Using an automated management execution system to meet automotive requirements

Product: Opcenter
Industry: Automotive

A trusted partner for vehicle cooling

Vehicle cooling systems are indispensable since they not only improve an occupant’s comfort but maintain the vehicle’s correct internal temperature and protect key components. They extend the lifetime of engines and ensure proper performance, reducing harmful exhaust emissions. Therefore, the largest automotive companies want high-quality components, which means cooperating with partners who can guarantee their product’s quality.

ESTRA Automotive Systems (ESTRA) is a global leader in the automotive cooling system industry. It has been in business under its present name since 2019, but its history in the automotive industry dates to 1998. That is when it began to build its position, specializing in the design, validation and production of vehicle thermal components and systems. Today, its operations include offices and technology centers around the world, as well as 14 production plants, including one in Zabrze, Poland.

This is where the company manufactures vehicle powertrain cooling modules, including liquid-cooled condensers, heat exchangers, radiators and condensers. Due to its many years of experience and competencies in cooling systems, ESTRA provides solutions for internal combustion engines (ICEs), electric and hybrid vehicles. For these vehicle types, ESTRA provides solutions tailored to their unique characteristics and manufactures them with the utmost attention to detail.

Using Opcenter for global MES

The automotive sector requires companies to meet stringent constraints for product quality, process validation and certification. With the increasing sophistication of cars and their systems, manufacturers’ expectations regarding individual component quality from external partners are also changing. Due to these strict requirements and manufacturing processes, ESTRA sought out and implemented a manufacturing execution system (MES), which they integrated in their Asia-based markets. However, to integrate this system globally meant the current system would not be sufficient due to support and standardization challenges.

When building a new factory in Poland, ESTRA started looking for standardized global solutions that had full local support. They wanted a solution that would allow precise monitoring and control of production processes in real time to quickly detect and respond to any irregularities and unforeseen situations. With help from ASKOM, a certified Siemens Digital Industries Software manufacturing operations management (MOM) partner, the company decided to integrate Opcenter™ software, which is part of the Siemens Xcelerator business platform of software, hardware and services, into the Zabrze plant. Using Opcenter gave the company a full range of locally implemented services and technical support.

“We wanted to find a solution with a global footprint that had the necessary local technical support we required,” says Waldemar Wojtasz, the MES coordinator and change leader at ESTRA. “We were able to achieve our goals by cooperating with Siemens and ASKOM.”

When Opcenter was implemented, the plant employed solutions to match the condenser design for one of its key automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The next step was to use Opcenter Execution Discrete, a production execution system, to handle complex assembly operations. Using its base version with basic functionalities, ESTRA was able to gather data to create a personalized solution that allowed them to develop established products while evolving the system.

“Solution flexibility was critical to us,” says Wojtasz. “We wanted to deploy a solution that was tailored to us, our needs and the nature of production, as opposed to having to adapt to the technologies. This was undoubtedly a valuable benefit from cooperating with ASKOM and Siemens.”

Improving the quality of production

Leveraging Opcenter Execution Discrete, which uses a set of standard and company-specific functionalities, ESTRA workers can more efficiently handle production orders, carrying out production processes faster while maintaining high-quality standards. Since machines verify most components, which helps reduce errors, the company can ensure product quality and detect any shortcomings at an earlier stage. This allows the company to take measures to avoid and minimize situations where corrective action would be necessary.

Since the ESTRA plant’s label management and quality control are more automated and precise, the company can reduce the risk of defective products. Additionally, by using Opcenter Execution Discrete, the company was able to introduce full production process traceability. This is important in the automotive sector for tracking every component, from the moment the raw material enters production to the final product. ESTRA can then store the information for the next 30 years.

By using an MES, which acts as the factory’s nervous system and brain, the company can digitally manage huge amounts of information, reducing paperwork. “We liken the MES to a policing system that keeps things in order,” says Wojtasz. “Every radiator we produce has its own identity in the system, receiving a code on its core in the process to track and record its history. This is how ESTRA, and our customers, know exactly where the product has been and how it behaved during each production stage.”null

By integrating Opcenter Execution with SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP), ESTRA was able to provide a consistent flow of information between the business and production systems. This helped the company increase their operational efficiency and improve production order and material data management. By transferring data between the system and the production line in real time, they were able to create a planned cycle time, reducing production cycle time to less than 1 minute.

