The Stack Archive Article

Mindsphere: Transforming data into business success

Mon 4 Jun 2018

MindSphere is a cloud-based, open operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT).  Put simply, it enables easy, secure, encrypted connections from machine to machine or process to process on an unprecedented scale.

With data analytics and connectivity capabilities, tools for developers, applications and services, it is designed to help industrial users exploit the full potential of their data and transform it into measurable business success.

As the industrial world becomes increasingly connected, digitalisation – the technology focus behind Industry 4.0 – is using technologies to transform business operations and is a key lever that will enable companies to remain competitive.

Industrial digital technologies promise lower costs, improved production quality, flexibility and efficiency, shorter response times to customer requests and market demands, and opens up new and innovative business opportunities.

The digital enterprise is already a reality.  Companies are pursuing its benefits and opportunities through digital transformation which requires the seamless integration of vast volumes of data created by the billions of intelligent devices. Turning this data into value is a critical success factor.

Connecting real things to the digital world

According to the World Economic Forum, one trillion devices will be connected to the internet by 2030 and connectivity is one of the main topics in IoT.

Siemens already has a global installed base of devices across many sectors and MindSphere is facilitating the easy connection of such devices to make use of the data they produce.

New devices, assets and automation systems are now MindSphere enabled to benefit from generated data that can be accessed from the start of the installation.

Due to open communication standards, devices and assets from other vendors are able to transfer data to the open platform, ensuring a homogeneous approach and enabling combinations of data analytics which to date has not been feasible.

MindSphere is a cloud-based service that enables users to develop, run and manage their own applications without the complexity of building infrastructures or managing complex software stacks.

With the cloud-managed infrastructure, companies can take advantage of infinitely scalable computing capacity which can readily accommodate the demands of global and fully digitalised enterprises.  The system can scale to required data volumes and the number of connected assets and users.  It is also cost efficient with on-demand flexibility and a monthly subscription pricing model.

To help customers build and integrate their own software applications and devices, MindSphere delivers open application programming interfaces and development tools.  With these tools, users can deploy software applications in hours or days, instead of weeks and months.

Modularising monolithic software solutions with these interchangeable applications offers customers increased flexibility and tailored functionality, faster and more cost effective updates and agile development.

MindSphere provides a solid and secure foundation for applications and data-based services in critical industrial areas such as predictive maintenance, energy data management and resource optimisation.  Built to convert big data to smart data, it is engineered for industrial datasets and uses across many sectors such as rail, energy, process and production facilities.

A prime example is the Control Loop Performance Analytics for the process industries sector.  Running on MindSphere, it adds a new layer of transparency to process data available in the distributed control system.  It is generated through automatic state detection and KPI calculation for different control states.  With Control Loop Performance Analytics, the user obtains a hierarchical plant overview from management view down to single control details allowing automated data analytics on a regular basis to support long-term process optimisation.

Likewise, Energy Analytics as a Service provides energy data management insight to show hidden savings potential in plants or production facilities, helping to take energy data management to the next level.  Depending on the selected scope of service, customers have access to load profiles, analytics and reports based on operations data.  The transmitted data is processed and analysed and made available in MindSphere in the form of graphics, analysis charts and reports.

Finally, with MindApps for industrial cyber security, companies can identify threats, security loopholes and anomalies in their production environment. MindSphere can be a central source for security applications producing reports, and security alerts.

The use of Siemens software and Digital Services enable digitalisation of the entire lifecycle, integrating product, production and service processes.  MindSphere connects to real-world devices and processes and feeds performance data back into a performance ‘digital twin’ to drive improved decision-making.

The foundation is Siemens’ Digital Enterprise Suite, a comprehensive integrated family of software-based systems covering the entire value chain from product design, production planning, engineering, execution and services.  Using the suite, companies can create intelligent virtual models – digital twins – that accurately duplicate and simulate the real-world properties and performance of physical products, production lines and processes.

The digital twins drive productivity and efficiency gains, providing industrial users with the means to design, simulate, validate and optimise products, processes and plants in the digital world.

The Internet of Things and digitalisation is already a reality providing opportunity for product and business model innovation. The integration of data to feed software solutions such as design and simulation, as well as digital services tailored for specific use, allow unmatched transparency and potential along the entire value chain.

MindSphere is the game-changing cloud-based open platform that can leverage scalable connectivity of assets.  It supports a company’s digitalisation journey that will lead to lower costs, improved production quality, better flexibility and efficiency, shorter response times to customer requests and, ultimately, open up new and innovative business opportunities.

Tags:

business feature IoT
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