Siemens, Dow and MxD partner to enhance digitalization in the process industries with process automation test bed
July 28, 2021
Siemens is collaborating with Dow to showcase the future of automation with a process industry test bed at MxD, a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing institute and innovation center near downtown Chicago. This new test bed offers a hands-on demonstration of how innovative software and IoT come together with hardware to accelerate digitalization for the process industries. Companies can now see firsthand how to design, monitor and maintain their products more effectively, efficiently and, even remotely, using data and digital tools.
Today, most of the process industry operates on methods and workflows that have remained relatively untouched for the last 30 years. This new test bed offers a glimpse of how Siemens is helping customers prepare for the future of process automation. From web-based process control on the plant floor with a tablet, to global collaboration in real time and integrated modular automation, digitalizing the process industries will continue to blur the lines between the digital and real worlds. For the connected mobile worker, augmented reality glasses and tablets can offer digitalized documentation for quicker and easier access to safety manuals and maintenance forms that can boost productivity, R&D and compliance.
“Providing this hands-on experience will be critical for digital transformation in the process industries, showing how the digital twin and the connected mobile worker can enable greater productivity, reliability and safety,” stated Billy Bardin, Global Digitalization Director at Dow.
Employing a comprehensive selection automation technology, Siemens is helping bring the test bed to life. SIMATIC PCS neo process control technology, Siemens’ innovative distributed control system (DCS), provides operators simple and secure access, making remote operation easier than ever before. Maintenance teams benefit from device-independent access, with actionable diagnostic and maintenance information accessible from their tablets, laptops, or multi-monitor stations. For engineering, efficient web-based collaboration opens new possibilities by working in parallel. Whether it is hardware planning, control logic, or operator displays, all tasks can be engineered in any workflow with flexibility that not only adapts to the availability of staff, but to the location as well. Integrated into SIMATIC PCS neo, Siemens’ smart field instrumentation oversees the operation of the process and provides advanced health, operation, as well as diagnostic data to ensure reliable and safe operation.
The Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of software and services provides the digital fabric that enables the test bed design, simulation, commissioning and process operations, planning, quality, as well as analysis of IoT data. Its Mendix™ low-code application development platform drives business transformation by leveraging real-time sensor and asset data to provide actionable information. Xcelerator enables workers to gain digital skills as they further innovate the test bed.
“This process-based digital twin demonstrator integrates Siemens’ hardware and software to show what the future of the process industries will look like,” said Raj Batra, President of Digital Industries for Siemens USA. “This joint effort with Dow and MxD shows how digitalization can maximize flexibility, productivity, and efficiency in the process industries.”
Dow, Siemens, MxD and Siemens’ integrator partner, DMC, collectively bring transformative workforce benefits to the process industries at a time when companies are accelerating their digitalization plans, and remote accessibility is becoming more of a staple with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Digitalizing the process industries, today, can help create a safer work environment for plant workers and better products for their customers.
MxD’s 22,000-square-foot factory floor already features some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world.
“This new process test bed is an exciting addition, allowing innovative manufacturers to actually experience technology that’s essential for their digital transformation,” said Chandra Brown, CEO of MxD, the nation’s digital manufacturing institute and the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing.
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Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. Active around the world, the company focuses on intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems and on automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Siemens brings together the digital and physical worlds to benefit customers and society. Through Mobility, a leading supplier of intelligent mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is helping to shape the world market for passenger and freight services. Via its majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital health services. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power that has been listed on the stock exchange since September 28, 2020. In fiscal 2020, Siemens Group USA generated revenue of $17 billion and employs approximately 40,000 people serving customers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
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Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $39 billion in 2020. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit or follow on Twitter.
MxD (Manufacturing x Digital) is where innovative manufacturers go to forge their futures. In partnership with the Department of Defense, MxD equips U.S. factories with the digital tools, cybersecurity and workforce expertise needed to begin building every part better than the last. As a result, our more than 300 partners increase their productivity, win more business and strengthen U.S. manufacturing.