How we became a Lighthouse Factory of the World Economic Forum (WEF)
The industrial world is facing urgent and rapidly changing challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the demand for goods and the conditions for their production virtually overnight. In situations like this, industries have to quickly adapt to new conditions and maintain operations, even when employees are working from home. This requires the ability to rapidly ramp up systems without overloading them and procure materials and parts in time, and be able to package larger quantities far more quickly.
Other global challenges are just as pressing. The global population is growing and with it the demand for food, water, energy, and other necessities. At the same time, consumers are becoming more aware and want products that are personalized, high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable – and ecofriendly as well. All this in the face of our planet’s dwindling resources.
Digitalization and automation are the game-changers for mastering these challenges. Industrial companies can only master these complex and ever-changing tasks with the support of integrated digitalization and automation – and by intelligently linking and analyzing data.
The Siemens Electronics Works Amberg (EWA) is a pioneer in this regard and has thus become a digitalization hub. Here we demonstrate every day of what future technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, edge and cloud computing as well as smart robotics are capable of.
The EWA was founded in 1989 and manufactures a range of products including type Simatic programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Today, over 1,200 product variants are manufactured in Amberg. The production processes in Amberg itself are also controlled by around 1,000 Simatic components. The production functions here are largely automated, with 75 percent of the value chain handled independently by machines and robots.
In a way, the EWA is the test laboratory for new technologies, products and services and contributes significantly to making them ready for our customers.
Now we are honored, that EWA is included in the Global Lighthouse Network of the World Economic Forum (WEF) along with other excellent factories for the effort of our employees to systematically implement Industry 4.0 technologies and efficiently increase productivity and sustainability at the same time.
The solutions are scalable to the entire Digital Industries production network and systematically driven by our digital transformation program Lean Digital Factory. All components necessary for a successful digital transformation are used – the IIOT stack is continuous from the shop floor to the cloud and regards data integration seamless from our suppliers to our customers. Along with the Siemens Electronic Works Chengdu (SEWC), which was selected in 2018, two cooperating Siemens plants are now considered to be among the world’s best factories! We are seen as front runners in digitizing factories. Quite rightly: By applying all the new technologies we achieved additionally 140 percent factory output at double product complexity without an increase in electricity or a change in resources.