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30 July, 2021

Siemens links up with Google to ease use of AI in manufacturing

19 April, 2021

Siemens and Google Cloud have announced a cooperation designed to optimise factory processes and improve productivity on the shop floor. Siemens plans to integrate Google Cloud’s data cloud and AI/ML (artificial intelligence/machine learning) technologies with its own factory automation systems to help manufacturers to innovate.

The partners say that their combined technologies will allow manufacturers to harmonise their factory data, run cloud-based AI/ML models on top of that data, and deploy algorithms at the network edge. They are targetting applications such as the visual inspection of products, or predicting the wear-and-tear of machines on assembly lines.

Siemens and Google say that many manufacturers are still using legacy software and multiple systems to analyse plant information, which is resource-intensive and requires frequent manual updates to ensure accuracy. In addition, while many manufacturers have deployed AI projects in “islands” across factory floors, they have struggled to implement AI at scale across their global operations.

Deploying AI to factories and integrating it into automation systems and networks currently requires specialised expertise and technologies such as Siemens Industrial Edge. The goal of the cooperation between Google Cloud and Siemens is to make it easier to deploy AI in connection with the edge and to manage it at scale, automating mundane shopfloor tasks and improving quality.

“The potential for artificial intelligence to radically transform the plant floor is far from being exhausted,” says Axel Lorenz, vice-president of control and factory automation at Siemens Digital Industries. “Many manufacturers are still stuck in AI pilot projects today – we want to change that. Combining AI/ML technology from Google Cloud with Siemens’ solutions for Industrial Edge and industrial operation will be a game-changer for the manufacturing industry.”

Siemens and Google Cloud hope that their new cooperation will make it easier for manufacturers to deploy AI across their operations

“Siemens is a leader in advancing industrial automation and software, and Google Cloud is a leader in data analytics and AI/ML,” adds Dominik Wee, Google Cloud’s managing director for manufacturing and industrial. “This cooperation will combine the best of both worlds and bring AI/ML to the manufacturing industry at scale. By simplifying the deployment of AI in industrial use cases, we’re helping employees augment their critical work on the shop floor.”

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