IBM and Siemens Partner on New Lifecycle Management Solution to Build Data and Network Systems

July 03, 2020 by Alessandro Mascellino

Siemens and IBM have jointly announced the development of a new solution aimed at optimizing the Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) of assets.

The solution will be based on Siemens’ Xcelerator and IBM Maximo, suits of products designed to respectively build data and network systems, and improve their operational availability. The new optimization of assets’ lifecycles will be carried out through connecting real-world maintenance activities and asset performance back to design decisions and field modifications.


The Xcelerator Portfolio

By creating Xcelerator, Siemens has brought together the entire suite of tools from its Digital Industries Software portfolio. These include products used for connecting current and future information technology systems, manage operational technologies, and handle engineering technology environments.


The Xcelerator. Screenshot courtesy of Siemens.


Specifically, the tools under the Xcelerator umbrella are MindSphere, Siemens Cloud Solutions, Mentor, and Mendix. MindSphere and Siemens Cloud Solutions are used to analyze data by securely connecting to the cloud products, plants, systems, and machines. Mentor offers electronic design automation tools, and Mendix is a Low-Code application development platform.

The ultimate goal of the tools behind the Xcelerator Portfolio is to create a flexible and open ecosystem where boundaries between hardware and software industries can be easily crossed. 


IBM Maximo

This fully integrated platform by IBM uses advanced analytic tools and IoT data to improve operational availability and reduce risk in a variety of scenarios. More specifically, Maximo allows companies to operate high-value physical assets while retaining visibility and control across the whole production chain. This in turn translates into optimized performance, extended asset life cycles, and reduced operational downtime and costs. 


IBM Maximo’s start center. Image courtesy of IBM.


IBM Maximo features multiple deployment models, allows for cloud management of assets, and automates the set up of new assets and upgrading of enterprise asset management (EAM) software. The platform also comes in different deployment models: as a service, as a service dedicated, and on-premises.

IBM Maximo is managed through a start center used to track and organize programs, projects, and work efforts, as well as projects’ resources and work requirements.


Optimizing Assets’ Lifecycle

Industrial companies often struggle to improve the performance and reliability of an asset over its operating life cycle.This is due to several factors, but at the top of the list is arguably the inefficient data sharing between engineering, operations, and maintenance processes.

The new solution from Siemens and IBM tries to address this issue by creating a single source of information designed to help companies improve the development, maintenance, and operation of their assets.

In other words, by leveraging elements of the Xcelerator portfolio and IBM Maximo, the solution establishes an end-to-end digital thread between equipment manufacturers and the owner/operators of that equipment.

Through IIoT technologies, manufacturers will be able to gain insights on wear and tear, operating conditions, parts failures, and other patterns that lead to design or manufacturing updates.  This data can then be used to help industrial companies lower maintenance costs, reduce risks, and improve asset resiliency.