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Industrial-Tech, Defined

New collaboration between Siemens and IBM epitomizes term

The term "industrial-tech conglomerate", or some form of it, has become synonymous with forward-looking business in the 2020s. It's equal parts vague and versatile, theoretically encompassing everything from the nuts and bolts of MRO to the ethereal components of the IoT and "cloud" computing. Essentially, it's hardware and software working together. A new PLM- and MRO-based collaboration between Siemens and IBM might best epitomize what such terms actually mean.

A screenshot of Siemens' PLM software.—Siemens photo

While the two giants have worked together before, this partnership has some important additions. In detail, Siemens Digital Industries Software and IBM announced April 18 they are expanding their long-term partnership by collaborating to develop "a combined software solution integrating their respective offerings for systems engineering, service lifecycle management and asset management."

The new combined SysML v1 standards-based suite of integrated engineering software is expected to support traceability and sustainable product development using a digital thread that links mechanical, electronics, electrical engineering and software design and implementation. It is intended to span the product lifecycle, from early design and manufacturing to operations, maintenance, update and end of life management. Initially, the companies are working to connect IBM Engineering System Design Rhapsody for systems engineering with solutions from the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of software and services including Siemens’ Teamcenter® software for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Capital™ software for electrical/electronic (E/E) systems development and software implementation. The companies have also connected the IBM Maximo Application Suite for asset management with Siemens’ Teamcenter software to support an integrated digital thread between service engineering, asset management and services execution.

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