through the implementation of 130 measures has saved €18 million in energy bills, reduced CO2 emissions by 14,000 tonnes, and cut overall energy consumption by 15 per cent.
Jon is the UK and Ireland Sales Lead for Siemens Digital Grid businesses. He looked at how the world is moving inexorably towards reduced energy costs, lower emissions, increased grid reliability, improved security of supply and all with no upfront investment. The drive for decarbonisation; decentralisation; digitalisation and efficiency will lead to opportunities for new breakthrough technologies in photo-voltaic, wind power, and energy storage. He cited the example of Keele University which is becoming Europe’s first living laboratory for the research, development and demonstration of new smart energy technologies and services in partnership with business and industry.
Digitalisation in Power Generation: From buzzword to value creation
Salvador Sumohano-Verdeja and Jan Gebhardt
Salvador is Head of Digitalisation for Power and Gas in Siemens GB and Ireland while Jan is Digitalisation and Innovation lead for Siemens Region Europe Steam Power Plant business. In a lively two-handed presentation, they shared visions of the digitalised future and how some of them are already a reality. Salvador looked ahead to 2031 where 32-year-old Aisling (the Irish for dream), who works as a manager at a power maintenance plant and is alerted to by a sensor in the plant to a problem while she still at home. She deals with the problem remotely using VR goggles to examine the systems and by dispatching a robot to carry out the required maintenance.
Jan spoke about Origin Energy of Australia and how Siemens assisted it in the development of a central monitoring and dispatch solution to deliver improved reliability and efficiency in fleet management operations. This resulted in global leading performance and reliability levels, improved transparency, and increased efficiency across the entire fleet. He explained that these solutions are delivered as a result of a Discovery session where Siemens works with the customer to find out what’s important to them. If Siemens doesn’t already have a solution the next step is to collaborate with the customer and guide them through the process of finding one.