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New Challenges for Process Industries

Siemens strives for synthesis between hardware and software companies

| Author: Gerd Kielburger

Siemens Division CEO Jürgen Brandes: "Industries that are facing a change need speed and innovation. Here our holistic concept can be applied. It's not just about engineering. It's not just about uniform data storage. It's about deriving optimization from this data to raise the company to the next level of productivity."
Siemens Division CEO Jürgen Brandes: "Industries that are facing a change need speed and innovation. Here our holistic concept can be applied. It's not just about engineering. It's not just about uniform data storage. It's about deriving optimization from this data to raise the company to the next level of productivity." (Bild: PROCESS)

The race for the competitive advantages through Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and digitalization has begun. Siemens Division Head Dr. Jürgen Brandes gives insights on how Siemens will optimally support the challenges in the process industries with more speed, innovation, shortening of the Time to Market, flexibility and efficiency. This can happen only through more industry expertise, open interfaces and Coopetition. No doubt: The Siemens world is becoming more open.

? Mr. Brandes, about two years back Siemens set-up the new Division Process Industries and Drives with a restructuring. The initial euphoria about the restructuring was followed by a very short term of your predecessor. After less than one year he had to leave. In the meantime the global economic conditions have deteriorated. How do you want to bring the division forward?

Brandes: Firstly, I am happy that this division was founded in this form because we have taken a customer oriented approach with focus on the industry. Even in the division names we want to show that it is not just about putting products and solutions on the counter but it’s about speaking the customer’s language, showing the industry know-how and positioning ourselves, depending on what the customer wants, in such a way that we become an even better partner of our customer. We were always good in the industries indigenous to Germany, like the chemical industry or the pharmaceutical industry. On the contrary we have pent-up demand in the areas that are not indigenous to Germany, like the oil and gas industry.

? And today this demand is faltering due to the low oil prices. According to the statements of a manager magazine, it is leading to considerable sales declines for Siemens.

Brandes: I cannot confirm this. The sales have not really declined to this degree, I can assure you of that. However, even we have been affected by the decline in the oil and gas industry. At the same time we can compensate these declines through targeted growth fields to some extent and interestingly not just through those fields that are currently on everyone's lips. Digitalization and automation, but in the field of drive technology with growth fields in the areas of traction or renewable energies.

? It’s not just the user industries that are on the way to digitalization but even Siemens is itself undergoing a transformation process—according to the company’s own statement it is becoming one of the largest industry-software companies. When will this process be complete?

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