Additionally, by integrating Opcenter Execution with the Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA) standard into the automation systems from various vendors, ESTRA was able to further automate production processes. Since companies collect process data directly from the machines, the systems provide valuable production line performance information, optimizing and preventing downtime. The production team has access to various key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time and uses them to make quick decisions, ensuring the factory’s efficiency and competitiveness in the automotive sector.

Further, ESTRA created a more flexible production process and improved company transparency by integrating vertical information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). For example, they were able to connect the shop floor to the top floor.

“Having this knowledge at our fingertips allows us to respond to problems of various degrees of severity,” says Wojtasz. “Using Opcenter, we can respond to trivial issues concerning the arrangement of product parts on the production line to more important issues like missing information that could result in corrective actions.”null

Moving towards further automation

The ESTRA factory in Zabrze is constantly evolving since the company is regularly bringing in new machines and production lines. ESTRA is implementing these improvements to meet specific customer needs and further automate the factory.

Next steps include implementing a preventive maintenance scheme to further reduce downtime. By using an MES system to organize data collected in real time from machines, the company can access information to define the scope of work for maintaining the line and machinery fleet.

Additionally, ESTRA aims to integrate Teamcenter® software, which is also part of Siemens Xcelerator, to achieve a closed-loop manufacturing process and a solution that includes product lifecycle management (PLM), ERP and MOM. This could provide ESTRA’s factory with further growth opportunities, enabling seamless information exchange and interaction in the physical and virtual worlds. Further, the company can take another step toward achieving operational excellence and reinforcing its position in the automotive sector.

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As the automotive industry evolves, new opportunities are opening via technologies; however, this can cause production quality, validation and certification challenges. Manufacturers like ESTRA are leveraging the support of trusted partners, like Siemens and ASKOM, and available solutions in their quest for excellence and innovation. “Thanks to Opcenter, our customers can get better products while we save money by minimizing the number of corrective actions,” says Wojtasz. ESTRA provides a model for other companies, showing how to effectively meet rigorous industry standards and customer expectations while keeping

processes safe and efficient.

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Opcenter helps medical device manufacturer reduce material release from days to minutes

Product: Opcenter
Industry: Medic

Terumo Americas is a global leader in medical device industry manufacturing life-supporting and sustaining Class III devices across four divisions over the last 50 years, including interventional systems, injection and infusion therapy devices and drug delivery devices.

Terumo Americas’ Siemens-based MES implementation over a decade ago resulted in the reduction of NCRs and complaints by 40 – 60%. In 2018, they built on this initial success with a larger digital transformation initiative. With SAP S/4HANA selected as its ERP, Terumo Americas leadership selected Siemens as its strategic partner for manufacturing operations management (MOM), implementing Siemens Opcenter Execution for Medical Device and Diagnostics. These would serve as the major enterprise systems for their digital factories around the world.

“We set out to build our digital factories of the future, this initiative was not about technology. It was about transforming the way we did business.” – Kalyan Balsubramanian, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Terumo Americas.

Terumo implemented Siemens Opcenter in their facility in Puerto Rico, with a go live on the same day as the SAP go live. They achieved what they considered the pinnacle of MES goals, the generation of eDHRs. They simultaneously went live at their largest site in Elkton, Maryland.

“Both implementations were extremely successful” said Rick Larrieu, Vice President of Global IT Applications and Infrastructure at Terumo Americas. “We leveraged Siemens’ expertise to help us build the roadmap and the implementation plan. We learned a lot from that experience, which will help us adapt for future deployments, as well as our integration with automation equipment.”

Terumo Americas’ goal was to integrate their business logistics layer, ERP, with their manufacturing operations layer, MOM, and connect with automation and sensors – ultimately building the framework for Industry 4.0. At the same time, Terumo needed to scale their production not only of quality products, but quality processes. The complexity of their compliance requirements, especially with the US FDA, were daunting.

“The transition to eDHRs has been of the utmost importance, before, we had to review a stack of papers 5 inches thick for the release of every material batch, which took a full day or more. With Opcenter, we are able to release batches in under 30 minutes.”

– Rick Larrieu Vice President of Global IT Applications and Infrastructure Terumo Americas

The paperless manufacturing environment delivered by Siemens Opcenter was transformational for productivity, as well as the streamlining of quality processes. Terumo found that their previous product nonconformances had been caused by paperwork and data entry errors. As the MES controlled each of the data entry points, they were able to reduce their nonconformances dramatically.

