SAP, Siemens partner to advance digital manufacturing

Matthew N. Henry

SAP and Siemens, two heavyweights in industrial application devices, are signing up for forces to accelerate the digitization of producing processes.

The partnership facilities on integrating Siemens Teamcenter products lifecycle management (PLM) platform with SAP devices, including SAP Intelligent Asset Management and SAP Portfolio and Task Management. This will mix processes like products lifecycle, provide chain and asset management that have traditionally operated separately.

SAP and Siemens will promote every other’s devices, and Siemens Teamcenter will serve as the “main basis for products lifecycle collaboration and knowledge management,” according to the two providers.

Analysts think the SAP-Siemens deal may perhaps be a get for both providers and their customers as the products sets are complimentary, but it stays to be found how all the pieces will work collectively.

Unified platform for producing processes

The intent of the partnership is to build a unified platform that permits manufacturers to digitize the processes required to meet up with the requires of Market 4., reported Franz Hero, head of digital provide chain at SAP, referring to the fourth industrial revolution. The providers reported the target is to build a “digital thread” that ties collectively products design, producing, operations and retirement.

Franz HeroFranz Hero

“It is about making certain that you have all the logistics about products lifecycle to deliver the resources to the output line, and from the output line to the consumer,” Hero reported.

Siemens Teamcenter PLM platform and SAP’s ERP have had integrations for several years, but this new integration will be deeper and likely more advantageous for customers, reported Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO at Siemens Electronic Industries Application, a organization device inside of the Siemens Electronic Manufacturing facility Division.

Tony HemmelgarnTony Hemmelgarn

“The benefit of this partnership is that we can solidify individuals integrations to deliver collectively a full digital thread that permits our customers to profit with a seamless strategy,” Hemmelgarn reported.

Siemens Teamcenter permits industrial knowledge management from conceptual design to producing and servicing, he reported. However, Siemens lacked instruments for factors like enterprise asset management (EAM) and assistance lifecycle management that could set up this stop-to-stop digital thread for producing.

“Teamcenter delivers in all the upfront R&D design, this sort of as CAD and 3D design, but the benefit-incorporate with this is the integration back again to the rest of the organization,” Hemmelgarn reported. “When you design and construct something, it’s not concluded as soon as you’ve got created it. It is about how you maintain it, how you study what’s occurring with the products in the area, how you constantly construct a shut-loop digital twin, and how you get what you study from the products as it’s being utilised and feed that back again into the design.”

Having this stop-to-stop connectivity of all components of the producing course of action is crucial now since providers want to be more responsive to specifications that change considerably more usually and speedily right now, Hero reported.

“The COVID-19 disaster has created it quite clear that digitization is important in buy to turn into an agile, responsive and resilient business, specially from a provide chain perspective,” he reported. “The timing is great since a good deal of providers now have had a wake-up phone and they know that they have to get the next measures in the digitalization processes. This can definitely leverage that and deliver this course of action collectively.”

Partnership will advance Market 4. efforts

The partnership has been in the will work for several years, but the time is suitable to go forward with it now, reported Bob Parker, senior vice president of industry, application and solutions study at IDC.

Bob ParkerBob Parker

“SAP and Siemens have a classic significant-tech romance. They are every other’s customers, they are every other’s suppliers, they are rivals, they are associates,” Parker reported. “But the serious winners of this deal are the customers, since this represents an chance for customers to get these two vital vendors operating collectively to build a regular knowledge design for products and solutions from inception to stop of everyday living.”

This is significantly significant now as manufacturers are struggling to modernize devices and processes to turn into more versatile and responsive to alterations in industry requires, according to Parker.

“The cadence at which providers are seeking to run in introducing new products and solutions has stepped up, which has developed a tremendous industry want for a unified strategy to it, which developed urgency on both sides to get the deal finished,” he reported.

Businesses — and customers — will profit

The deal looks like a get-get for the providers as perfectly as their customers, reported Predrag Jakovljevic, principal industry analyst at Know-how Evaluation Centers, an enterprise technology analysis firm in Montreal.

Predrag JakovljevicPredrag Jakovljevic

Siemens Teamcenter has features that tends to make it more suited for massive providers with complex producing scenarios, even though SAP PLM is missing in capabilities like PDM (products knowledge management) and CAD integration, Jakovljevic reported.

“It could be advantageous for SAP to supply Teamcenter PLM to its [more substantial] customers and supply its own PLM the place it tends to make more sense,” he reported. “Siemens rewards from new PLM customers, as well as it could integrate to Qualtrics for consumer sentiments about new products and solutions, which once again rewards SAP.”

The new partnership does not take out competitors completely, Jakovljevic reported. He mentioned they will keep on to compete for IIoT (industrial web of factors), producing execution devices and producing operations management customers.

Destiny of SAP PLM is unclear

However, the destiny of SAP’s own PLM features seems to be up in the air.

It is probably SAP will defer to Siemens Teamcenter for massive, complex discrete producing industries this sort of as automotive, aerospace and industrial machinery, even though SAP PLM will be utilised for less complex industries, IDC’s Parker reported. Siemens, on the other hand, may perhaps defer to SAP in another space.

“Siemens was investing in provide chain programs and individuals kinds of factors as perfectly, so they were significantly getting into SAP’s house,” Parker reported. “It is probably that Siemens will defer to SAP about provide chain products and solutions.”

Getting the knowledge design suitable and centering on Siemens Teamcenter is a great initial phase, Parker reported, but there will continue to be a good deal of work to do to make the partnership work.

“They want to form out the overlaps that continue to keep on being in the products sets. For case in point, down the street, do they mix SAP’s asset intelligence network with MindSphere? So they have bought a good deal of products sorting out to do,” he reported. “A further obstacle is just getting the income teams to work collectively. You’ve got bought definitely significant efficiency income corporations here that are serious alpha puppy forms, so it’s heading to be fascinating to see how they can get income operating collectively.”

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