Managing the IoT and Big Data Evolution with MindSphere


Posted on: November 6, 2017 by Dr. Norbert Luekte-Entrup

All around us, technical innovation is reshaping traditional industries. For instance, take Building Information Modeling’s (BIM) impact on construction planning and smart devices in the energy sector. The same shift is felt in manufacturing: with Industry 4.0 now upon us, manufacturers are working hard to enhance machines and prepare for the influx of connected devices that are set to transform their shop floors.

The Internet of Things’ (IoT) unstoppable momentum has led to unprecedented amounts of data being generated. For example, a single connected car produces around 100 gigabytes of data every hour. This data provides insights to help improve car design, streamline production and create an enhanced driver experience. But for many manufacturers, knowing how to extract and manage this data can be daunting. This is a problem felt by many sectors – looking at city planners and smart cities as an example, imagine having to store and manage Singapore’s masses of infrastructure data!

Partnering for success

To make the most of the opportunities presented by the IoT, businesses are looking to technology companies to guide them through this changing world of big data and connectivity. This is an issue of great importance for both Siemens and Atos, two leaders in their respective fields who are striving to help customers on their digital transformation journey.

The companies have been collaborating since 2011 and joined forces to develop and market Siemens’ MindSphere platform, an open, cloud-based operating system for the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) that enables customers to connect their machines and physical infrastructure to the digital world. With MindSphere, businesses can harness big data from connected devices to uncover transformational insights and create new value, such as optimising assets or guaranteeing availability. Adding applications and services such as Atos Codex to MindSphere, makes the platform the ideal basis for building integrated and secure customer-specific solutions.

Securing the IoT

Part of maximizing the value of data insights is ensuring that the information remains secure. A recent Ofcom report highlighted that companies and end users are often unaware of IoT implications on data protection, suggesting that more needs to be done to educate businesses about the security risk, and take corrective actions. MindSphere can help to address this by managing a business’ connected devices via one secure platform.

For industrial applications such as utilities, transportation or manufacturing, devices can be left out in the field for decades, which can leave them open to attack and vulnerabilities from a lack of continuous maintenance. This differentiates industrial machinery from consumer goods, and requires new, industry-specific approaches.

With stricter laws regarding the security of critical infrastructures and the upcoming GDPR, ensuring that all devices are protected and built with security in mind is more important than ever before. By managing their connected devices with MindSphere, customers can gather valuable information from their assets while making sure their data is collected in a secure manner.

Enhancing PLM with digital twin technology

MindSphere’s digital services functionality can also improve Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) with predictive maintenance and optimized processes via digital twin technology. Traditional PLM technology focuses on enterprise applications for the design and development phases. The proliferation of the IoT and the rise of big data makes it possible to extend the digital twin to the operations and services phase.

Digital twin technology allows manufacturers to create a digital replica of a physical asset to compare and analyse with actual field data. This enables manufacturers to find new ways to improve the product and the production process. For example, automotive designers and engineers can create a digital car prototype to test new models in the virtual world before building the physical prototype. Real life field data can also be gathered from working models to help identify improvements. In doing so, the PLM process can be significantly more efficient and cost effective.

Engineers want to work with one single digital twin rather than multiple twins from different solutions providers and various life cycle stages. Therefore, the goal is to create a single digital twin of an infrastructure along the entire life cycle. Following this, the twin is combined with IoT data collected via the MindSphere platform to reach new levels of efficiency and reduce lifecycle costs. This is the vision behind a deal that Siemens has recently signed with the Hong Kong Science Park to create Hong Kong’s first smart city digital hub. The hub will be powered by MindSphere technology to tackle the city’s challenges through an open, interactive and holistic approach.

Preparing for the future

Smart cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore will become more commonplace as technology advances. And having one single platform to manage the IoT will be the linchpin of its continued success. Digital twin technology, pioneered by trailblazing industries such as automotive, will also be adopted more widely.

The IoT revolution has already begun and it’s transforming nearly every aspect of our lives. Atos and Siemens are at the heart of this revolution and will continue to collaborate on MindSphere as well as advancing solutions in AI, machine learning, cyber security and other service-enhancing technologies.

To find out more, please visit: https://www.siemens.com/global/en/home/products/software/mindsphere.html and https://atos.net/en/solutions/industry-4-0-the-industrial-internet-of-things/atos-apps-siemens-mindsphere

Meet the MindSphere experts from Atos from November 28 to 30 at SPS IPC Drives in Nuremberg, Germany and discover how you can open up new business opportunities with MindSphere: https://atos.net/en/events/sps-ipc-drives

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About Dr. Norbert Luekte-Entrup

Head of Corporate Technology and Innovation Management, Siemens
Dr. Norbert Lütke-Entrup is Head of the Corporate Technology and Innovation Management department of the Siemens Group. In this function he is responsible for technology scouting, fore-sighting, developing the corporate portfolio of technology and innovation fields, coordinating Siemens’ research-related relationships with external research partners, and driving the company’s engagement in standardization as well as public research and innovation policy. Norbert Lütke-Entrup holds a Masters degree in physics from the University of Bonn (1996), as well as a Ph.D. in physics from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris (1999) resulting from his work on superconductivity at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. In addition he holds an MBA degree from the Collège des Ingénieurs Paris (2000).

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