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[#sps_live] Siemens integrates Artificial Intelligence and Edge Computing into its Digital Enterprise portfolio

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Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG speaking at the Siemens press conference at the SPS IPC Drives 2018.
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Siemens extends digital enterprise offering with future technologies for Industriy 4.0

By expanding its Digital Enterprise portfolio and integrating future technologies, Siemens is driving forward the digital transformation of the discrete and process industries. “An ever-increasing number of industrial enterprises, particularly SMEs, are well on the way towards Industrie 4.0, and are already improving their competitive standing with digital solutions,” explained Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Management Board of Siemens AG, at the SPS IPC Drives. “This applies to all sectors of industry with rapidly changing market demands in which products have to be manufactured ever more quickly, flexibly and in diminishing quantities. With the further integration of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing into our portfolio, we’re paving the way for the future of industry.” Siemens will be present at the fair with an array of innovations and industry-specific applications, ranging from automation and edge devices using artificial intelligence in applications such as machine tools, production machinery and process plants through to integrated networking concepts from factory floors to corporate offices. These all help to drive forward the use of innovative automation and software solutions.

Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG speaking at the Siemens press conference at the SPS IPC Drives 2018.

Klaus Helmrich, Mitglied des Vorstands der Siemens AG, auf der Siemens-Pressekonferenz der SPS IPC Drives 2018. / Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG speaking at the Siemens press conference at the SPS IPC Drives 2018.

Industrial Edge is a concept devised by Siemens for the discrete and process industries to enable data processing on the machine level as the optimal complement to cloud computing with the open IoT operating system MindSphere. Users benefit from the integration and flexibility the system allows for the analysis of data either on the field level or in the cloud, depending on requirements. Siemens is providing further support to its customers undertaking their digital transformation with the integration of AI technologies. Initial AI applications have already been successfully implemented in Siemens’ own facilities: At the Siemens Electronics Factory in Amberg, for instance. Here, Edge devices working with AI are used to implement predictive maintenance measures, reducing unscheduled machine downtimes due to motor bearing damage on printed circuit board milling machines by 100 percent. Siemens is additionally launching a new module with an integrated AI-enabled chip for the Simatic S7-1500 controller. This enables functions such as quality controls and robot-based handling processes to be optimized through the use of machine learning algorithms.

Innovations featured at the show include the Sinamics G120X converter series, which has been optimized for pump and fan applications in the infrastructure industry. Using Sinamics Connect 300, these devices can also be linked to MindSphere, enabling users to optimize their processes and maintenance strategies by analyzing operating data gathered from converters, drive trains and machines. Sidrive IQ is a digital platform offered by Siemens for the analysis and utilization of data from drive systems. On the basis of networked Siemens drive systems, this cloud-based application is now also available for motors and converters in the medium and high voltage ranges.

Siemens will also be showcasing three new application packages for MindSphere: Connect & Monitor, Analyze & Predict, Digitalize & Transform, all including comprehensive advisory services. These new packages will allow even faster, simpler implementation of IoT projects by users, for instance by speeding up the connection, analysis and optimization of assets and by predicting and preventing unscheduled plant downtimes. They will also simplify the development of new services and business models. The growing ecosystem surrounding MindSphere is set to additionally benefit users by enabling a high level of flexibility in the choice of infrastructure (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud). By acquiring Mendix and its low-code platform, Siemens is supporting in particular small and medium-sized enterprises to develop their own applications. The number of members affiliated to the MindSphere World user organization continues to grow, currently numbering 37 in Germany and 18 in Italy.

Klaus Helmrich explained the significance of cooperation in the Industrie 4.0 age using examples such as the recent Siemens affiliation with the Aruba in the field of communication networks. Siemens has joined forces with Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise, in a strategic partnership for integrated networks. On the basis of their complementary product portfolios, they will be providing support to customers in the implementation of integrated communication networks, all the way from factory floors to corporate offices.

