The digital transformation of the industrial sector is in full swing: with its Digital Enterprise portfolio, Siemens has fulfilled the technical prerequisites for implementing Industrie 4.0, the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As a result, companies of any size or industry can immediately begin using “digital twins” across the entire value chain in order to increase their competitiveness over the long term. “With our Digital Enterprise portfolio, our customers are now already achieving improvements in flexibility, time-to-market, efficiency and quality,” said Eckard Eberle, CEO of Siemens’ Process Automation Business Unit, at a press event in Vienna, Austria. “With these capabilities, they can successfully tackle some of the challenges that the process industries are currently facing. The growing importance of personalized medicine, for instance, is strengthening demand within the pharmaceutical industry for digital technologies that enable continuous, paperless production in smaller batches all the way down to a lot size of one.”

Novel and innovative autologous cell therapeutics are now giving us, for the first time, the chance to heal cancer, rather than just treat it. Manufacturing thousands of individual batches in parallel – with each batch based on cell material coming from a single patient and going back to the same patient – requires new solutions for manufacturing, for data management and for all the supply chain logistics. Digital technologies and smart, self-learning automation will be the pioneers that enable broad commercialization of these novel therapies,” said Daniela Buchmayr, Group Director Innovation and Application Development at GEA CEE GmbH.

Analysts at ARC estimate that the market for operations technology software in the process industries will grow by an average of seven percent annually for the next five years. This is particularly the case for the fields of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, which will see above-average annual growth rates of about nine percent during this period.

For this reason, Siemens is driving the digitalization of the process industries in combination with research and practical applications in the process industries: the Living Lab for Process Industries in Vienna, for instance, enables real-life demonstrations of biotechnological production processes. Key activities include the practically oriented implementation of research topics in the form of projects or case studies, with Siemens customers and employees participating in these activities – for example in the form of training. Among other things, the Living Labs staff is researching the possibilities that the cloud-based, open IoT operating system MindSphere offers for the process industries. In this way, the data generated during the manufacturing process can be stored securely in the cloud, analyzed and used to optimize systems.