Industry has seen a variety of approaches to the digitization of production operations as a means of connecting the plant floor to the enterprise. From the rise of Industrial Internet of Things platforms to internet-connected sensors, one thing has been clear to date—there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the process.
In an effort to provide a more comprehensive approach to the industry’s digital transformation, Siemens and SAP have created a technology and expertise partnership to deliver what they call an “integrated end-to-end software solution across product lifecycle, supply chain, and asset management to eliminate process and information siloes and deliver a comprehensive solution for Industry 4.0.”
The companies’ initial focus will be on the discrete manufacturing industries, such as aerospace, automotive, electronics and industrial machinery.
Beyond software integration, this partnership includes SAP having the ability to offer Siemens Teamcenter software as its core foundation for product lifecycle collaboration and data management, while Siemens will offer SAP Intelligent Asset Management solutions and SAP Project and Portfolio Management applications to address product and service lifecycles and enable new collaborative processes between manufacturers and operators.
In their joint announcement, SAP and Siemens said this partnership is designed to help companies “break down the siloes between engineering and business so that manufacturers, product design teams, and service managers have access to the information they need to quickly create and manage customer-centric product and service offerings.”
Klaus Helmrich, CEO of Siemens Digital Industries, added that this collaboration is “about more than just interoperability and interfaces; it is about creating a truly integrated digital thread that unites product and asset lifecycle management with the business that enables customers to optimize production of products.”
Explaining the thought process behind such a broad partnership, Richard Howells, vice president of awareness and thought Leadership for SAP’s Digital Supply Chain, said, “The companies have seen that, to truly realize the benefits of Industry 4.0, the leaders of the industry must come together and set an industry standard solution that enables the true digital thread connecting supply chain, manufacturing, asset management, and business information and processes.”
Howells added that COVID-19 has highlighted the need for resiliency in industry’s supply chains, “as we see our customers facing fluctuating demand, unstable supply, and constrained capacity across their supply chains. End-to-end supply chain processes are at the forefront of addressing these challenges and are now a boardroom topic. Having visibility and collaboration across all departments, from engineering and R&D, through manufacturing, delivery, and maintenance, and all the way through to how customers use and leverage products and assets are critical. As we go into recovery mode, companies will need to be poised to deliver to the increase in demand for products and services. This partnership aims to improve time to value for those products and services through design efficiency and accelerated innovations. And for the many customers who use SAP and Siemens solutions; this partnership will provide a clear roadmap for these companies as they make decisions about the technologies that will power their businesses through the COVID crisis and beyond.”