Since 1912, Siemens Canada has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality and reliability. The company is active across the country, focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Sales for Siemens Canada in fiscal 2019 (ended September 30), were $2 billion CAD. The company has approximately 2,500 employees from coast-to-coast and 27 office and production facilities across Canada.
In Ontario, Siemens Canada has two very strong operations in the Digital Industries: cyber security (Vaughan) and process instruments (Peterborough). Joris Myny, Senior Vice-President, Digital Industries, examined pandemic impacts on digital transformation in a virtual event we hosted on June 4th.
FOCUS ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Joris reflects that often we become focused on using digitalization to serve lean principles – digitalizing to mainly become more productive. However, he argues that the difference-maker for your ROI appears when you focus on implementing digital technologies that are aimed at enhancing the customer experience. In fact, early adopters who have implemented digitalization tactics with a customer experience focus have reported a significantly better ROI.
A good example of this is the growing focus of manufacturers on service and software as part of their product offering. This approach is proving to be increasingly important for North American manufacturers who compete globally.
OPERATING DURING COVID-19
For the first time in modern manufacturing history, demand, supply and workforce availability have been affected globally all at the same time. Because of this, advanced manufacturers are making use of remote operation, diagnostics, monitoring and even programming. Siemens Canada sees an increased use of virtual commissioning and simulation as ways to validate the design and programming at ‘home’. Time spent on on-site commissioning is greatly reduced. The pressing need to reduce or eliminate travel all together due to the pandemic, accelerates the adoption of new technologies in advanced manufacturing. Joris predicts this new way of working will continue in a post-pandemic era.
CYBER SECURITY CANNOT BE AN AFTERTHOUGHT
Similar to safety, cyber security requirements are non-negotiable. They need to be clear and incorporated at the design stage.
As organizations move to digitalize more of their operations, cyber security risks will also increase. However, the shop floor’s system needs, vulnerabilities and culture (OT) present risks that are vastly different than those found in the office environment (IT), and they require a different approach. Companies must start with an onsite security assessment. This assessment is low effort but will have high impact. Get the help from technology partners.