Headquartered in Plano, TX, Siemens PLM Software has been consistently recognized as a market leader in the collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm) and Digital Manufacturing market segments. Additionally, as a result of its expanding family of software for Simulation and Analysis (S&A), Siemens also holds a leadership position in this ranking. “Siemens continues to lead the way in cPDm and Digital Manufacturing and has seen significant growth in S&A revenue,” says Peter Bilello, President of CIMdata. “This bodes well for Siemens as all three of these essential categories continue to grow and our data suggests that growth will continue well into the future.”
Market Shift and the Need to Digitalize
As the market is shifting and products are getting smarter, subsequently making the design and development process more complex, Siemens is focusing on technologies that help companies integrate mechanical functions with electronics, software, and controls and utilize new materials and manufacturing methods to deliver designs within ever shorter cycles. The company underlines that in order to achieve high-end product design and manufacturing through connectivity and intelligence, organizations must opt for digitalization. “We believe that manufacturers must weave a digital thread through ideation—product development and engineering; realization—manufacturing execution systems; and utilization—developing capabilities to help customers take advantage of field data and user experience data,” states Jan Leuridan, SVP, Simulation and Testing Solutions, Siemens PLM Software. “Digitalization makes the digital thread of knowledge a proactive agent in driving a business. With a fully optimized digital enterprise, manufacturers are better equipped to initiate or respond to disruptive innovation,” Leuridan adds.
Leuridan highlights the market trends that have major implications on manufacturers compelling them to face unknowns in the engineering process leading to longer lead times and greater risks. To be in the game, manufacturers would need to acknowledge the shift from products being primarily mechanical devices to smart systems bringing together mechanical, electrical, controls and other capabilities. This development requires engineering simulation to perform at various levels ranging from mechanical systems interacting with controllers to cooling of electronic systems. Another trend shaping the market is the adoption of new materials such as composites and new production techniques like additive manufacturing.
Converging Silos Under One Roof
The thought leaders in Siemens further envision a digitalization maturity path where the digital thread and the digital twin are its axis. Digital twin is Siemens’ take on converging the engineering data and models, whether from simulation or test, that are usually scattered in different silos in most companies, and creating a more realistic model that can be used to predict behavior. The model covers all types of behavior that are relevant to different stages in the development process. It enables the use of data from one model as input for another one that is built later in the process. Moreover, the digital twin can mature over time and be updated with actual usage data obtained through IoT-enabled products. When armed with analytics to leverage data from a variety of sources, the digital twin enables Predictive Engineering Analytics (PEA), a solution that helps companies predict real world behaviour of complex products and systems throughout the product lifecycle.
PEA includes tactics and tools that can be leveraged by manufacturers to evolve traditional design verification and validation into a predictive role supporting Systems-Driven Product Development. The ultimate goal of PEA is to deliver innovations for complex products faster and with greater confidence. It enables companies to evolve their engineering processes from being verification-centric to more predictive oriented.
To advance the application of Predictive Engineering Analytics, Siemens recently introduced Simcenter, a robust suite of simulation software and test solutions that help companies address the modern engineering challenges of today’s complex products. It combines simulation and physical testing with intelligent reporting and data analytics to help produce digital twins that more accurately predict product performance throughout all stages of the product development process. Within this portfolio, Siemens is also introducing Simcenter 3D, a next generation 3D CAE solution built on the Siemens’ NX software platform and combining the capabilities of several solutions to cover a wide range of 3D simulation disciplines and industry applications. Simcenter 3D solvers for structural, thermal, and flow analysis are also made available in an on-demand cloud environment for greater accessibility and flexibility. “With the introduction of Simcenter, Siemens is taking the next step forward in its digitalization strategy and predictive engineering analytics vision, which foresees the transformation of design simulation and verification into an analytical tool,” says Leuridan.
American Axle and Manufacturing (AAM) is just one organization that is already benefiting from their use of several solutions from the Simcenter portfolio.
With the introduction of Simcenter, Siemens is taking the next step forward in its digitalization strategy and predictive engineering analytics vision
“The goal of AAM is to deliver power anonymously,” says Glen Steyer, executive director of product engineering. What this means is that a driver cannot perceive how power is transmitted from the engine to the wheels, so they cannot hear or feel vibrations from the driveline. To accurately predict product performance in the real world, AAM’s NVH engineering team relies heavily on simulation and also correlates its analysis models with physical test results from their state-of-the-art testing facility. Siemens’ solutions for simulation and test play a critical role in this process.
“Our vision for the Simcenter Portfolio is very ambitious and is reflected in our investments. All the activities within Siemens PLM Software and Simcenter are very much aligned to the overall Siemens strategy for digitalization,” explains Leuridan. “This is just the beginning as we envision even more engineering progress and ingenuity for life—a tagline that every member of the Siemens family wears with pride.” The company has invested heavily since 2013 to address everything from advanced systems simulation to predictive analytics.
The Simcenter portfolio strategy in conjunction with the major investments of about $1.9 billion on acquiring LMS and CD-adapco is compelling evidence that Siemens PLM Software is committed to creating a world-class performance engineering environment. Additionally, the company’s increased focus on effective engineering decision-making via multidisciplinary design exploration and data analytics is expected to be a key element of Siemens’ Simcenter value proposition in achieving the “digital twin” vision.
Simcenter makes it easier for analysts to manage the data necessary to drive product and process innovation, through its out-of-the-box integration with Teamcenter Simulation Process Management. Teamcenter is the world's most widely used PLM system that powers innovation and improves productivity by connecting people with the product and process knowledge needed to function effectively in a globally oriented product lifecycle. And Siemens is extending the value to the enterprise by connecting the Simcenter portfolio with Teamcenter to enable closed-loop systems driven product development with complete traceability from requirements to design to performance engineering. All the while, the company intends to proffer customers with multi-physics capabilities as well as cover the various phases of the development in a seamless and continuous manner—from concept to detailed engineering to physical testing—without losing the connection between those phases.
To further help companies on the digitalization journey, Siemens has a staff of technical experts with broad engineering proficiency who can help OEMs and suppliers in various industries adopt new and disruptive technologies and realize immediate benefits in their product development processes. “Siemens is helping its customers solve the engineering challenges for today’s products while paving the way for a new generation of future products,” concludes Leuridan.