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Siemens to invest €1bn in industrial metaverse hub

13 July, 2023

Siemens has announced plans to invest around €1bn in Germany, including €500m to establish a new Technology Campus in Erlangen, which will combine development work with high-tech manufacturing. The centre will focus on sustainable and future-oriented high-tech manufacturing, related r&d activities, and on creating an ecosystem of partners from the business and scientific communities.

The €1bn investment is part of a €2bn global investment package unveiled last month, which is focused on new manufacturing capacities, innovation labs and education centres. Outside Germany, this includes a €200m high-tech factory in Singapore and an r&d centre in China which will focus on motion control developments. Siemens is also building a new headquarters in Spain at a cost of around €160m.

The company wants to establish Erlangen as a global research and development hub and the nucleus of its global technology activities for the industrial metaverse. It says these steps will enable it to accelerate its growth, drive innovation and increase its resilience.

“Siemens is banking on innovation in Germany and launching the next stage of digitalisation: we’re laying the foundation for the industrial metaverse,” says president and CEO, Roland Busch. “We’re combining the real and the digital worlds. Together with partners, we’re developing new digital technologies in the metaverse and revolutionising how we’ll run our production in the future – much more efficiently, flexibly and sustainably.”

The company is strengthening its Erlangen location as a hub for digital production – for example, through the industrial metaverse, and using technologies such as industrial 3D printing and innovative power electronics.

The Erlangen site is already home to around 3,500 Siemens employees, producing industrial automation and digitalisation products. Manufacturing of technologies such as power electronic components and machine tool controls is already highly automated, with humans and robots working side by side.

With the new investment, Siemens says it is creating a blueprint for the industrial metaverse – a real-time, photorealistic virtual representation of the world, based on physics. AI (artificial intelligence) will help to create the next generation of high-tech, sustainable manufacturing, which can respond flexibly to market changes.

Siemens is planning its new Erlangen Technology Campus digitally, before a single brick is laid

As well as building the new technology campus, Siemens is planning to convert existing facilities in Erlangen and to expand the site.

Before construction work begins, the new buildings for r&d, production and logistics will be planned and simulated digitally. They will then be implemented in the real world. Entire factory layouts will be optimised in exact digital replicas, and then readjusted in the real world using the industrial metaverse.

Siemens announced its investment plans in the presence of the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said: “This investment is a strong signal for Germany as a location for innovation and production. The leading-edge manufacturing facility being built in Erlangen is a good example of how our economy is moving toward a climate-neutral future – as a strong industrial country with good sustainable jobs.”

Siemens employs about 86,000 people in Germany. It says it is investing in the future viability and innovative strength of Germany as an industrial location to deliver its products from Germany to the entire world.

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