Day 1 Highlights: 2019 Plant Simulation Americas User Conference

By Noam Ribon
We are a few minutes before show time. The curtains slide to darken the room.
9:00AM sharp. The large silver door slowly swings to a close.
‘Welcome, and Welcome Back!’ the slide projects.
Stephanie Aldrete’s hard work promoting the event in all social media channels pays off. I am delighted to see new faces, representing long time customers joining us for the first time, new customers, and old friends, who joined us for our first ever Americas Plant Simulation Americas Users Conference last year.
What a Power House!
So here I was again. My smiling face not able to hide the happiness, excitement, and joy in my heart. In front of me some of the best operators of Plant Simulation in the region, if not the world. To my right, our local magicians, Ryan Diehl, Ray Ahmad, and Doug Hoch, and to my left …, to my left, no other than our one and only Plant Simulation Product Manager, Georg Piepenbrock.
Accordingly, the 2019 Plant Simulation Americas User Conference team took careful consideration constructing the Agenda, aiming to give back, showing our appreciation for the time and money each one of our attendees invested to be here. These Users could have achieved many other tasks and goals in those two days yet chose to join us.
Thank you!
Users did I say? We at Siemens call them Users. Well … they use the software. To their colleagues and organizations, they are top notch professionals matched with Plant Simulation and other Digital tools that multiply the value they bring. This was evident by the presentations shared. More on that later.
Back to the Agenda, we were fortunate to have a participant from last year approach us, asking how he can contribute to this year’s Conference.
Note: for privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not share names of non-Siemens employees, and will only lightly touch on their presentations. Some exceptions apply. Presenters are encouraged to write their own blog sharing their important work. If accompanied by a release form non-Siemens presentations are posted on our Community site.
Last year’s conference participants gave us some great ideas. With that inspiration we honed the 2019 Agenda to reflect the suggestions. The added sessions complemented well our guiding principles:
    1. Attendees want to hear from their counterparts, we should seek user presentations
    1. When Siemens presents, it should add value to already power operators
    1. It is all about the discussions, idea exchange, debates, as well as open questions, requests, and feedback to Siemens helping guide our next releases.
Can we already get to the Agenda? What about the rest of the event? Can you tell us a bit more? Should we consider participating next year?
So, let me tell you about it all.
The event opened with, what other message than: Digitalization. Digitalization and the Digital Enterprise is what we do here at Siemens. But it had a place. It was not simply an infomercial to captive audience. As in last year, we proposed to our participants that their profession and skill set – Simulation – let me take it back – building the Digital Twin (that’s better), is central to what we hear everywhere in today’s world: Digitalization, the Digital Enterprise and Industry 4.0. Our participants can, and do, play a central role in that journey.
The short session articulated two messages:
    1. It is no longer just about the application itself, but also about its adjacent Digital environment: this message was aligned with the one of the great suggestions we had from our last year participant.
        1. The Digital Twin of Performance and how Plant Simulation can be part of it: IIoT and MindSphere presentation
            1. The Production environment and how Plant Simulation can be part of it: MES or the Time Machine with Alexa presentation
              In 2018’s Conference we shared slides and movies showing how the simulation, no, the Digital Twin, plays a central role in those adjacent technologies. This year we allocated sessions to these topics in the context of Plant Simulation.
      The information backbone, and how Plant Simulation can be part of it: Line Designer live demo session
Georg presenting at 2018 Plant Simulation Worldwide User Conference.JPGGeorg Piepenbrock, Product Manager, Plant SimulationThe event continued with Georg’s Product Review, Roadmap and More, followed by V15 What’s New by Ryan and Doug … and, before we knew it – lunch time. Thank you Maria for flawless operations – little did we know this was just the start for Maria. 
Afternoon sessions were kicked off by a great customer presentation. This is when the real event starts I said half-jokingly, because it is all about what our customers achieve with our software. It was thought provoking to listen to how that customer combines the concept of 2D (quick and simple) on one end, with 3D (detailed and crisp) on the other. We had a good discussion afterward exploring that combination.
Georg followed with the presentation, ‘SimTalk Deep Dive’, which tied nicely to the previous presentation showing off great work with SimTalk. I must admit, I learned a few things from Georg about efficient ways to create Methods, and the impact of using a long path vs. an anonymous identifier. Find out yourself which is more efficient by checking out Georg’s presentation on the Tecnomatix Plant Simulation User Conference forum on the Siemens Community site.
Oakland University came out three strong, with Professor Van Til, heading the ISE @ OU Program (Industrial Systems  Engineering), Professor Joe Finkelstein, and OU’s ISE M.S. Student. We learned of the excellent programs OU offers, including a unique Internship program aimed at SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) which I thought was another innovative product from OU. Professor Joe stressed his classes prepare students for the real world by honing and focusing on presentation skills, and OU’s ISE M.S. Student, demonstrated Joe’s point, by delivering a flawless and professional presentation about his Plant Simulation project.
We ended with a Partner presentation which was a perfect ending to the first day. The presentation reminded us all that while we engineers love the details and can easily get in the weeds, it is all about the way we present and report to those who end up making the decisions. I can think of many times I could have used that advice.
While the presentation portion ended for the day, there was more to come. Those who chose to stay could join Georg for a hands-on open topic training session, and some indeed took advantage of it. I guess that session was well received, since I had to stop by and pull Georg and a customer out when it came time for dinner.
Others had a live Virtual Reality experience delivered by both Ryan, showcasing Process Simulate Siemens developed VR application, and our last year participant who brought his organization’s portable kit showcasing Plant Simulation Virtual Reality by more3d , a Siemens Partner. I am told the latest version of more3d features collaboration! Both live experiences helped the discussion Wednesday, but I am getting ahead of myself.
Dinner at Plant Simulation Americas User Conference 2019.jpgWe were not done yet! Maria pulled her magic again, and organized a Siemens sponsored dinner at the Bahama Breeze Restaurant. I cannot vouch for everyone joining us, but I know I had a good time. Conversations flowed, and the food was great. As a matter of fact, two groups of attendees stayed behind after I left, so it is safe to say everyone had a good time. Thanks Maria!
So all good things must come to an end, but we had another exciting day in front of us. Come back tomorrow, same time and read all about it!
Plant Simulation Americas 2019 dinner.jpg
Noam Ribon is a Senior Business Consultant for Siemens Digital Industries Software

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