Another impact of digitalization was on the culture of the manufacturing organization. “This was not a technology initiative,” said Balsubramanian.

We leveraged the Siemens expertise to help us build the roadmap and the implementation plan. We learned a lot from that experience, which will help us adapt for future deployments, as well as our integration with automation equipment.”

– Rick Larrieu Vice President of Global IT Applications and Infrastructure Terumo Americas

14 Years Near You

We are celebrating our anniversary and we want to thank you for these 14 years,
remembering 14 ways in which we have been close to you

  1. Website: You will find our catalog of services and products, not to mention all the information we create weekly for you.
  2. Branches: We started in Chihuahua, Chih, and in 2022, we will expand by opening a new branch in Queretaro.
  3. Whatsapp: We put at your disposal one of the channels in which you can communicate with us very easily.
  4. Industrial Blog: You can find success stories, dates and repetitions of our Solid Edge Club.
  5. Tips and Tricks: We constantly publish useful tips, product presentations and tutorials.
  6. 3D Break: In less than 10 minutes, we tell you how additive manufacturing provides solutions to different companies.
  7. Webinars: Live sessions where you can learn or update your knowledge from our experts.
  8. Events and expos: We organize events and attend expos in different strategic cities.
  9. Social networks: With daily publications of reels, phrases, news and success stories, you can learn and know exclusive promotions of our solutions.
  10. Groups and clubs: We create communities where you can meet more people involved in the industry.
  11. Calls: We follow up on our activities, with the intention of knowing your doubts and offering you the best service.
  12. Visits: We schedule meetings directly in your company, taking the digital transformation to you.
  13. Surveys: It is very important for us to know your opinion of our service.
  14. And many more…
  15. Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

Powering sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing with factory simulation software

Product: Tecnomatix
Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Explore how Siemens Tecnomatix Plant Simulation and Opcenter solutions help to digitalize pharmaceutical manufacturing for sustainable efficiency.

In the heart of Glasgow, Scotland, the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) spearheads a transformative journey within the pharmaceutical (pharma) industry. CPI, technology innovation catalyst, opened the world leading MMIC to raise the bar in pharmaceutical manufacturing by redefining the future of pharmaceutical production with cutting-edge digital technology, collaborative expertise and more sustainable manufacturing practices. The MMIC is a unique collaboration between CPI and 23 partner organizations from all different sectors.

MMIC is an open-access collaborative innovation center specific to pharma manufacturing, meaning they work with numerous partners, such as industry giants like GSK, Pfizer and Novartis as well as partners from business, academia and government agencies Their collaboration for pharma manufacturing aims to deliver innovation that drives new processes and products into the pharma industry using Siemens digitalization solutions to tackle issues such as the development of more sustainable manufacturing processes.

The unique pharma manufacturing challenge

MMIC works with pharma companies, as well as technology companies and equipment manufacturers that provide technology to help the industry. However, one of the center’s challenges relates to maintaining the truest sense of collaboration through digitalization by creating a standard architecture that allows the factories to build consistently. This includes streamlining processes, accelerating development, and reducing waste and energy consumption, which is where Plant Simulation in the Tecnomatix® portfolio comes into play. By creating a digital twin based on real data, Tecnomatix empowers operators to optimize processes, minimize waste and enhance efficiency. Driving the center’s innovation engine is the digital twin. With it, pharma companies can design everything from the smallest single product, to manufacturing processes, to the entire factory, and detail and tweak each as needed. From identifying which materials work well to storing the the finished products, Tecnomatix Plant Simulation lets operators choose the right modules, conduct tests, and avoid bottlenecks.

The tool that we’ve used most for our digital twins for design is Tecnomatix. Our industrial partners set our digital ambition and my team delivers it.”

The major pharma’s success also lies in leveraging Siemens Opcenter™ Execution alongside Tecnomatix. This seamless integration among Siemens digital manufacturing software is a perfect example of how the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio ensures a streamlined experience for software users. Opcenter is a key element of the digital twin, ensuring the manufacturing execution is performed correctly and provides full traceability of the product and process. MMIC can now ensure information tracking, regulated process control and simplified approval processes. With customized dashboards consolidating data from various systems, personnel can make faster, more informed decisions, driving efficiency and agility.

