Closing the loop

By Christian Kelley

The first of the product sessions started with Chuck Grindstaff, the products lead for Siemens PLM Software giving an overview of the Archimedes use cases that were introduced last year.  If you don’t recall what those are, here’s a quick recap:

  • Engineering for the Digital Factory

  • Hi-fi machining

  • Harmonized lifecycles

  • Mechatronics

  • Extended PLM for the CPG Industry

After Chuck gave the overview we got some details on hifi machining from Michael Weyrich in the Motion Control group.  Hi-fi machining, also known as CAM/CNC integration is focused on providing tools to machine tool builders that allow them to create complete and exact virtual models of their physical machines that they can deliver with their machines to enhance the value to the end user.  The main components of this solution are:

  • a virtual machine that sits under NX CAM that captures all of the unique tool characteristics from the real controller and machine, rather than an abstracted generic model – improves speed and confidence. 

  • A use interface on the PC for the CAM-CNC programmer and the CNC Operator that looks just like the real controller and a 3D simulation that acts just like the real machine that will increase the speed with which production can start

Next we heard more details on how you can go from virtual process simulation of how an overall factory will work all the way to the programming of the individual automation controllers from Dr. Wolfgang Schloegl. 


This integration removes the barriers between plant designers, plant operators and shop floor worker and enables you to virtually commission the entire setup of a factory for both mechanical and electrical.  This is where I got to see the live demonstration I was waiting for. I may be able to get a video up later today, but the short version is Wolfgang showed the whole process, from conceptual layout of a factory all the way through PLC code. 

We heard about the third use case that was described in detail today from Giorgio Cuttica. who talked about extended PLM for CPG. 


The main focus of this use case is being able to go from idea to production of food, beverage and other consumables more quickly by connecting the former silos of formula management, process orchestration, specification management, package design, traceability of requirements, and shop floor MES.

After a great overview from Huw Evans from Unilever (separate post on that later), the morning session was concluded by Dr. Helmuth Ludwig, the CEO of Siemens PLM Software.  Helmuth talked about the strategic focus of the business, specifically:


    1. Maintain focus

    2. Drive growth

    3. Strengthen Market Leadership


“We did not make our numbers last year…we did quite a bit better”

Helmuth made a very strong case for why Siemens PLM software is on the right path and is working really well with the rest of Siemens.

What is clear from these presentations is that the ‘talk’ from last year of connecting the virtual and physical is now very real.  This integration is having two impacts:

  1. The virtual models are becoming more detailed and specific to unique equipment, whether it be CAM controllers or automation PLCs, which will provide much more realistic simulation results.

  2. The connections between process simulation and actual production is becoming much tighter, reducing the time and error rate in moving from one domain and more importantly one phase of the product and production lifecycle to the next.

The connection between the realities being shown at this event, not only through demonstration but more importantly from real customers who are in production and seeing the value and last years event where we laid out the future as part of Siemens could be stronger.  Pretty clear that we continue to be the company that does what we say we are going to do.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at