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Siemens Reveals Its Ultimate Industrial PC

See why Siemens uses Intel Atom® x6000E Series Processors for its Nanobox 227G industrial computer and other upcoming generations of nano IPCs. In addition to supporting HMI and SCADA applications, the new IPCs provide TSN and TCC features to enable workload balancing and low-latency computing. Data gateways connect the plant floor network to service networks with remote control capabilities. AI and machine learning algorithms improve process parameters and monitor for anomalies.

Transcript

Host: Hello, and welcome to this session on how Siemens uses the new Intel Atom x6000E series processors. To create the Swiss Army Knife of industrial computing. Today, we’ll be hearing from Dr. Felizitas Heilmann from Siemens. Who will introduce the Nanobox 227G its technical features, core applications and new use cases. Let’s get started, Dr. Heilmann, take it away.

Dr. Felizitas Heilmann: Hello, dear audience. Warm welcome to my talk about how we Siemens Digital Industries are applying the new Intel Atom x6000E series for our upcoming IPC generation of Nano platform 2X7G. My name is Felizitas Heilmann. I am responsible for product line embedded industrial computing. Let me ask you a question.

What do you pack in your back when you decide to go treasure hunting in the jungle? Lightweight yet performance equipment that is flexible and adaptable to changing situations that works in heat, supports your day and night and doesn’t need to be maintained?

What if currently you are in a situation like treasure hunting in the new territories of automation? Dig for productivity gold, maybe it’s data gold hunt for greater customer satisfaction, maybe by reduced delivery time or claim new stakes like predictive maintenance offerings? Now, do you expect your automation tools to fully support you on that mission?

What if your industrial PC needs to offer high performance in small space, to be at the same time, flexible and expandable to be maintenance free and ensure operation up to 55 degree ambient temperature?

Then you might want to check out the upcoming generation of Nano IPCs. If we call our new product generation a Swiss army knife, we mean it. It is perfectly designed to support you on your traditional automation tasks, like your HMI and SCADA applications, but we have also incorporated feature sets that help you using it as data gateway to centralize your machine information, supporting mixed real-time control applications and having a feature set, making it ready to be used as AI inference device.

For your data gateway, cloud connection, or edge applications. It greatly helps to have three DBE alarm interfaces. For example, to connect a plant floor network IT network, and to a remote control and service network.

We gave the device two M.2 slots, so you could equip one with 5g communication card leading to the integrated SIM card slot. The onboard remote management allows you to manage devices, even from shutdown or to undergo remote maintenance, like receiving updates to minimize operator onsite presence.

High connectivity leads to increased on security. TPM, 2.0 facilitates uncompromised identification of the device. As one element to your plant security concept. Our Simatic Industrial edge makes also use of this feature to ensure device identification. Our edge ecosystem opens a rich world of device management, available applications and the option to create your own applications, deploy and use them on your edge device.

On our Nano platform Simatic Industrial edge will be available as pre-installed option. In addition, we intend to fulfill the certification process for AWS and Azure certified devices as already available for current generation.

Especially in a case described previously, you might have to do workload balancing to ensure high position and low-latency computing.

TSN and TCC features that are built into the device help coordinate time sensitive, e.g. control workload and non-critical applications like visualization or health feedback. For those kinds of applications, data integrity, and data availability is key, which we support by non-volatile memory module by error correction code function.

The hardware is maintenance free, no fan, no rotating parts, battery free operation is possible when connected to a network. And also on the software side, we keep the maintenance effort as low as possible with diagnosis software available, and with Windows 10 LTC and our Debian based Simatic Industrial OS.

Last but not least, onsite visualization is supported by the possibility to connect up to three HD displays. Among the most challenging use cases, surely is the application is AI inference device EG to improve process parameters, optical inspection, monitor anomalies, etc.

Time series inference calculations are most efficiently performed on the CPU itself compared to current generation of Nanobox 227E, G generation shows a significant compute performance and 3D graphics performance increase.

Especially for machine vision inference, the addition of AI accelerator cards was more intensive processing course, is possible by using one of the two M.2 module slots.

For data input, the before mentioned interfaces can be used, I/Os can be added via Simatic ET200SP. Also in this use case edge and cloud compatibility are beneficial to connect to cloud or on premise training resources and model deployment.

How could an example, AI inference architecture look like? A PC would be sending a set of raw data required by a dashboard via OPC interface to the IPC. Raw data are run through the AI model and connected to offline quality results, e.g made available by an FTP server. Combined information can be stored in a database and made available to the dashboard.

Then either be displayed locally or centrally. In this concrete example, a metal casting process was optimized. Time series data of the identified key process parameters that affect the quality and throughput of the die-casting machine are collected and processed via trained machine learning model on edge to enable real time anomaly detection and defect prediction.

This resulted in early stage quality prediction leading to significantly reduced costs and defect rate. Additionally and overall better transparency of process parameters and resulting anomalies have been achieved. To sum it up. We have designed our new premium version of Nanobox and Nanopanel to be ideally suited for both traditional and new IPC applications.

For applications on a tighter budget and less requirements. We have designed our basic versions, 327G and 377G. Same concept, a little less performance, less operator luxury, e.g single touch display, but the same leading ideas and the same PC platform behind them.

New dimensions of automation are out there. We offer reliable tools when you decide to leave the beaten track. Thanks for your attention. We’re going into Q&A session now. I’ll be available for the next 15 to 20 minutes. Thanks.

About the Author

Teresa Meek is an independent writer and editor with a background in journalism (Miami Herald, Newsday) who now specializes in content marketing. She writes blog posts, case studies, white papers, video scripts, and ghosted thought leadership pieces for major brands. Her clients have included Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Delta, Humana, JPMorgan Chase, and many other Fortune 500 companies. She is the author of the Amazon ebook Say It With Feeling: Business Writing in the Internet Age. She would be delighted to connect with you on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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