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Siemens develops AI manufacturing tool with Microsoft

13 November, 2023

Microsoft and Siemens have jointly developed an AI-powered assistant – called Siemens Industrial Copilot – aimed at improving human-machine collaboration in manufacturing. They are also integrating Siemens’ Teamcenter PLM (product lifecycle management) software with Microsoft Teams to simplify virtual collaboration between design engineers and others, thus helping to pave the way to the industrial metaverse.

“With this next generation of AI, we have a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation across the entire industrial sector,” says Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chairman and CEO. “We’re building on our longstanding collaboration with Siemens and bringing together AI advances across the Microsoft Cloud with Siemens’ industrial domain expertise to empower both frontline and knowledge workers with new, AI-powered tools, starting with Siemens Industrial Copilot.”

“Together with Microsoft, our shared vision is to empower customers with the adoption of generative AI,” adds Siemens CEO, Roland Busch. “This has the potential to revolutionise the way companies design, develop, manufacture, and operate. Making human-machine collaboration more widely available allows engineers to accelerate code development, increase innovation and tackle skilled labour shortages.”

The Copilot will allow users to generate, optimise and debug complex automation code rapidly, and to shorten simulation times significantly, cutting tasks that previously took weeks, to minutes. The Copilot ingests automation and process simulation information from the Siemens Xcelerator open digital business platform, and enhances it with Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service. Customers keep full control over their data, and it is not used to train underlying AI models.

Siemens and Microsoft say that the Industrial Copilot will boost productivity and efficiency across the entire industrial lifecycle. Using natural language, it can provide detailed repair instructions for maintenance staff, and give engineers quick access to simulation tools.

The companies envisage AI copilots assisting professionals in a variety of industries including manufacturing, infrastructure, transportation and healthcare. They are already planning numerous copilots in manufacturing sectors such as automotive, consumer package goods and machine-building.

Schaeffler is one of the first companies in the automotive sector to apply generative AI in the engineering phase. This is helping its engineers to generate reliable code for programming automation systems such as robots. The company intends to incorporate the Siemens Industrial Copilot into its operations to cut downtime, and will also offer it to clients at a later stage.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella with Siemens CEO Roland Busch: envisaging AI copilots assisting professionals in a variety of industries

“With this joint pilot, we're stepping into a new age of productivity and innovation,” says Schaeffler Group CEO, Klaus Rosenfeld. “Siemens Industrial Copilot will help our team work more efficiently, reduce repetitive tasks, and unleash creativity. We're excited to partner with Siemens and Microsoft on this project.”

To bring virtual collaboration across teams to the next level, a new app called Teamcenter for Microsoft Teams will be available from December 2023. It uses generative AI to link people involved in product design and manufacturing to engineering teams. It will connect Siemens’ Teamcenter software for product lifecycle management (PLM) with Microsoft’s Teams collaboration platform to make data more accessible for factory and field service workers. This will allow workers who do not have access to PLM tools today to contribute to the design and manufacturing process as part of their daily work.

Siemens will reveal more details about Siemens Industrial Copilot at the SPS exhibition in Germany.

Siemens:  Twitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

Microsoft Azure:  Twitter  LinkedIn

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