Thought Leadership

Published article: Getting smarter with smart manufacturing

By Bill Butcher

In a recently published article in Manufacturing Automation, Bill Davis, Solution Director of Industrial Machinery and Heavy Equipment Industry for Siemens Digital Industries Software, discusses how smart manufacturing helps optimize the manufacturing machine process: creating the machine, executing it, manufacturing and extending its service life. 

Bill Davis
Bill Davis, Director of Industrial Machinery and Heavy Equipment Solutions at Siemens Digital Industries Software

It creates a growth path for entering a dynamic marketplace. Subsequently, this provides many benefits, including improving manufacturing throughput, uptime, performance and minimizing costs.

Providing machine capabilities and manufacturing digitalization

Smart manufacturing also allows machine manufacturers and designers to create more value by closing the loop between manufacturing operations and engineering, thus creating growth in this respected technology.

The digital twin is also essential to smart manufacturing, enabling a holistic approach to simulate a machine, which incorporates the mechanical, electrical and programmable logic control (PLC). The next crucial step is linking the digital twin of the product with the machine’s digital twin.

Maximizing smart manufacturing with digital twin, robotics and bill of materials

Machines use several design capabilities to further smart manufacturing, including connectability, adaptability, predictability and extendability.

Smart manufacturing provides intelligence to every area of the manufacturing process, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0. It combines intelligence with the machines, parts, materials, products, building and supply chain. It also supplies intelligence to a connected, open end-to-end process and infrastructure. Therefore, data becomes the focal point – not the system.

This process requires building the part, executing it, managing delivery, manufacturing, operations and quality. Subsequently, manufacturing operations drives greater efficiencies by harmonizing all these activities to deliver the correct parts at the precise time.

Also, recent advancements in part manufacturing require CAM software to capitalize on production capacity. Therefore, robotics is becoming a staple in today’s manufacturing environment, with machining and human-assist robots (cobots). Assimilating advanced robotics is essential to the smart manufacturing solution to simulate robot performance and integrate it on the factory floor.

Additionally, with massive machine complexity, a bill-of-materials (BOM) requires smart manufacturing. The BOM provides functional displays, showing their purpose while tracing each to a single source of truth, extending from the engineering bill of material to the manufacturing bill of material.

These many capabilities assist companies in adopting innovative processes to improve the machine’s overall performance, thus refining products, processes, resolving failures, and improving machinery operations.

Lastly, with these technological advancements in the machinery industry, it’s driving companies to realize the necessary implications of Industry 4.0, resulting in trends such as consumer-driven customization, smart machines, hyper-automation and highly innovative competition globally. These are improving machine performance by refining products, processes, resolving failures and improving machine operation.

Siemens Digital Industries Software is driving transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing and electronics design meet tomorrow. Xcelerator, the comprehensive and integrated portfolio of software and services from Siemens Digital Industries Software, helps companies of all sizes create and leverage a comprehensive digital twin that provides organizations with new insights, opportunities and automation levels to drive innovation.

Learn more about smart manufacturing from Bill Davis’ article.

Also, for more information on Siemens Digital Industries Software products and services, visit or follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Siemens Digital Industries Software – Where today meets tomorrow.

About the author
Bill Davis
is the Solution Director of Industrial Machinery and Heavy Equipment Industry for Siemens Digital Industries Software. His experience and insights have been acquired from a career spanning 30 years in engineering and operations management with machinery and heavy equipment companies.  Bill holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Marquette University, with a concentration in Operations Management and Strategic Marketing, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering.

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