Salesforce: COVID-19 drives manufacturing cloud adoption
"As manufacturers recover from the pandemic, we’ve seen a digital divide leaving some manufacturers prepared for the future of the industry, and others struggling to meet evolving expectations. Today, every company is a technology company, manufacturers who adopt such a mindset — moving operations to the cloud, leveraging automation, and creating digital experiences for the customer — can help position their companies for success over the next decade,” commented John Kelleher, Area Vice President, Enterprise Sales UK at Salesforce.
Surveying almost 750 global leaders in the manufacturing industry across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Salesforce in particular looked at future-ready manufacturers and unprepared manufacturers.
Four Key themes were uncovered from the survey:
- Uncertainty resulted in a pressing need for business agility, as well as an opportunity to reimagine business functions
- The pandemic has permanently altered customer related roles
- Digitalisation will be key to being agile and future-ready
- New business models will also be important to forward-looking strategies in manufacturing
Findings from the Salesforce report
- With 76 per cent of manufacturers agreeing that “traditional forecasting has gone out the window,” 81 per cent believe that they need new approaches and new tools for accurate forecasting, with the same per cent also considering moving their planning process to the cloud as a critical/high priority.
- Top five priorities of the next two years for manufacturers include: increasing process efficiencies (88 per cent); demand planning (88 per cent); digital transformation (86 per cent); new service offerings (81 per cent); and shop floor systems (81 per cent).
- 36 per cent of future-ready manufacturers feel very prepared for the next 10 years, while 55 per cent of prepared manufacturers feel adequately prepared, and 9 per cent of unprepared manufacturers feel somewhat prepared.
- 95 per cent of manufactures expect some changes in manufacturing as a result of the pandemic to remain permanent.
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.