Tecnomatix Plant Simulation and Opcenter software drive manufacturing success

At the core of innovation lies the digital twin, powered by Tecnomatix. The factory simulation software enables pharmaceutical companies to design and fine-tune every aspect of manufacturing processes, from individual products to entire factories. By simulation scenarios and identifying optimal solutions, Tecnomatix drives efficiency and minimizes waste. Not to mention, real-time data further enhances simulation accuracy, with Simatic® Real-time Location Services (RTLS) providing insights into object movement within the facility. This integration closes the loop between simulation and reality, facilitating continuous improvement and optimization.

Beyond efficiency gains, the center embraces sustainability as a core principle. Collaborating with Siemens consultants, MMIC was able to deploy automation, optimize processes and adopt smart building solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. The strive for sustainability is paramount for MMIC, which is enabled by Siemens digitalization solutions. Tecnomatix Plant Simulation emerges as a cornerstone in the pharmaceutical industry’s journey towards sustainability and efficiency. By optimizing processes, reducing waste and embracing digitalization, the MMIC sets a precedent for clean and sustainable manufacturing practices. With Tecnomatix as a driving success factor, the future of pharma manufacturing looks brighter, greener and more efficient than ever before.

OKQ8 Creates Future-proof Digital Depot Management

Sweden’s leading fuel company uses Siemens Digital Enterprise portfolio and partner PlantVision for digital transformation in the Oil and Gas Industry

OKQ8, one of Sweden’s largest fuel companies, has increased operational reliability with a fully automatic depot management solution. Using Siemens Digital Industries Software solution partner, PlantVision AB, and the Siemens Digital Enterprise portfolio, OKQ8 has fully automated the fuel loading and unloading process, with full control and traceability in a modern, future-proof system.

OKQ8 was struggling to streamline their depot management. They needed better traceability, reliability, and user assistance to meet their customer follow-up needs. They wanted to create a more stable and efficient solution using trusted products and implementation resources.

OKQ8 chose the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio and PlantVision as their partners for digital transformation. Using Siemens SIMATIC PCS 7, COMOS, SMIT and Opcenter Execution Process software, OKQ8 knew that they had trusted solutions that had been vetted in the industry. PlantVision’s expertise with this full portfolio of products ensured the success of the project.

“It is great to have integration between all systems,” said Johan Bergstrand, automation engineer at PlantVision. “Having a standardized and integrated platform with COMOS, SIMIT, Opcenter Execution Process and SIMATIC PCS 7 connects everything in one database. Recipe management, I/Os and all the information are in the same place and synced between the systems. It is smart engineering.”

OKQ8 says the handling, which consists of loading, unloading, inventory levels, administration and invoicing, is now fully automated. The result is a reliable, modern, future-proof and significantly more efficient and traceable solution for depot management that can also be used for follow up and documentation.

Read the entire case study to learn how OKQ8 leveraged Siemens’ solutions and partner PlantVision to transform their depot management, the details of their implementation, and key learnings for your own operations.

Siemens Energy announces the implementation of 1 megawatt of power generation through solar panels in Mexico.

Following Siemens Energy’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions globally, the company has announced that its plants in Querétaro and Guanajuato will begin generating electricity from solar photovoltaic energy. This initiative marks a significant step forward in its commitment to carbon neutrality.

During an event held at Siemens Energy’s plant in El Marqués, Querétaro, Javier Pastorino, General Manager for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, emphasized that the company’s goal is to achieve carbon neutrality in all its operations by 2030. In line with this goal, the electricity consumption of both plants will be completely covered by renewable sources, complemented by the acquisition of Clean Energy Certificates (CEL’s) for any additional consumption.

“By using electricity from renewable sources, our plants become 100% carbon neutral facilities,” the executive explained during his speech. He also shared Siemens Energy’s vision of the energy transition, which focuses on three pillars: energy efficiency, transmission and deep decarbonization.

In the first phase, the company aims to leverage its resources and the technology currently available in the market. “To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, emissions need to be reduced by 43% by 2030. The use of transition technologies, such as combined cycles, can help to far exceed this goal,” the executive pointed out.

In addition, the executive stressed that “There can be no transition without adequate transmission infrastructure”, which implies improving the development of the infrastructure available in the country to bring renewable energy to consumption centers. Finally, deep decarbonization implies the use of new technologies, such as green hydrogen. In this regard, he revealed that the company’s objective is to advance with this technology in the medium term until it becomes predominant in the market.

