CEE can both ben­e­fit and con­trib­ute to Industry 4.0

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In re­cent years Industry 4.0 is on ev­ery­body's lips. What ex­actly does it mean?

The term Industry 4.0 was pre­sented to the pub­lic for the first time in 2011 at the Hanover Messe, the largest in­dus­trial fair in Ger­many. It sum­ma­rizes the vi­sion of the Ger­man govern­ment for the fu­ture of man­u­fac­tur­ing, when the per­va­sive net­work­ing of peo­ple, prod­ucts, and ma­chines will cre­ate a com­pletely new pro­duc­tion environment, reap­ing huge ben­e­fits in the form of im­proved qual­ity, lower costs, in­creased ef­fi­ciency and cus­tomiz­abil­ity.

The idea of Industry 4.0 is fo­cused on smart prod­ucts, smart pro­ce­dures and smart pro­duc­tion. In this vi­sion, the worlds of real and vir­tual man­u­fac­tur­ing merge in or­der to en­sure a long-term de­fend­able com­pet­i­tive po­si­tion.

In in­tel­li­gent fac­to­ries of the fu­ture, ma­chines, raw ma­te­ri­als, and prod­ucts are con­nected through the "In­ter­net of Things". Fac­to­ries are largely able to con­trol and op­ti­mize pro­duc­tion, while their prod­ucts com­mu­ni­cate with one an­other and with pro­duc­tion sys­tems with the ul­ti­mate goal to run pro­duc­tion pro­cesses as smoothly and ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble and de­tect any po­ten­tial fail­ures. In­de­pen­dently op­er­at­ing com­puter pro­grams mon­i­tor ev­ery sin­gle step, cre­at­ing a net­worked, flex­i­ble, and dy­nam­i­cally self­or­ga­niz­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing process for highly cus­tom­iz­a­ble prod­ucts. That is the vi­sion for the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion shared by Siemens AG as part of its mis­sion to trail­blaze the fu­ture of industry.

What de­ter­mines the cur­rent speed of pen­e­tra­tion of dig­i­tal­iza­tion in pro­duc­tion pro­cesses, which forms the ba­sis of Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 con­cept merges clas­sic in­dus­trial pro­cesses with the evo­lu­tion­ary changes brought by the mod­ern in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies in or­der to an­swer the cus­tomers' needs of im­proved flex­i­bil­ity and de­creased time to mar­ket along with re­duced en­ergy and re­source con­sump­tion.

Even now, the in­dus­tries are more and more im­pacted by the soft­ware so­lu­tions and the pen­e­tra­tion of In­ter­net, chang­ing the whole value cre­ation process. The com­po­nents, tools, ma­chines, and con­veyor sys­tems in to­day's ad­vanced, au­to­mated fac­to­ries are al­ready equipped with sen­sors and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems that share and an­a­lyze a huge amount of data ev­ery sin­gle sec­ond in or­der to man­u­fac­ture mass-pro­duced prod­ucts quickly, flex­i­bly and ef­fi­ciently. Over the next 15 to 20 years, this process is ex­pected to fur­ther ex­pand and gain speed all over the world, driven by the in­creased need of dig­i­tal­iza­tion and au­tom­a­ti­za­tion of pro­duc­tion. The re­sult will sig­nif­i­cantly change the par­a­digm of man­u­fac­tur­ing as we know it.

How is Siemens pioneer­ing these de­vel­op­ments?

Long be­fore the term of Industry 4.0 was pre­sented to the pub­lic, Siemens had laid the ground­work for the dig­i­tal­iza­tion of in­dus­tries. The in­tro­duc­tion of To­tally In­te­grated Au­to­ma­tion (TIA) in the mid-90s en­abled com­pa­nies to co­or­di­nate the com­po­nents of their pro­duc­tion pro­cesses and closely in­te­grate their soft­ware and hard­ware. In 2007 Siemens in­tro­duced a com­pre­hen­sive port­fo­lio of PLM (prod­uct life­cy­cle man­age­ment) soft­ware prod­ucts, aimed to op­ti­mize the whole process of prod­uct devel­op­ment. The

de­sign, pro­to­type devel­op­ment, and sim­u­la­tion take place in the vir­tual world so that devel­op­ment times as well as po­ten­tial costs can be greatly re­duced.

Siemens PLM soft­ware was suc­cess­fully used by NASA through­out the com­plete de­sign, test­ing and devel­op­ment of the lat­est Mars Rover – "Cu­rios­ity". PLM soft­ware NASA en­gi­neers en­gi­neers to vir­tu­ally test and as­sem­ble all of the rover's com­po­nents and sim­u­late how “Cu­rios­ity” would op­er­ate on the Red Planet in the most re­al­is­tic way.