Another example cited by Helmrich was the company’s extended cooperation with Bentley Systems. Both companies recently announced their joint development of PlantSight Cloud Services, based on their highly complementary software portfolios. These services will afford users anytime access to 1D/2D/3D data using a simple web portal – making a continuously updated digital twin of a plant available to all users. Given the long service life of process plants and on-going investment projects, this offers a decisive benefit particularly to plant operators.

As the digital transformation progresses, cyber security is becoming a major success factor for an increasing number of companies. Here, Siemens offers a holistic industrial security concept based on products and services. As framework conditions and security requirements can vary, specifically tailored solutions are required for different sectors of industry – from discrete manufacturing through to the process industries. Siemens is the first company in the world to achieve TÜV SÜD certification for the secure system integration of process automation and drive solutions in compliance with the international IEC 62443-2-4 standard. The Digital Industry Services offered by Siemens are designed to support customers as they work towards customized implementation of the Digital Enterprise – from consulting through implementation to data analytics.

More information on Siemens at the SPS IPC Drives 2018 is available at www.siemens.com/sps-ipc-drives

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ZEISS unveils a new platform for fast and gentle 3D super-resolution microscopy

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ZEISS is introducing ZEISS Elyra 7 with Lattice SIM, a new flexible platform for fast and gentle 3D super-resolution. Lattice SIM expands the possibilities of structured illumination microscopy (SIM): illuminating the sample with a lattice pattern rather than grid lines gives higher contrast and allows a more robust image reconstruction.

Scientists can use 2x higher sampling efficiency to lower the illumination dosage to observe fast cellular processes in super-resolution. High image quality is maintained even at high frame rates.

Fast and gentle super-resolution imaging with Lattice SIM

Lattice SIM enables fast imaging of 3D volumes with up to 120 nm laterally. Thanks to greater light efficiency, the new Lattice SIM technology provides scientists with gentle super-resolution imaging of living specimens with 255 frames per second.

Using less light to illuminate the specimen means scientists can image longer with less bleaching of the sample. The novel Lattice SIM technology allows new mechanistic details to be uncovered and the finest sub-cellular structures in large fields of view to be quantified.

Optimized localization microscopy with SMLM

ZEISS Elyra 7 can be expanded with single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) for techniques such as PALM, dSTORM, and PAINT. ZEISS Elyra 7’s SMLM module delivers molecular resolution in large 3D volumes and powerful post-processing algorithms for quantification.

Researchers choose freely among labels when imaging with resolutions down to 20 nm laterally. SMLM provides access to molecular mechanisms in both fixed and living specimens. Researchers can count molecules and come to understand, molecule-by-molecule, how individual proteins are arranged within a structural context.

Fast optical sectioning with the new Apotome mode

ZEISS Elyra 7 is highly flexible: users profit from the wealth of options of a research grade, live cell microscope from ZEISS. They can expand their ZEISS Elyra 7 with various contrasting techniques and combine them with optical sectioning. The new Apotome mode allows fast optical sectioning of 3D samples. ZEISS Elyra 7 also works seamlessly with ZEISS SEMs in a correlative workflow.

New perspectives for life sciences research

Life sciences research often requires you to measure, quantify, and understand the finest details and sub-cellular structures of the sample. Scientists may be working with tissue, bacteria, organoids, neurons, living or fixed cells and many different labels.

ZEISS Elyra 7 takes them beyond the diffraction limit of conventional microscopy to image samples with super-resolution. Researchers now examine the fastest processes in living samples – in large fields of view, in 3D, over long time periods, and with multiple colors.

 

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LoRa-enabled IoT solutions connect industrial equipment to cloud

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Semtech (www.semtech.com) announced that EasyReach Solutions, an Indian startup specializing in smart IoT solutions for industrial applications, has incorporated Semtech’s LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) into its industrial and smart vehicle monitoring products.

