Summit: Safety, Security Add to Complexity

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 @ 12:06 PM gHale

By Gregory Hale
The industry is getting more complex and one of the underlying pins increasing the levels of sophistication is safety and security.

That was one of the messages passed along today by Anton Huber, chief executive industry automation division at Siemens during his keynote address at the 2014 Siemens Automation Summit in Orlando, FL.

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“We have a very complex process. But fixing one area of the business or process is not going to help” Huber said. “Only a holistic approach including the whole value-add chain will yield long term competitive solutions. One part will not make the difference.”

That means companies need to stay on top of their games and understand what direction they are going so they can employ the right technologies and services to ensure they hit the market quickly and don’t get left behind.

“The Internet is accelerating business. The Internet has increased the speed of business,” he said. “Faster time to market is having an impact on the business. There is a major shift in the industry and we have to shift with it.”

He pointed out one case of a digital camera maker, which suffered from competitors copying its technology and going to market with lower cost product. Huber said once the camera company determined copied product was hitting the market they would have to have a new product ready to go.

“They had to change the time to market.” By using newer technology and processes, the company reduced time to market by 40 percent, he said. That is what manufacturers have to do today. There is no time to sit around and hope things go away.

This is also where the Internet of Things (IoT) can come into play.

“Internet of Things is a major accelerator of our business,” Huber said. “Time to market is a decisive factor when it comes to delivering to the consumer.”

As the industry starts to evolve and turn more to a digital environment, that will also add to the complexity.

“We feel the future will be digital, which relies upon software technologies,” Huber said.

That complexity continues even if you look at software that will be running systems in the months and years ahead. Right now, Huber said, Siemens TIA Port v 13 has over 55 million lines of code. “Code is growing just because of the complexity,” he said.

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