The next level of digitization
The world's largest industrial trade fair may have had to be cancelled on site in Hanover this year, however its motto, according to which the digital "replacement" of the exhibition in July was also held, proved more powerful than ever. The "Industrial Transformation" not only refers to a phase in which many traditional industrial companies are currently finding themselves, but also a strategic imperative. Companies and organisations that are not undergoing a process of transformation can already see their successors approaching on the horizon. At the start of the year, VW’s CEO Herbert Diess described the power of the new industrial revolution with remarkable frankness. According to Diess, the successes of the past, the wide range of models, and all previous achievements of his company were not enough in order to survive this digitallydriven revolution. His rousing speech was validated only a few days later. At the end of January 2020, the market value of newcomer Tesla exceeded that of the traditional German automotive group for the first time.
From image to logic
Engineering has long experienced the transformative, yet sometimes disruptive nature of digitization. Even the digitization concept itself has had an eventful history. Engineering was considered digital in the early 1970s, when users could perform some calculations with computers. However, it was vector graphics that first unleashed the limited graphic options and enabled the triumph of CAD systems – the drawing board was history. A short time later, blocks and attributes mapped such things as objects in the image for the first time. The RUPLAN system, part of AUCOTEC’s portfolio since 1997, was released in the early 1980s as the world’s first E-CAD system, which contributed an additional logical and functional level to visual representation. Simple connecting lines could now be “charged” with a meaning and enabled the automatic creation of complex wiring lists and terminal block diagrams.
From logic to analytics
In the subsequent stages of development, AUCOTEC increasingly freed the digital data model of a plant from its graphic representation. Since the 2000s, the cooperative platform Engineering Base (EB) has been synonymous with a completely independent data model. Artificial intelligence, which will support engineering based on the available amounts of data, is the next logical step and will once again redefine digital engineering. AUCOTEC is currently conducting intensive research on its practical implementation.
What digitization means today
The evaluation criteria for engineering systems are also constantly changing accordingly. There are clear benefits of a data model which maps the entire logic of a plant from an initial simulation of different plant scenarios down to information on the terminal side to which a specific cable core is connected.
Today, the best-in-class dogma is considered outdated when selecting the appropriate engineering system/sub-system. There is demand instead for the most complete data model known as the “central engineering database” in which real “unified engineering” can occur. AUCOTEC’s EB not only serves this market, but has established it, and thus also the company’s current success.
The future belongs to cooperation
The transformation of engineering towards a cooperative future requires a new digital self-image. In concrete terms, we mean more openness in the exchange of digital models, and this going well beyond the development phase up to the subcontractors who are responsible for maintenance. AUCOTEC satisfies this concept with EB. The engineering platform provides manufacturers, suppliers and plant operators with a common basis for action. They can freely define how closely everyone involved ultimately cooperates in the system. One key factor for success is the data discipline of project managers, while another is the issue of the intellectual property of parts or of the entirety of the cooperation project.
A new digital openness
Naturally, the operator of a plant has maximum interest in an as-built-maintained digital twin. The operator benefits not only during the investment phase, but also during ongoing operation, from a data model that is as fully consistent as possible with the real plant. In this respect, it is primarily the responsibility of the operators to express their digital needs to cooperation partners and contractors and to support them emphatically on the path to a new and more open data culture. In this context also, AUCOTEC has completed the necessary transformation and supports customers and users not only as a software supplier, but also as the first contact in all engineering-relevant digitization issues. We would be happy to intensify the discussion about your specific requirements beyond all software features also and would like to invite you to a personal meeting with AUCOTEC. This can be held digitally or directly, however and wherever you want!