Sim­i­larly, the For­mula 1 car of the world cham­pion Se­bas­tian Vet­tel was also mod­i­fied us­ing Siemens soft­ware in or­der to meet new racing re­quire­ments of the au­to­mo­tive as­so­ci­a­tion FIA. The ad­vanced fea­tures of PLM port­fo­lio en­abled en­gi­neers of the In­finiti Red Bull racing team to de­sign and vir­tu­ally test new com­po­nents in record time, just at the click of a mouse.

The Mars rover and the race car were man­u­fac­tured only once -- a batch size of one. They are none­the­less in­di­ca­tors of a global trend to­ward mak­ing prod­ucts in­creas­ingly spe­cific and in line with the cus­tomer's in­di­vid­ual wishes by sim­u­lat­ing real-life pro­duc­tion en­vi­ron­ments. Siemens makes a point by us­ing these cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies in its own fac­to­ries. A har­bin­ger of the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion is al­ready hum­ming away in the small Bavar­ian city of Am­berg. The Am­berg Elec­tron­ics Plant is a trend-set­ting ex­am­ple of Siemens' Dig­i­tal Enterprise Plat­form — a pro­duc­tion environment that could be­come standard ten years from now. Here, prod­ucts al­ready com­mu­ni­cate with pro­duc­tion ma­chines, and IT sys­tems con­trol and op­ti­mize all pro­cesses to en­sure the low­est pos­si­ble de­fect rate. Their prod­uct codes tell pro­duc­tion ma­chines what re­quire­ments they have and which pro­duc­tion steps must be taken next. This net­worked pro­duc­tion environment marks the first leap to­ward the emer­gence of Industry 4.0.

How can Cen­tral and Eastern Europe fit into this vi­sion?

Un­for­tu­nately, we have to ad­mit that our re­gion is of­ten lag­ging be­hind in terms of tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion. But al­though at the mo­ment the prospect seems quite re­mote, Cen­tral and Eastern Europe can not re­main out­side the global pro­cesses of dig­i­tal­iza­tion

and net­work­ing of tech­nolo­gies.

At the global level there are still chal­lenges to over­come be­fore the vi­sion of Industry 4.0 be­comes a re­al­ity. The cur­rently emerg­ing re­quire­ments for cy­ber-phys­i­cal sys­tems (CPS) and the In­ter­net of Things are very dif­fi­cult to be re­al­ized with to­day's tech­ni­cal data in­fra­struc­tures . Many bar­ri­ers must be elim­i­nated in terms of the in­con­sis­tent data si­los, sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences be­tween var­i­ous in­dus­tries and the re­flec­tion of their char­ac­ter­is­tics in the soft­ware plat­forms, miss­ing stan­dards and open­ness. Tools and com­mu­ni­ca­tion struc­tures need to be availed that per­mit the dig­i­tal com­pany to fuse with the real one or at least to in­ter­act as fully as pos­si­ble.

De­spite years of in­vest­ments and re­search by Siemens and other lead­ing IT com­pa­nies in this di­rec­tion, the nec­es­sary tech­no­log­i­cal pre­con­di­tions for Industry 4.0 can­not be cre­ated ad-hoc or with the ef­forts of a sin­gle com­pany or even a coun­try. It could only be­come a re­al­ity step-by-step, with the con­sis­tent con­tri­bu­tions of the man­u­fac­tur­ers, re­searchers and users. And the tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies in CEE can both ben­e­fit and con­trib­ute to the fu­ture of man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Dr. Ing. Bo­ryana Manolova, CEO, Siemens Bulgaria

Siemens Bulgaria is part of Siemens AG – a world leader in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of in­no­va­tive prod­ucts, tech­nolo­gies and so­lu­tions in the fields of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, au­to­ma­tion and dig­i­tal­iza­tion. The com­pany is a lead­ing sup­plier of com­bined cy­cle tur­bines for power gen­er­a­tion, a ma­jor provider of power trans­mis­sion so­lu­tions and a pi­o­neer in in­fra­struc­ture so­lu­tions as well as au­to­ma­tion, drive and soft­ware so­lu­tions for industry. Siemens is also a lead­ing provider of med­i­cal imag­ing equip­ment and a leader in lab­o­ra­tory di­ag­nos­tics as well as clin­i­cal IT.

In Bulgaria the com­pany has been present for more than 135 years. To­day Siemens Bulgaria has nearly 500 em­ploy­ees. The com­pany’s aim is to im­prove the qual­ity of life and pro­vide prod­ucts and ser­vices that move the world for­ward.

The Am­berg fac­tory is a har­bin­ger of the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion

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