“Semtech’s LoRa Technology allows us to remotely monitor our equipment and vehicles in ways never before thought possible,” said Amol Vedak, Founder and Director at EasyReach. “LoRa provides us the means to more intelligently manage our industrial resources, and the proven, flexible capabilities of the sensors allow the solution to scale to our needs.”

EasyReach’s LoRa-enabled sensors have been developed to include electrical current testing, temperature reading and GPS capabilities. All sensors are compatible with the LoRaWAN™ protocol and have been verified for GPS tracking ability over eight kilometers line of sight. EasyReach’s LoRa-based applications for smart industry include sensors for steam traps, concrete mixers, forklifts, diesel tankers, back hoes, water meters, and trucks. EasyReach has over 600 deployments to date, saving customers money through more efficient industrial management after implementation.

“The benefits of integrating Semtech’s LoRa Technology in industrial asset management solutions go beyond simply providing location information, as supply chain and industrial management companies are looking to more efficiently monitor their equipment health and predict maintenance,” said Vivek Mohan, Director of IoT, Wireless and Sensing Products at Semtech. “LoRa Technology is the ideal choice for low power asset management as the technology enables solutions that are scalable, proven and easy to implement into existing infrastructure and equipment.”

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TSN; A Milestone for Industry

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The proven communications standard Ethernet has been optimized through the addition of quality-of-service mechanisms. Various new IEEE standards will enable Ethernet to reliably transmit several protocols (including real-time-capable ones) in parallel within predefined maximum time limits. Industrial users and car manufacturer are already getting ready to employ it.

The steel arms move perfectly in step with one another and wave their grippers at the viewer. Not even the minutest delay is noticeable when the two industrial robots perform their graceful machine ballet. This perfect coordination is due to a technology that is currently ushering in a new era of industrial communication: Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN).

For the past 40 years or so, Ethernet has been the undisputed leader when it comes to the transmission of digital data through cables. Siemens has been there from the very beginning and even launched the first Industrial Ethernet network on the market: SINEC H1. As a result, Ethernet was not only used in offices but also, in particular, in industrial manufacturing. However, the standard had a problem from the very start – it could not guarantee that the data packets transmitted by the sender would arrive at the recipient within a certain amount of time. This is an unacceptable situation for industrial controllers – after all, sensor measurements and control signals musn’t take too long to arrive at their destination if a machine is to operate reliably. They need real-time communication within milliseconds – a task for which Ethernet was not originally conceived.

An important development: In the future, everything will build on Ethernet with TSN and can be operated in parallel as required.

An important development: In the future, everything will build on Ethernet with TSN and can be operated in parallel as required. (@siemens)

That’s why users who want real-time communication via Ethernet need to employ technological extensions such as the widespread Profinet standard. In machines, for example, this standard connects sensors, actuators, and drives to the central controller by adding real-time data transfer capabilities to Ethernet, enabling applications up to and including the precise control of servo drives. “However, to do that you generally need special hardware components inside the connected devices,” explains Matthias Gärtner, Head of System Management at the Simatic Controller unit of Siemens. “Moreover, the various real-time Industrial Ethernet solutions cannot be run in parallel on the same Ethernet network.”

TSN will enable all data – including real-time information – to be transmitted through a single network in effect simultaneously.

This problem will soon be a thing of the past, because the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is responsible for standardizing various systems, has extended Ethernet by adding the urgently needed mechanisms for real-time communication. These include time-controlled transmission, synchronization, and bandwidth reservation. In this way, the IEEE is improving the quality of service by means of TSN. This will enable Ethernet to supply the same time information to all of the connected devices that support these extended standards. As a result, the entire network will be precisely synchronized. In addition, reservation protocols ensure that the data packets are transmitted from the sender to the destination via all the intervening switches according to a predefined timetable. The TSN standards also take into account the topology of the network in question – i.e. whether the network is arranged in the form of a star, a ring, or a line and the number of switches between the sender and the recipient. Moreover, the standards also include seamless redundancy processes.