Regarding the development of hydrogen and energy transmission, Javier Pastorino stated that Mexico has great potential due to its renewable energy resources and infrastructure, such as ports, to export products derived from this technology. “We seek to have responsible operations, with a social commitment and respect for human rights, the environment and natural resources,” he said.

To date, Siemens Energy is involved in four combined cycle projects of the Federal Electricity Commission: Tuxpan, El Sauz, González Ortega and San Luis Río Colorado. In this sense, the company participates as a supplier of integral solutions, contributing 28% of CFE’s installed capacity in Mexico.

Siemens Energy’s presence in Mexico is also reflected in its 50% participation in the transmission network, more than 1,200 km of compressors in the gas compression networks, 3,000 MW installed in the national territory, and three factories in the Bajío region: high voltage switchgear in El Marqués and two transformer production plants in Guanajuato.

During his speech, Marco del Prete, Secretary of Sustainable Development of Querétaro, emphasized the collaboration of Siemens Energy in accordance with the public policy promoted by the state authorities. “The mission of the Secretariat is to promote economic development through projects such as this one. Today, global companies that adopt ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policies recognize the importance of environmental protection, which complements the Secretariat’s efforts.”

In addition, the official highlighted the State Seal in Low Carbon Emissions initiative, unique at the national level, driven by a tax on carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. “The funds generated go directly to the preservation and care of the forests of the Sierra Gorda de Querétaro. It is an economic benefit that goes hand in hand with environmental protection, and Siemens is one of the pioneers in adopting it,” he concluded.

BASF reduces batch production time by 5 – 10%


Using Siemens Opcenter, leading chemicals company streamlines production with digital manufacturing

BASF, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, has achieved the highest levels of operational excellence by streamlining the production of their crop protection solutions for soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. Their Xemium® product is an active and environmentally safe fungicide that enables highly reliable crop protection for greater yields, helping growers combine profitability with environment protection.

Xemium production runs 24 hours a day, 365 days per year and involves both continuous and batch processes as well as laboratory analyses for quality control and end-of-line packaging. BASF sought a digital solution that would help them reliably produce and package their fungicides, improve production transparency, and maximize productivity. They chose Siemens Opcenter as their foundation for digital manufacturing.

Opcenter allowed BASF to create vertical process integration, closing the digital gap between ERP and SCADA systems. Quality control was integrated throughout their digitalized production processes, with handheld scanners improving their data acquisition from operations.

The result was a complete digital thread that streamlined their manufacturing operations, reducing their batch production time by 5 to 10 percent. They were able to eliminate 5 days of manual paperwork per month by digitalizing their processes and capturing production data automatically. Their fungicide supply was delivered on a more timely schedule for their customers, promoting sustainable, high-yield farming.

GROB automates manufacturing of CNC machines for the automotive industry

Product: NX CAM
Industry: Automotive

GROB-WERKE GmbH & Co. KG (GROB) is a family-owned company and leading manufacturer of production plants and CNC machines for the automotive industry, ranging from universal machining centers to fully automated production and assembly systems.

GROB faces several business challenges, including:

  • Designing leading-edge automotive production equipment
  • Using standardization to manage high customization level
  • Relying on global engineering collaboration
  • Maintaining their leadership position in competitive industry

GROB owes a large part of its success thanks to the ability to anticipate and quickly respond to changing market trends using a high level of automation. With Siemens’ Xcelerator software portfolio, GROB’s engineers can design, engineer, and manufacture production equipment and CNC machines for the automotive industry.

Automate CNC machines in the automotive industry with NX CAM

GROB engineers create a digital twin of each production machine and line using NX. They also use NX CAM to automatically create CNC programs using Feature-Based Machining. This capability helps GROB’s programmers to create a machining rule library containing standard bore types, pockets and surface definitions, including the tools required for machining operations. Before sending the CNC programs to the machine tools, the engineers simulate complete machining processes using the NX CAM’s machining simulation capabilities, ensuring error-free production on the shop floor.

To better collaborate, the engineers exchange 3D models between production facilities, using Teamcenter as the central information hub. These models are then CNC programed locally, making it easier for the engineers at each facility to adjust the CNC programs according to the available resources and equipment.

Using NX CAM for fea­ture-based machining helped us automate design and CNC programming work. Recognizing 95 percent of GROB standard bore types and 70 to 80 percent of other fea­tures, the automatic feature recognition has reduced CNC programming time by 30 percent and considerably reduced the number of different tools used.

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