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Key to Unlocking Value of Edge and Industry 4.0 in Manufacturing

Siemens, IBM and Red Hat have announced a new collaboration that will use a hybrid cloud designed to deliver an open, flexible and more secure solution for manufacturers and plant operators to drive real-time value from operational data. In one month, a single manufacturing site can generate more than 2,200 terabytes of data according to a report by IBM – yet most data goes unanalyzed.

Through the joint initiative, Siemens Digital Industries Software will apply IBM’s open hybrid cloud approach, built on Red Hat OpenShift, to extend the deployment flexibility of MindSphere, the industrial IoT as a service solution from Siemens. This will enable customers to run MindSphere on-premise, unlocking speed and agility in factory and plant operations, as well as through the cloud for seamless product support, updates and enterprise connectivity.

(Edge computing is a distributed computing framework that brings enterprise applications closer to data sources such as IoT devices or local edge servers. This proximity to data at its source can deliver strong business benefits, including faster insights, improved response times and better bandwidth availability.)

“Today’s manufacturers require agility and flexibility to meet expectations for higher quality products with shorter production cycles,” said Raymond Kok, senior vice president of Cloud Application Solutions for Siemens Digital Industries Software. “MindSphere already provides customers with data-driven insights to strengthen operations through Industrial IoT. Through our work with IBM and Red Hat, we can now offer customers the flexibility to choose to operate MindSphere on-premise or in the cloud to best meet their distinct operational needs and become more efficient, nimble and responsive to today’s marketplace.”

“We see that most industrial data is generated outside of IT, in manufacturing operations, supply chains or connected products, yet to leverage digital technologies, manufacturers choose to either send data up to their enterprise cloud, or bring the technology down,” said Manish Chawla, Industry General Manager, Energy, Resources, and Manufacturing at IBM. “Our collaboration with Siemens uses hybrid cloud and is being engineered to deliver manufacturers the best of both worlds: autonomy, speed and control over shopfloor data processed at the edge, as well as seamless connection to the enterprise.”

“Our collaboration with Siemens helps streamline operations in manufacturing by bringing the leading Kubernetes platform and an open hybrid approach,” said Darrell Jordan-Smith, senior vice president, Industries and Global Accounts, Red Hat. “With Red Hat OpenShift as the underlying platform for MindSphere, we reduce complexity by providing manufacturers one unified method to deploy and operate MindSphere on-site or in the cloud. This allows manufacturing leaders to focus on innovation and drive maximum business results.”

To help operationalize the capabilities and reduce IT risk, IBM Global Business Services and Global Technology Services consultants will serve as a provider for managed services and IoT solutions for Siemens’ MindSphere customers.

MindSphere is used by organizations to collect and analyze real-time sensor data from products, plants, systems, and machines, enabling users to optimize products, production assets, and manufacturing processes along the entire value chain to build a real-time digital twin. By adopting Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, as the preferred on premise architecture, customers will have the flexibility to run MindSphere solutions locally in a private cloud, or in future applications through a hybrid, multi-cloud model, as well as enabling field to enterprise insights. Through this offering, Siemens and IBM enable customers to retain full physical control of their data to better cope with regulatory requirements and data privacy.

The milliseconds of latency involved with sending data back-and-forth from the Cloud can add up for manufacturers, who often oversee high-speed, sometimes hazardous shop floors where milliseconds can make the difference between a machine failure or prevent safety risks for workers.

What’s distinct about the approach is that, Red Hat OpenShift provides a common open foundation for all the parts of every workflow—from the edge to the enterprise cloud – that works seamlessly on the same technology foundation. It enables collaboration among various partners that need to work together to deliver outcomes for an industrial enterprise. This means significant simplification in designing the network of sensors, devices and data. The past year has underscored the importance of digital transformation for agility and resiliency in the face of the pandemic.

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