Siemens’ Solutions Drive Automotive Sector into the Future

Automotive

Csaba Pálla

Siemens’s digital products, services and solutions bring unlimited digital potential to the automotive assembly lines in the country. Csaba Pálla, head of the machine tools business at Siemens Zrt., tells the Budapest Business Journal about the futuristic solutions that are already part of the present at the German giant.

Siemens’s Digital Twin solution, which allows the creation of a virtual world, is a game-changer for manufacturers, Pálla insists.

“Using our Digital Twin solution, we can build entire assembly lines in a virtual environment and ‘test’ manufacturing, even before a physical machine is built,” he explains.

“This does not only make processes quicker and more streamlined but is also immensely sustainable; there is no need to establish an entire plant and then wait to see which parts will fail down the line and would need to be scrapped and replaced. Therefore, the end product is always maximized for performance and endurance,” Pálla says.

The Digital Twin approach is not only beneficial for testing heavy-duty machinery. It is also suitable for testing electronics and the software running on them, even if those hardware have not yet been made.

“The Digital Twin ecosystem can test the behavior of chips in the virtual world. Even before the hardware comes out, the software can be tested. This is time- and cost-efficient as errors can be fixed in the digital environment preproduction, which is better than if those were uncovered once the hardware is out and remedial steps would need to be taken physically,” Pálla adds.

Additionally, the software can also model the behavior of assembly line operators; indeed, the whole environment where the operators will work can be simulated virtually.

Continuous Monitoring

Siemens’ expert says, however, that it goes beyond planning and realizing assembly lines for automotive firms in Hungary and worldwide. Once those lines are up and running, the monitoring is ongoing and continuous, with all the data being fed back into the Digital Twin to ensure further improvement of processes and machines.

This approach ensures that no big data is ever lost. Instead, it is stored in Siemens’ industrial cloud solution, which is always available for the users and is highly secure to ensure that no third parties have access to it or could compromise confidential information.

But how does artificial intelligence embellish automotive production for Siemens?

“AI is not a system that would think instead of humans. It is a system that significantly complements human work. For example, when a vehicle’s body is welded together, there are hundreds of points that used to be manually checked. AI can check these welding points with cameras and sensors and flag potentially problematic points to humans for a more thorough check,” Pálla says.

As each and every manufacturing environment is physically (and, therefore, digitally) different, Siemens believes that there is no off-the-shelf product or one-size-fits-all service offering available in the market.

“As the first step, we assess the client’s needs and native environment via consultations so we can offer them a customized solutions package. Once this is done, we offer continuous maintenance and ongoing services to ensure that all Siemens solutions run smoothly and complement the client’s needs to the maximum potential,” Pálla concludes.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of May 20, 2022.

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