The SPS is one of the biggest and most important international fairs for electrical automation technology. I started my career at Siemens a few years before the fair’s debut in Sindelfingen in 1990. In 1997 the fair moved to Nuremberg and quadrupled its exhibition space from the original 3500 sqm to 14200. The fair now covered three halls instead of just one and had ample space to grow. For its 30th anniversary the SPS grew to 136000 sqm with more than 1600 exhibitors. Siemens first joined as exhibitor in 1991.
At the time, I had already become a product manager in the automation sector for Siemens, but it was not until a few years later when I took on the position of Head of Marketing for Automation Systems that I became involved with the SPS fair more closely as the Siemens booth manager. As the chief marketer for automation systems for me the SPS fair has been the joyfully awaited annual highlight for the last 14 years.
Siemens Experts @ SPS
started as SPS IPC Drives, the name it went by up till its 29th edition in
2018. The initial acronym SPS stood for the most important product groups in
electrical automation: Controllers, Industrial PCs and electrical drives and
motors. So the old nomenclature lays the focus on the product hardware which
has driven innovation for decades.
The SPS is a
fair for technical engineers. The questions visitors ask can get quite tricky.
That’s why we have our best Siemens experts with us at the fair, so we can
answer even the most intricate of questions. The visitors love to come back
each year to discuss their current projects with the experts and each time
eagerly start with the same inevitable question: „So, what’s new this year?“
Process: Machine builders @ SPS
single visitor segment at the SPS fair are the machine builders. They challenge
us with questions all about developing new production machines that work within
a production process. This means …
- Defining the required
functionality of the machine within the production line
- Considering the
product design, product parts (bill of material) and production steps (bill of
- Defining machine
flexibility scope for producing product variants
- Designing the machine
(mechanical design, electrical design)
- Controlling the
machine movements (kinematics, motion control, safety function)
- Designing the
man-machine-interface for the machine operators
- Defining important
machine data (performance, quality, downtime, …)
- Implementing data
interfaces into the production (receive recipes or calculate KPIs)
- Defining maintenance
and upgrade scenarios
Quite a challenging process, as you can imagine. Would you go for best-of-breed tools and products for each of these steps? And take care of the integration along those steps by yourself? Or would you go for an integrated solution, based on engineering platforms and common data bases?
SPS IPC Drives becomes
SPS: ‚Smart Production Solutions‘
For its 30th anniversary this year, the SPS IPC Drives fair has been subject to a rebranding. It is now simply the SPS. The same acronym now stands for ‚Smart Production Solutions‘. In the past decade Siemens has been the chief innovation leader behind major changes of the automation industry. With ‚Digital Enterprise’, the holistic approach to digital transformation of the industry, Siemens is continuing to be a trendsetter.
The digital twin
It is now a lot more about innovative
data-based software solutions and interconnected AI-optimized shop floor
equipment. With its advances into ever more accurate virtual simulations of
reality the gaming industry became the forerunner for digital simulation
technology in the manufacturing industry. The digital twin now even enables
smaller businesses to automate their production, design machines or implement
adapted machine set-ups to accommodate model changes, product variants and
customizations within a virtual model. The whole process from idea to
realization is empowered and greatly accelerated by digital twin solutions.
Machine data and
Another trend which will greatly impact the future of automation concerns the collection, analysis and availability of machine data. This data can be used to optimize operational reliability, plan downtimes for predicted maintenance and manage automation globally across factory boundaries. As we all know from discussions around smart phone, new data-centred business models raise questions about data ownership and data security. This is also true for our industrial customers. One important pillar of our Digital Enterprise concept is Industrial Security to help our customers to make this complicated topic easier to manage.
The Siemens experts
speak: the SPS blog series on Ingenuity
Leading up to the first rendition of the SPS fair as Smart Production Solutions‘ for its 30th anniversary from November 26th to 28th 2019 at Nuremberg, we will let some of our Siemens experts speak and share their insights in personal blogs. Together these blogs make up a whole series related to the upcoming fair and each will highlight a different topic related to current and future developments in the automation industry.
They cover such diverse topics as …
So, for those of you who can’t make it to the fair in person, this is a great opportunity to meet up with Siemens experts in the virtual realm of the Ingenuity blog platform. You can even ask them the same intricate questions and there’s a good chance you’ll get some fine answers.
Of course, I’d be all the more delighted to greet many of you in person at our booth in hall 11 at the SPS in Nuremberg and together with our team of Siemens experts provide you with answers to that unavoidable question: „So, what’s new this year?“
Follow this link for free tickets and more information about the SPS fair and stay tuned for updates on the SPS blog series on Siemens Ingenuity via my LinkedIn profile.