Digitalization — in concrete terms

"We at Siemens challenged ourselves: could we use our software, hardware, and service solutions to guide the way from design through to the finished product in an integrated digitalized process? It was in answering this question that the quadcopter project came about," explains Matthias Leinberger, marketing manager at Siemens.

Siemens will be presenting its results live at trade fairs such as EMO 2017, as well as in a video on the Internet and in print. These results will show that integrated digital workflows are possible, and Siemens offers the solutions needed to be able to do so from a single source. "Why does digitalization allow me to manufacture more quickly, efficiently, flexibly, and with a higher level of quality? This is a question that we can now answer concretely and clearly for our customers using the example of quadcopter manufacture — for each individual step of the process," continues Leinberger. Where the greatest benefits arise will vary by company and application. Leinberger dispels a preconceived notion straight away: "Many managers and NC experts in small and medium-sized enterprises are overwhelmed by terms such as ‘cloud computing’ and ‘big data’. However, one thing is for sure: it is not just big companies with machine parks in various locations and a value chain ranging from design to finished product that can profit from digital processes. Contract manufacturers with just a few machines can also benefit. Neither clouds nor big data are required in the beginning. With Siemens, digital processes can be implemented on the local level.

The benefits begin with modernized program creation and management, with digital simulations that replace expensive test runs on the machine, or with maintenance processes that provide better protection against unpleasant surprises.

"His top tip? "Small companies, in particular, should simply look to get started in a place where they can see weaknesses in their own processes. Does it take too long for an NC program to be truly faultfree and ready to run? Are my runtime plans often unrealistic? Do I lack transparency about tools, causing me to lose time? Here and elsewhere, companies can get started with digitalization using their own tools and individual process steps — in a concrete manner that will be demonstrably beneficial straight away."