How Engineering Company Siemens Creates Value for Their Customers Using Big Data Analytics
Siemens is a 168-years old engineering company that has prepared itself for the future. While most consumers might know Siemens from washing machines and electronic equipment, that image is largely outdated. Today, Siemens manufactures trains, power plant equipment, healthcare equipment and offers a wide range of smart software solutions.
In the past decade, they have moved forward and combined their engineering capability with great new analytical capabilities to help their customers perform better. Let’s look at three examples of how they are changing the game for the energy industry, racing industry and smart cities.
From Price Per Turbine to Price per Gigawatt
The energy industry faces difficult challenges, especially with the transition from fossil fuel to clean energy. Energy companies are in need to better understand what is going on within their power plant to reduce cost and work more efficiently.
The amount of data that is created during power generation is growing rapidly. Siemens for example already has eight global diagnostic centres that monitor over 9000 units.
Their gas turbines create 30 gigabytes of data per day, their smart energy grid platform creates 25 gigabytes of data a day and Siemens’ wind turbines create 200 gigabytes of data every day.
With so much data, traditional diagnostics, which have been part of the energy business for ages, are no longer sufficient. That’s why we see a rise in energy analytics startups that provide deeper and more forward insights to these companies.
These startups, however, face one major challenge: they lack access to the context. The context that is becoming more and more important if you really want to understand what is going on within your business. The context that Siemens has access to due to the nature of their business.
Using a Hadoop data lake, they combine massive amounts of streaming sensors data with all sort of data sources including articles, field reports, weather data and more importantly insights from thousands of their other turbines. This mixed data approach enables them to provide a 360-degree maintenance view on their equipment, resulting in predictive maintenance and valuable insights for their customers.
As a result, Siemens is becoming more and more a service organisation than an OEM who produces just turbines. This very likely could result in moving away from a price per turbine to a price per Gigawatt: Energy as a Service.
Gaining Digital Advantage During Formula 1
The Formula 1 is a true data generation horsepower. Of course, the racing skills of the driver are important, but without the right big data analytics tools, a formula one driver would be nowhere.
This data generation starts from the moment a car is designed. Every step, every process and every detail is generating data, which will be analysed and the insights derived from it will make the difference between winning and losing.
Siemens, as Europe’s second-largest software producer, is helping RedBull Racing do exactly that; providing the right analytical capabilities to increase the performance. These analytics capabilities include PLM tools, simulation tools, workflow programs, CAD automation, business intelligence and full car visualisation tools allow RedBull Racing to make design iteration almost on the spot. Exactly these design iterations directly have a positive effect on the number of points won during a race.
From Sensors to Insights: Creating the City of Tomorrow
Siemens is also working hard to enable governments from around the world to improve the way cities are operated and managed. They focus on creating intelligent and efficient infrastructures to kick-start the smart city movement. Around the world, Siemens is helping local governments to deliver infrastructure automation solutions.
Smart cities are not only about creating smart infrastructure but more importantly it also about integrating social and political aspects. As a result, Siemens is currently collaborating with a wide variety of partners to develop smart cities around the world, including Santander, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Singapore and Dubai.
Siemens is not only delivering the hardware infrastructure for these cities but is also providing smart solutions such as smart grid management, smart public street lighting and smart mobility applications. As a result, Siemens can deliver a complete smart solution, which brings the concept of the Internet of Things to the citizens of these cities around the world. From a traditional engineering company, Siemens has moved to a company ready for the Industrial Internet. They offer the right equipment, with the right sensors and the right software to help their customers create additional value.