The fourth industrial revolution is in full swing. We are in the transition to data-driven control and optimization of business processes. Companies are designing their production for sustainability and are driving the digitalization of their processes. The key lies in data availability: the easier it is to access production data, the more valid this data is, the more effectively it can be used to further optimize the business.
Data — catalyst for the digital enterprise
Data consistency is the basis of Totally Integrated Automation (TIA). Siemens has been pursuing this integrated approach, which is highly beneficial to users, since the mid-1990s. Today, the consistency of communication and data management under TIA results in seamless and transparent access to all business-relevant data at the operational level — and we rely on global standards such as OPC UA.
Continuity fuels OT/IT integration
Data acquired in the field has been used for decades for “classic” applications, such as condition monitoring or track & trace. Now this data is directly available for digital process optimization of order-driven production.
In companies with integrated automation solutions, TIA’s data continuity proves to be the link between OT (Operational Technology) and IT (Information Technology) — the formerly separate divisions of Operational and IT are converging. Controllers, SCADA systems and edge computing capture, process and visualize data from both levels according to customer requirements.
This simplifies many business processes: automated order management, quality, resource and energy management controlled by artificial intelligence (AI), and new, data-driven business models.
Edge computing: mass data becomes “smart data” for IT
The seamless continuity of TIA and the resulting data make OT transparent for the IT level, right down to the traceability of each individual product: the production status, components and ingredients used, critical target and actual parameters of the manufacturing process — all this is available for quality control, documentation and as a database, e.g. for batch-related recall actions. Mass data, which cannot be handled by IT in raw form, is already condensed, processed and consolidated into “smart data” in the field using edge computing. With high-level language programming for edge devices, AI-based algorithms are also making their way into the field level. Examples include AI-supported predictive maintenance or the accumulation of energy consumption values on edge devices.
Shaping the future together with ecosystems
The dynamics of the transition to Industry 4.0 are enormous. IoT (Internet of Things), robotics, AI, IT, clouds, Big Data, ecosystems: The principles, techniques and strategies of digitalization are being used by many companies. The mirroring of processes in virtuality, the increasing presence of intelligent algorithms in the field are shaping the requirements for industrial automation.
With the coordinated interaction of all components, competencies and digitalized workflows in simulation and engineering, TIA paves the way to digital transformation. Because: TIA-based automation solutions are based on a scalable portfolio of predefined “bundles” of hardware and software components as well as service offerings. These “bundles” serve as the starting point for the specific project, which significantly reduces its complexity for the user.
This principle is now being extended for future technologies via co-creation, i.e. collaborative research and development with customers, start-ups and universities. The results of industry-typical digitization projects are incorporated into the existing TIA portfolio in a standardized and quality-assured form.
All this allows TIA to grow and creates an automation system with maximum future security. The continuous expansion into IT-based, open ecosystems opens up new potential, accelerates innovation cycles, increases flexibility and adaptability, and supports the establishment of new business models.
Ready for the fifth industrial revolution?
Thinking and acting ahead in open ecosystems, the standards of Siemens systems and reliable, partnership-based cooperation — all this makes TIA the best conceivable basis for automated, autonomous production in an increasingly resource-sensitive and simultaneously individualized world. The Amberg Visitor Center “The Impulse” shows what this can look like in concrete terms. Here you can learn live on site about TIA and the future of automation.
More info about TIA https://new.siemens.com/global/en/products/automation/topic-areas/tia.html
Book a tour for the Visitor Center Amberg http://www.siemens.com/impulse-visitorcenter