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Siemens Drive Technologies: one-stop shopping for drive train

“With our integrated drive systems, we have what the market is looking for,” Wolfgang Weissler, Vice President, Drive Technologies, Siemens Ltd.
Siemens has been present in India for more than a century and manufacturing motors for the market since 1966. Today, the company is able to provide innovative and integrated products and systems for the manufacturing and process industries as well as the energy and infrastructure segments. In an exclusive interview with OEM Update, Wolfgang Weissler shares why there is hardly any other company that has the same complete portfolio as Siemens Drive Technologies (DT) Division.
Drive Technologies is a major business division of Siemens. How is the recent demand-supply scenario?The current economic situation in India does not show GDP growth what we all would like to see. The pre-election phase slows down government investments, and the private sector will wait for the election result before launching new projects. There is certainly significant money waiting to be invested into India. We will see the results not before the last quarter of 2014. To bridge the time, India’s industry is focusing on productivity improvements to be ready when business picks up again. We are happy to offer solutions which would help our customers improve their productivity. We also expect a growth beyond the general GDP for the foreseeable future. As India catches up with China and the other Asian markets, improving ‘productivity’ will be one of the key drivers for the years to come.
With our integrated drive systems, we have what the market is looking for — an offering that allows for higher productivity, shorter time to profit and lower energy consumption.
What is your market share in this business?Being a listed company, we cannot reveal sector- or division-specific market shares. Siemens has been present in India for more than a century and manufacturing motors for the market since 1966. Given this lineage and our in-depth understanding of the local needs, we are able to provide innovative and integrated products and systems for the manufacturing and process industries as well as the energy and infrastructure segments. We address key industry priorities to help our customers reduce costs and strengthen their competitiveness in productivity, energy efficiency and reliability. There is hardly any other company that has the same complete portfolio as Siemens Drive Technologies (DT) Division. DT caters to an extensive range of verticals, including metal and metal products, capital goods, chemical, textile, cement, oil and gas and power generation.
You launched the integrated drive systems initiative in 2012; how is the concept catching up in India?We made the official launch of IDS in the Hannover Fair in April 2013. It is a new approach to drive technology and the world’s first true one-stop solution for entire drive trains. The concept is being well received and appreciated by our customers, especially from sectors where power ratings are high. This is because savings through IDS will be substantial therein.
We also foresee demand coming from material handling and cement and from OEMs who see the benefits in engineering time when shifting to Siemens IDS. Equally, we see more and more small machines coming into the market, which would be built based on IDS because of the “one-stop shop” and the single point of contact. I would say the range of potential applications is virtually endless.
What were your prime objectives behind launching this initiative?General practice in the industry is to purchase individual components or sub-systems from multiple vendors and assemble these into a complete drive train. This results in excessive project management as well as increases the operational cost throughout the entire life of the machinery. Also, manufacturers need to embrace cutting-edge technology that would increase productivity and efficiency and reduce time-to-market. A completely assembled drive train package designed and integrated to work together is referred to as Integrated Drive System. It employs system engineering principles that benefit from the initial specifications through the installed operational life.
Siemens offers a one-stop shopping for drive train that are cost effective (initial and lifecycle) and easy to install. Our robust portfolio is fully integrated and offers a seamless combination of products, systems and applications that are ideal for harsh industrial conditions. Additionally, we have a strong service portfolio to provide preventive and value-added services
Could you highlight the advantages of integrated drive systems?The core element of IDS is the three-way integration of the drive train: horizontal, vertical and lifecycle integration. Horizontal integration essentially helps improve machine productivity, production quality and machine efficiency. It also increases the plant availability up to 99 per cent. Vertical integration increases plant productivity as well as production flexibility and transparency. With Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) portal, engineering time can be cut up to 30 per cent. Lifecycle integration offers consistent integration over the entire lifecycle of a product and the associated production system and can cut the maintenance cost up to 15 per cent. The three-level integration of IDS leads to increased efficiency, reliability and productivity and enable noticeably shorter time to market and profit.
IDS enable the users to employ system engineering principles that benefit from the initial specifications through the installed operational life. It mitigates many indirect costs associated with drive train projects. It also reduces time to market and profits while ensuring higher productivity, reliability and efficiency.
Finally, to conclude, what are your long- and short-term objectives for manufacturing sector in India?The National Manufacturing Policy of the government aiming to increase contribution of manufacturing sector to GDP from 16 to 25 per cent by 2025 is one of the key fundamentals for increasing manufacturing potential in India. However, the 26 million Indian manufacturing Micro Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) units will play a key role in realising this ambitious goal. They need to adopt technologies that would help them reap higher ROIs and make them competitive on a global scale. There is huge potential and hence in the coming years, we will be improving our focus on the MSME segment.
Drive technology applications and energy-efficient motors to increase energy efficiency and productivity will help MSMEs save huge costs. For example, large variable speed drives such as perfect harmony offers possibilities for substantial energy savings where customers can recover the price of the drive within 19 months of its commissioning. Our IE2 and IE3 range of motors offer efficiency up to 10 per cent higher than the conventional motors. Further the usage of application specific drives also can enable MSMEs to increase energy efficiency and productivity. Our newly launched optimised servo drive system, SINAMICS V90, is not only a cost-effective solution but also shortens time-to-market with easy commissioning, thus improving customers’ competitiveness.
We will also focus on upgrading technology of our factories along with capacity expansion. Siemens has maintained its position using top-notch technology with cutting-edge R&D. We also have entry level- and mid-level products as well as customised solutions for a wide range of vertical markets. We are ensuring that with our entry level product strategy there is an optimum balance between features and cost. The products are high in performance as well as cost-competitive, and we intend to maintain this momentum.

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