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Siemens Industry Executive Bullish on US Manufacturing Renaissance

Helmuth Ludwig, CEO of Siemens Industry North America (, took some time from a busy schedule in Nuremberg, Germany, during the SPS/IPC/Drives trade show Nov. 27th to chat with me.
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He emphasized the manufacturing renaissance underway in the United States. There are strong fundamentals driving the growth. He cited a study that found 40 percent of new jobs in manufacturing are from businesses coming back after offshoring jobs for several years. There is also a pent-up demand for automobiles, not to mention the possibilities that come from exploiting shale gas development.

Regarding Siemens, itself, Ludwig was also bullish. Siemens has acquired a number of companies over the past few years. He was involved with several of the integration tasks acknowledging the team learned from the integration of Orsi and therefore did a much better job of integrating UGS, which forms a core part of the overall Siemens digital manufacturing vision.

As far as business in North America, Ludwig cited the standardization on Siemens at Dow working on energy efficiency, long-term development, and a joint philosophy of openness. Siemens also has seen big wins at Ford and Chrysler.

He told me that when he was in graduate business school at the Univ. of Chicago, he told his classmates he was going to work at Siemens in the manufacturing sector. They all said, "Who? What?" He thinks they know better now.

We talked about bringing youth into engineering, science and manufacturing. He pointed to the high school competition that Siemens sponsors as an example of what technology suppliers can bring to the table to help create the future.

When I asked if there were any last words, he emphasized the manufacturing renaissance he sees in North America.

Gary Mintchell has either worked in or covered manufacturing for his 30+ year career that included stints in product development, manufacturing engineering and IT-related projects. Having helped found Automation World in 2003, Gary retired from his day-to-day editor-in-chief duties in 2013. He continues to cover automation technology developments and related industry trends for Automation World. Contact Gary at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @garymintchell.


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