Accenture: the state of cloud for industrial companies
“To ride out the disruption created by COVID-19 and thrive in the post-pandemic world, industrial CEOs must embark on a program of reinvention,” comments Accenture.
Within the report, Accenture highlights eight themes that are supporting accelerations for industrial companies, three of which directly related to cloud technology.
1. Growth, now & next
To retain and attract customers in the future, Accenture explains that industrial companies need to “urgently accelerate the move to service-driven revenues and resilient service operations,” increasing them to 30 to 50% of revenue by 2030.
Such demand challenges will see industrial organisations finding cloud platforms essential to enable as-a-service models, “providing options for pay-as-you-go/outcome-based models for new markets and segments with infrastructure that can scale, expand and shrink as required,” adds Accenture.
Cloud can also be vital for predictive maintenance for smart connected products, as well as enable a remote field workforce to address customers needs in real time, remotely and securely. “As products become smarter and more connected, cloud can be leveraged to stand up infrastructure, systems, and processes to monitor Internet of Things (IoT) device data for anomalies and alerts, and proactively provide real-time services to customers,” says Accenture.
2. Speed (smart connected products & services)
In order to increase resilience in the supply chain, visibility must be “extended far beyond the boundaries of an organisation’s four walls,” comments Accenture, who continues to explain that, “industrial businesses are critically dependent on a network of suppliers, which often reach beyond primary suppliers to secondary or even tertiary suppliers.”
To increase resilience this extended supply chain network needs to be integrated to create greater operational visibility, which cloud can provide.
In addition industrial companies can also benefit from the use of AI and machine learning within their cloud platforms for real time demand-sensing and forecasting insights to further increase their supply chain resilience.
3. Cost (Fit for Purpose)
“From an IT operations perspective, migrating on-premises applications to the cloud should be a priority for industrial companies seeking to shift from capital to operating expenditure.,” states Accenture, who reports that cloud can provide financial flexibility, the ability to increase or decrease infrastructure capacity, and the capacity to onboard new partners faster.
Finally Accenture highlights the need for industrial companies to achieve seamless integration, as well as provide interoperability for new modern manufacturing capabilities that leverage IoT on production lines. “To achieve this, they need to evaluate cloud models for manufacturing execution (MES) and product life cycle management (PLM) systems, which can provide speed and agility.”
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.