The Path Towards Digitalization and the Future

How advanced digitalization and smart machines are coming to every level of our factories

3 min read

This is a sponsored article brought to you by Siemens.

Big data, Industry 4.0, IIoT, Edge Technology, and the Cloud are all terms we know. Whether you’re a machine tool builder, a job shop or contract manufacturer, you’re thinking about digitalization and the best way to get started.

Diagram showing interaction between Product and Production lifecycles as they relate to design, performance, and cybersecurity, among other factors.Whether you’re a machine tool builder, a job shop or contract manufacturer, you’re thinking about digitalization and the best way to get started.Siemens

For the machine builder, it’s about managing big data from the machine, reducing time-to-market, and using the newest technology to create smart machines. These are cognitive computing systems, meaning they can make decisions and solve problems without the help of a human. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) enters the equation, as the machine learns from what it does.

In addition, machines must be ready to engage the Internet of Things (IoT) to be successful in the current market. Machine builders still sell on the features and benefits of their machines, but this isn’t the only way to distinguish themselves from the competition.

How digital twins reduce costs and downtime

The digital twin concept in machine development allows simulation of a machine tool not only in its design, but also in its physical performance, before the machine is even started physically.

With the digital twin, every condition on the machine is simulated in real-time, with feedback to the design loop. That way, engineers don’t need to waste time on the shopfloor or in a test center as they’ve done previously, with the “trial and error” method.

The science has developed, so the build process must likewise.

Illustration of a CNC machine.For CNC users, the digital twin enables a machine shop to be IoT-ready.Siemens

CNC machine users need their machines to be smart, as well — communicating with each other and the control center in their shop or in a large production facility. Think you can’t implement digitalization because you’re a small machine shop? Think again. Key performance indicators (KPIs) can be established and achieved sooner in terms of production, machine run time, maintenance, and even energy use.

When CNC is IoT-ready

For CNC users, the digital twin enables a machine shop to be IoT-ready. The higher-end software permits real-time adjustment in-process, everything from cycle time to tool tip position or tool magazine loading for the next jobs, to facilitate both faster startup and precision workflow.

This can be achieved with a competent digital team that is both in-tune with the current technology and how to implement it in a particular environment. If needed, take time to find a system integrator in your area (we have a nationwide network of solution partners) that can provide you with relevant technical and industry knowledge. This is vital to your success.

Illustration of the CNC controller SINUMERIK ONE by Siemens, a laptop-like device with a screen, keyboard, and control buttons.The newest digital-native CNC from Siemens, SINUMERIK ONE, for example, will open the next chapter in the machine tool world’s journey towards digitalization.Siemens

Our newest digital-native CNC, SINUMERIK ONE, for example, will open the next chapter in the machine tool world’s journey towards digitalization. It features the latest power and software options to allow expansion, as the job volume increases, or the complexity of the work increases for you.

Virtually, it offers the machine builder and end-user total flexibility to move from the CAD to the CAM to the CNC machining steps, then onto the virtual shopfloor and into a virtual production, all before the first cut is made on the machine.

Cybersecurity: More important than ever

As ransomware attacks have become common in the industrial environment, the issue of cybersecurity has taken on new importance. Preventing any attack means taking into consideration several issues. One is the integrity of the network. The other is the effect of the wireless network in the plant and externally. The third, and most important, is how effective the defense is. Like a football game, one wrong move from a player can adversely impact the game plan.

Furthermore, there must be several layers of specific security, so that setup, operation and programming, maintenance and plant operations/control personnel all have different defined levels of access to machines and data. This is often a time-consuming,
but very worthwhile endeavor.

The factory of the future

If we look towards the future, what we see is digitalization at essentially every level of your factory. This would include robotic handling and the transfer of materials to the next machine. The “factory of the future” wouldn’t be without people, however. Rather, personnel will take on higher level tasks that don’t involve machining. Cobots and CNC will work with a human or directly with the machine intelligently.

Digitalization is here to stay, so get started today!

The Conversation (1)
Anjan Saha
Anjan Saha18 Sep, 2023


IIOT, PSPICE these are common terms in today's Manufacturing

Industries. Now 3D

Printing is added technology for

Manufacturing Industries.

We still need Human in

Control loop for Modern


Factory automation improves Productivity &

making precision machine tools and also decreases employing unskilled labour forces

and makes human safety more valuable in

Hazardous environment.

However Manufacturing, Transportation ,Erection

Commissioning is occuring at different Time- Space .We all need human decision making & control for all phases of the process Industries whether in

most Technologically Advanced countries to

Under-developed countries in the world.

Thanks to the Siemens Head Mr. Brian.