Siemens today announced a partnership with NEC to develop a monitoring and analysis solution for manufacturing that connects MindSphere®, the cloud-based, open Internet of Things (IoT) operating system from Siemens, and NEC's System Invariant Analysis Technology (SIAT). As part of the agreement, NEC is joining the MindSphere Partner Program, which can provide NEC with access to specialized technical training and support from Siemens as well as a number of joint go-to-market capabilities.
In recent years, with the acceleration of digitalization and the spread of IoT, the safety, efficiency, maintenance and product quality of systems are being visualized and analyzed based on data collected from a large number of sensors installed in various locations, such as plant systems, manufacturing lines and factories. However, it is necessary to systemize data collection, storage, monitoring, analysis and other processes in order to utilize sensor data. Moreover, unique know-how, such as knowledge about IoT systems and data analysis, is required to construct such a system, making it difficult for customers to construct by themselves. Especially in the manufacturing industry, work processes are often based on the expertise of each plant or individual. Therefore, the loss of know-how due to the retirement of skilled personnel and lack of staff poses a serious challenge.
In order to solve these issues, Siemens and NEC have enhanced their products to enable greater visualization and analysis of sensor data. MindSphere is the cloud-based, open IoT operating system from Siemens that connects products, plants, systems, and machines, enabling companies to harness the wealth of data generated by IoT with advanced analytics. Siemens collaborates with its partners to further enrich applications and services by developing world-class partner ecosystems offering industrial solutions and digital services. Invariant Analysis Technology, part of NEC's cutting-edge portfolio of AI technologies, "NEC the WISE" (*1), is being used to automatically learn and model the behavior of systems based on data gathered from a large number of sensors installed in large-scale, complex systems This provides the visualization of systems and how they operate, in addition to enabling systems to operate safely and efficiently by proactively detecting errors using analytical models. NEC has already installed approximately 100 such systems internationally.
This collaboration enables both companies to provide total data collection, storage, monitoring and analysis, including customization according to customer needs. Specifically, MindSphere is being used to collect and accumulate field sensor data and NEC's Invariant Analysis Technology system automatically monitors and analyzes the data. This solution will first be offered as a cloud solution for the manufacturing industry, then applied to factory systems, manufacturing lines, plant facilities and other equipment, as well as products that are produced using this equipment. This makes it easy to visualize and analyze vast amounts of sensor data, thereby contributing to increased productivity, reduced operational risk, product quality and the preservation of know-how. The companies will focus on customers in manufacturing industries internationally, then expand to customers in other industries.
"Siemens is committed to creating partnerships that help customers realize digital transformation with Industrial IoT. Working with NEC can help provide MindSphere applications that improve customers’ ability to add value to their digital transformation initiatives,” said Kunihiko Horita, Japan Country Manager, Siemens Digital Industries Software.
"It is an honor to collaborate with Siemens to enhance the productivity of the manufacturing industry worldwide through Invariant Analysis Technology,” said Osamu Fujikawa, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation. “NEC will accelerate the digitization of enterprises through the provision of solutions that leverage both companies’ strengths. NEC will continue to address diversifying needs by fusing real and digital technologies as well as by leveraging advanced technologies such as AI and IoT,” he added.