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Digital Transformation Empowers Industrial Processes

Alejandro Preinfalk - Siemens


Tomás Lujambio By Tomás Lujambio | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Wed, 08/30/2023 - 11:00

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Q: How does Siemens harness the power of automation, the Internet of Things and big data to optimize its products and services? 

A: Siemens is spearheading an initiative called Siemens Xcelerator, an open digital business platform designed to help industrial clients in their digital transformation. Siemens Xcelerator is an interoperable, flexible, open and as-a-service platform, encompassing a portfolio that bridges the digital and physical worlds. This platform includes a digital marketplace, enabling decision-makers to exchange best practices within an integrated ecosystem. We are genuinely excited about the digital transformation we are driving and how we are facilitating our customers' success in this journey. We are actively integrating digitalization, automation and the Internet of Things into our factories, with a strong focus on sustainability. Siemens Xcelerator plays a significant role in promoting sustainability by assisting customers in decarbonizing their operations and ensuring energy efficiency.

Q: How is Siemens integrating AI-powered tools into its operations?

A: Siemens has been using AI in its applications and solutions for several years. A key application is predictive maintenance: by harnessing customer data, we can predict potential machine failures and perform maintenance proactively to prevent disruptions. This application has seen remarkable success in industries such as mobility and smart buildings. We are also adopting advanced technologies like large language models for developing code for our industrial controllers. Siemens has also developed a proprietary ChatGPT to enhance internal communication and information sharing with customers. While AI has been part of our toolkit for years, its recent popularity underscores the critical importance of data access and use. AI tools are exceptionally effective in providing insights to enhance production flexibility, improve energy efficiency and minimize production losses.

Q: How does Siemens Xcelerator play a role in Mexico's ongoing digital transformation and how does it benefit this transformation?

A: The primary objective of Siemens Xcelerator is to accelerate digital transformation within the industries of our customers. The digital transformation can be challenging and many initiatives fail due to inadequate handling. However, Siemens Xcelerator aims to ensure the success of our customers' transformation efforts by providing them with a well-structured methodology. The platform offers a robust digital ecosystem that includes partners, academia, consultants and industry experts, facilitating a smooth digital transition for our customers. The platform is tailored to the specific needs of each sector or industry. While Siemens Xcelerator employs standardized, state-of-the-art technology, its applications and use cases are highly industry-specific. The platform's as-a-service model ensures accessibility not only for large enterprises but also for small and medium-sized companies, allowing them to subscribe to the models that best suit their operations.

Q: What are Siemens' key sustainability goals and initiatives to minimize its environmental impact and promote decarbonization?

A: Siemens is committed to achieving global carbon neutrality by 2030. We are also helping our customers to become carbon neutral. Last year, we helped our customers to avoid 150 million tons of greenhouse emissions through our technological solutions. We have achieved a 46% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to 2019. Nevertheless, Siemens aims to reduce an additional 55% of CO2 emissions by 2025 and reach a 90% reduction by 2030. We are also planning to invest €650 million (US$703.6 million) in decarbonization technology by 2030. Moreover, we are building facilities worldwide that are expected to use 100% renewable energy sources. 

Q: What strategies or initiatives has Siemens undertaken to attract and retain digital talent?

A: Siemens estimates that talent shortage is at a 16-year high. Moreover, our research expects a shortage of 85 million highly skilled workers by 2030. We understand that the shortage of digital talent can significantly impact productivity and production across industries. Additionally, we see that roughly 75% of organizations are struggling to find the right talent to meet their needs. Digital talent is a major global issue, but the causes are varied and include the rapid pace of technological development. To address this, Siemens is committed to continuously learn and acquire digital skills across many roles. We collaborate closely with academia to ensure students receive state-of-the-art technology training. 

For example, we recently signed five agreements to enhance student education in Mexico using cutting-edge technology. We also have signed an agreement with the Ministry of Economy to certify several students in our low code programming software. Of those, 600 students are based in Queretaro, 1,000 in Guanajuato, 700 in San Luis Potosi and 1,500 in Mexico City. We also donated 580 software licenses to students in Torreon, Coahuila, in August 2023.

Since 2016, Siemens has pioneered a dual education model that combines theoretical and practical content for high-school students. In this model, a large proportion of the content is conducted within our company's manufacturing facility. This model provides hands-on experience within our manufacturing facilities, enabling students to grasp industry requirements thoroughly. Finally, Siemens actively promotes curiosity among young students, training over 1 million children in low-income regions in Latin America through the Siemens Foundation, fostering the development of potential tech talent in our region.

Q: What measures and protocols has Siemens implemented to safeguard the data of its products and clients?

A: In the era of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation, accessing, protecting and leveraging data is paramount. Siemens places a strong emphasis on ensuring the robust safeguarding of data. As data’s importance grows, cybersecurity becomes an area of heightened sensitivity. It demands a trusted partner like Siemens that understands how products, systems, solutions and people are integrated into processes. Siemens is a co-founder of the Charter of Trust, a global initiative between large corporations that aims to secure data and promote effective cybersecurity in a dependable digital world. 

Resilient cybersecurity solutions must involve all stakeholders, encompassing not only technology but also the people driving it. Recent reports indicate that cyberattacks against the manufacturing sector cost US$2.8 million in damages in Latin America in 2021, with the region experiencing over 60 cyberattacks per minute. Siemens takes a holistic approach to security, starting with risk assessments of automated processes and implementing technology-based measures to mitigate risks. However, continuous monitoring ensures that an organization's systems remain updated. Cybersecurity is not a one-off solution; it is a continuous process that requires a security plan for the physical safety of the plant and its machines.

Q: What are Siemens' plans for market expansion and what is its vision for future innovations across various industries in Mexico?

A: Siemens’ Global CEO recently announced a US$2 billion investment strategy to establish new high-tech factories, innovation labs, education centers and industrial metaverse facilities. We also allocated €500 million (US$541.2 million) in R&D to drive the digital transformation across various industries. 

In Mexico, we are actively expanding our presence. We announced a significant expansion in Monterrey, with a US$45 million investment to expand our circuit breaker factory. This expansion will create about 450 new jobs and is expected to be completed by mid-2024. Moreover, we have announced the opening of a new sales and order management office in Guadalajara to enhance logistics and services for North and Central America. This move will result in a 15% increase in our workforce by the end of next year.

Q: How does Siemens envision its role in shaping the technological landscape in the years to come? 

A: Siemens is working on a technological innovation known as the Industrial Metaverse. This digital world, powered by our digital twins, replicates the physical world for industrial applications. We are thrilled about the potential of this technology, especially in boosting Mexico's nearshoring potential. With Siemens Xcelerator and the Industrial Metaverse, we expect to propel digital transformation within various industries, supporting newcomers and the existing industrial customers and helping them to be successful in Mexico. 


Siemens is a pioneer in digital solutions is a global conglomerate with operations in various industries, primarily focusing on engineering, electronics, and industrial manufacturing.

Photo by:   Siemens

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