Attractive for the entire industry: In addition to real time-capable communication within machines, communication between machines can now also happen in real time, improving throughput in the entire plant system.

Attractive for the entire industry: In addition to real time-capable communication within machines, communication between machines can now also happen in real time, improving throughput in the entire plant system. (@siemens)

A Single Network for All Data
“It’s a historic moment for Ethernet,” says Gärtner. “In the future, it will be possible to use standard hardware components for Profinet and other real-time industrial communication protocols that are based on TSN. This will enable all data – including real-time information – to be transmitted through a single network in effect simultaneously.” Users will automatically benefit from the steadily increasing bandwidth of standard Ethernet, which will be needed more and more as a result of the increasing IP connectivity of the automation systems. It will also make communication more robust because the switching resources in the TSN switches are firmly reserved for the requested real-time communication needs so that information can no longer be lost due to buffer overflows, for example.

In addition to a rising demand for real-time-capable communication in machines via Profinet, there is also a growing demand for deterministic (i.e. predetermined) data exchange between different machines. Examples include cooperative robots that simultaneously work on the same work piece and so need to precisely coordinate their movements with one another. The OPC UA standard with the PubSub (Publish/Subscribe) extension has now established itself in this area. It can also employ Ethernet with TSN as its transmission medium. “I expect Ethernet with TSN to be introduced into the entire industrial manufacturing process,” says Gärtner. “But that’s not all. Car manufacturer also want to use the new standard to transmit the large amounts of data from reversing cameras within vehicles, for example, or to make autonomous driving possible, which won’t be achievable without onboard networks that incorporate quality-of-service mechanisms.” The time for this has now come. The first TSN components are now being launched on the market and Siemens will use actual TSN products to demonstrate deterministic machine-to-machine communication over OPC UA PubSub at Hannover Messe 2018. These products will be purchasable at the end of the year, when Ethernet with TSN will have finally arrived in the modern world of digitalization and “Industrie 4.0”.

more info at http://www.siemens.com/tsn

 

 

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Interview about TSN: “Ideally Prepared for the Future”

 

Siemens is one of the driving forces behind the development of Ethernet with TSN. Sven Gottwald, Head of System and Vertical Management for Industrial Communication and Identification, explains how the application of the new standard benefits users.

Why is Ethernet with TSN such an important development?

Because it means that we no longer need different Industrial Ethernet solutions for deterministic communication in industry. In the future, they will all run on the widely used Ethernet with TSN and can do so in parallel without restrictions. This includes Profinet, OPC UA PubSub, and all other TCP/IP-based protocols. This convergence is a huge benefit for industrial users, because it enables all types of data to be transmitted through a single physical network in which time-sensitive information always has precedence so that it reliably arrives on time. That’s precisely what companies need in order to fully exploit the potential of digitalization and “Industrie 4.0”.

How does Ethernet with TSN regulate the “timetable” for the data?

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is responsible for the standardization, provides two options for this: It’s either done by a central unit or the connected devices negotiate it among themselves. As a member of the “Labs Network Industrie 4.0” (LNI4.0) testbed, Siemens prefers the second option because the use of a central unit requires extensive reconfiguration every time a change occurs in the network. However, if the system configures itself, it’s easy to integrate new devices. That’s why we talk of “Plug & Work”-capable networks, which greatly benefit our customers.

What is Siemens doing with regard to Ethernet with TSN?

The entire automation industry is working hard on this topic of course. However, Siemens is certainly one of the leading companies in this area. We are actively involved in all of the major standardization bodies, such as the IEEE, the IEC, the OPC-F, and the PI. We also supply the editor for some of the TSN IEEE standards.

The first TSN products will start shipping before the year is out. That’s why our customers are ideally prepared for the digital future with Siemens.

 

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