Human-centred innovation in a digital world.

Today we are facing many current disruptions where we need to react fast and intelligently. There are many situations we are facing that is a race against time. As we continue to respond to Covid-19, technology has the power to reduce the complexity often faced, speed up and contribute to solutions that help resolve pressing issues.

We recognize that equally as important as the technology are the people using the technology. Having people at the centre of designs enables more intelligent, rapid and lasting innovation.  The Digital Twin is where data from the physical and virtual world come together and is increasingly where people and technology come together to resolve many of today’s challenges.

Applying human-centred innovation

Tony Hemmelgarn, the CEO of Siemens Digital Industries Software, presented “Human-centred Innovation” at the Hannover Messe show (April 12th to 16th, 2021), which was held in a virtual environment.

Siemens provided a three-day event showcasing their hardware and software solutions and many other technological innovations.

Tony touched on how digital technology is being used to solve today’s present issues and how working with the comprehensive digital twin and having people at the heart of the design make a significant contribution to some current challenges.

Throughout the presentations, the digital twin was positioned as the catalyst for change, with the digital twin featured in nearly every presentation and across the stories of Siemens customers from multiple industries.

The powerful engine with digitalization

I see this digital twin as the powerful engine under the Siemens bonnet to drive growth and Industrial and Societal Transformation. The digital twin spans so much in industry and changing the products we use through its predictive, modelling, optimizing approach.

Recently Frost and Sullivan praised the Siemens Software portfolio: “such a diverse line of solutions offered in a modular, open portfolio makes Xcelerator a game-changing catalyst for companies of all sizes.”

Tony’s examples show the power of Human-centred innovation and how digitally enabled software solutions have been in powerful use to resolve critical issues in the past year.

The rapid need for Vaccines

In the past, vaccine development has traditionally been a process measured in years, if not decades. Over the last ten years, new vaccine technologies have been increasingly available. Fast forward to today and the crisis we all face with COVID-19, we needed a rapid acceleration of vaccines from discovery through trial validation and production ramp-up. Already most of the major pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies had some levels of vaccine platform technologies.

American pharmaceutical company Moderna took 42 days to produce an experimental vaccine. GSK, in collaboration with Atos and Siemens, have been building and ramping up their vaccine facilities and have successfully developed a digital process twin through an innovative partnership. Just announced is the collaborative work that Siemens has been doing with BioNTech, converting existing facilities in Germany to produce the mRNA-vaccine project.

With a digital twin, Siemens’ customers use different technologies to create a virtual world where research and development can explore new therapies and vaccines. A digital twin can simulate the process like cell culture, fermentation, formulation and filling. A digital twin combines all biological processes and physical models into a single integrated virtual image. The power of Siemens’ simulation and automation has enabled the “race against time.”

The pharmaceutical and life science industry embraces technology to accelerate research and development to production by recognising the value of simulation and modelling by merging the virtual and physical worlds. This allows infinite opportunities from industrial data to extend and build out the digital twin capabilities faster, more expanding ways with a greater push towards a complete embrace of digital transformation.

Keeping Us Safe for Resuming Travel

We all have had imposed on us severe travel restrictions. Airlines are looking to encourage us back onto their planes. Using Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio, the need was to design and simulate air quality.

Using part of the solutions available by simulating airflow, calculating filter rates, the ability to design a filter for cabin air to change every 2-3 minutes was tackled. The ability to simulate and analyse detailed sensing data allowed for modelling and finding a more optimal design that has progressed to more innovative and safe solutions for air quality.

The Digital Manufacturing Factory

Manufacturing that has been taking their digital journey before the COVID-19 crisis was equally hit but have been far more able to react, adjust and reposition themselves in a particularly challenging, volatile time.

Initially, to get Manufacturing restarted, Siemens Digital Industries Software introduced workplace distancing solutions to manage that “next or new normal” in manufacturing.

Extending out the Digitally Connected Factory

Across the Siemens Virtual event held in Hannover Messe week, the examples of so many changes that have been enabled by the use of digital solutions, especially the Digital Twin contribution. You can view these by first registering even after the event has closed to view these significant stories of how the Digital Twin has radically altered the design and management of different industries, plants, and adaptive approaches to design.

Siemens Digital Industries Software approach’s foundation is Xcelerator; it is at the core of the strategy.

This integrated portfolio of software, services, and an application development platform for electronic and mechanical design, system simulation, manufacturing, operations, and lifecycle analytics.

As pointed out in this talk, the three levers provide a comprehensive digital twin, a personalized adaptable and modern approach and a flexible open ecosystem but delivering in a closed loop to individual needs.

The story around Human-centred innovation shows the power of technology.

As Tony states, Siemens’ Digital Enterprise solutions are solving not just today’s challenges but tomorrows. The digital twin is all around us if we look and explore digitalization and gain productivity in new, exciting, and accelerating ways. It is becoming essential, for example, in managing across a manufacturing plant, designing a new aircraft or modelling our cities.

The digital twin brings solutions to life quickly; it can provide generative design techniques, allow for mass customisation, it is flexible and self-organizing. It is a compelling digital solution.

As we learn to merge the physical and virtual worlds, it is the ingenuity of the people that are at the centre of the design that enables this more intelligent, raid and lasting innovation that derives from the application of all within the Siemens digital twin, they drive the imagination and curiosity to solve complexity.

Reference Links

The Siemens Hannover Messe event. Register through this link for on-demand viewing:


Disclaimer: This article is published in partnership with Siemens. Siemens is paying for my engagement, not for promotional purpose. Opinions are my own. #SIEx




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