Customers embracing digitalization

Monday, July 18, 2016 2:22 pm EDT


Raj Batra, President, Digital Factory U.S., Siemens Digital Factory

When the first product made on an assembly line came out – Ford’s Model T – customers were famously offered any color vehicle they wanted. That color just had to be black. Apparently the ability to mass produce things was such a positive development that trading off customization was literally a laughing matter.

Today, Ford and companies such as Constellation Brands and Jack Daniels are each making distinct contributions to a new era in manufacturing – one in which mass customization, if you can believe it, is becoming a reality. Advances like these are coming as more companies make smart capital investments and gradually transition to digital enterprises to ensure faster time to market, greater flexibility and efficiency, and higher quality.

These companies are also our 2016 Customer Excellence Award winners! They received this recognition at the Automation Summit, where Siemens highlights the ways our customers and partners demonstrate superior business practices using Siemens technologies.

All industrial companies, whether they’re manufacturing automobiles or brewing beer or distilling whiskey, are facing similar challenges and pressures to stay competitive. Transitioning to a digital enterprise by merging the virtual and real worlds of production is the only way to ensure long-term competitiveness in industry today. All three of our winners this year have shown commitment to innovation and collaboration through automation.

Ford Motor Company, an American multinational auto manufacturer headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., wanted to gain engineering efficiency with concentrated support of a single automation platform. Ford was looking for a partner that could support a global engineering structure, especially more expertise in the powertrain environment. Ford’s goal was a complete IP65 Distributed Controls package to reduce its footprint of production lines and ultimately provide better line of sight and reduction of traditional control cabinets.

Working with Siemens, Ford drove IP65 hardware development and standard architectures allowing seamless distributed control and easy re-balancing of its production lines. Ford created global standards for hardware and software in more than 30 of its manufacturing facilities which allows for standardized training for both the engineering and maintenance workforce.  In addition, Ford Motor Company’s collaborative and focused efforts have resulted in Ford Powertrain deploying a successful customized global learning program complete with performance-based objectives, customized curriculum, plant-matched equipment simulators, and a better prepared maintenance staff.

Constellation Brands needed to expand the capacity at their brewery in Piedras Negras, Mexico to meet the growing demand in the US market for their Corona, Modelo Especial and other beers. Siemens provided the automation platforms for all areas of the state-of-the-art brewery through OEMs and partner channels realizing both engineering and operational efficiencies.  The project included a wide range of components from the Siemens portfolio, including Simatic PLCs, PCS 7, HMI Panels, SCADA software, industrial networks, LV VFDs, motor control centers and motors, process instrumentation and associated industrial services. The first two phases of the expansion were completed ahead of schedule with additional phases in progress.

Jack Daniel Distillery was experiencing an increase in demand for its offering, so the company took steps to ensure it could efficiently increase production to meet the rising demand at the Lynchburg, Tenn. facility. Jack Daniel’s decided to first upgrade the computers and operator interface on the existing distillery to Siemens PCS 7 APACS+ OS to improve the reliability, performance and functionality. Jack Daniel’s then built a new distillery to provide additional production capacity while also providing flexibility for the future. The implementation of the PCS 7 Simatic batch and Route Control, by Siemens certified solution partner Cross Integrated Systems Group of Knoxville, Tenn, provides more transparency, simplifies changes and increases production flexibility to develop new recipes and products.  The use of the Siemens preconfigured SiVaaS virtualized computer system architecture reduces system maintenance while supporting future expansion. The addition of wireless mobile clients empowers the operators by providing the production information while in the field to make real-time decisions. The production process in the new facility supports repeatable and reliable production, providing a high quality product with more throughput for the entire process. The system reports help provide the critical information to the process, maintenance and production teams which helps them further optimize the process.    

Congratulations to our three winners this year!

Customer Excellence Award Press Release

About Raj Batra:

Joining Siemens in 1993, Batra has held a variety of high-level management and sales positions including President Industry Automation, VP & GM of Automation and Motion Division, and Director of Automotive and Aerospace Businesses.  Prior to Siemens, Batra worked as a sales engineer and product manager developing automation solutions for discrete manufacturing and process industries.  Batra earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan.

About Automation Summit:

The annual Automation Summit is a user conference for manufacturing professionals who use Siemens automation technologies, including DCS, PLC, HMI, industrial networks, factory automation, motion controllers, process instrumentation, motors and drives, and are interested in cyber security and safety.


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