Industrial Automation: Everything You Need to Know about Mindsphere from Siemens

Industrial Automation: Everything You Need to Know about Mindsphere from Siemens

2016 marked the year when Siemens challenged every other company on the market with an innovative approach in the Internet of Things (IoT) space called MindSphere. By developing an open IoT operating system that runs on the cloud, Siemens turned MindSphere into one of the critical building blocks for IoT solutions.

Posted on 15-Jul-2022

MindSphere, now in its third version, has attracted large corporate clients, most recently Volkswagen, which utilized the platform as a critical player in its industrial cloud project. Similarly, many other businesses are beginning to realize the benefits of MindSphere in their unique industries. 

But, multiple companies are still not sold on why MindSphere is a compelling solution for industrial giants like Volkswagen. If you feel the same way, keep reading because we’ll provide a full review of the benefits and features of MindSphere. But first, let’s discover what MindSphere is. 

What’s MindSphere?
Siemens Corporation’s MindSphere is a cloud-based operating system. MindSphere utilizes the cloud infrastructure to satisfy a company’s requirements to optimally use large volumes of data created by the Internet of Things. Consequently, MindSphere is referred to as an open Internet of Things (IoT) system.

MindSphere provides a budget-friendly, scalable platform as a service (PaaS) solution for app development. The software, created as an open OS for the IoT, enables manufacturers to enhance their performance by recording and analyzing massive amounts of performance data.

MindSphere provides a stable platform for Siemens and third-party supplier programs and services such as predictive maintenance and resource management. Users can deploy MindSphere as a platform to incorporate their own apps and services.

Industrial Benefits
To create its unique platform, MindSphere employs a variety of cloud delivery strategies. Let’s now dive a little bit deeper and explore the benefits of MindSphere for all industries.

Solving Data Discrepancy
Too often businesses spend a portion of their time and money on rectifying data input errors that prove costly down the line. In most cases, such data discrepancy issues are related to manual data entry. MindSphere can fill the gap as an automated solution with improved data integration and accuracy.

Predictive Analysis
Another MindSphere bundled offering is intended to help manufacturers reduce downtime and enhance product quality by leveraging the platform’s powerful analytic tools. The capacity to undertake comprehensive root-cause analysis to uncover the underlying sources of production issues is among its main industrial benefits.

By performing predictive maintenance based on remote access to equipment data in real-time, MindSphere can drastically simplify factory floor IT infrastructure and save money spent on putting human inspectors on site. This also helps businesses boost their asset health and performance by providing valuable insights enabling them to take proper corrective measures, solve problems, etc.

Accurate Inventory Data & Process Control
MindSphere is a pre-packaged solution that helps companies transfer and maintain IoT data securely and analyze it for the latest important trends. Thanks to real-time data analytics and visualization, businesses can use MindSphere to take proactive decisions that will optimize their asset productivity and availability instantly. 

Plus, accurate insights into machine use and operations, artificial intelligence and advanced streaming analytics allows companies to minimize wastage and improve process control.

Siemens has not stifled innovation, nor has it prohibited others from using such a platform. MindSphere also provides a complete development toolkit, allowing users to create third-party apps perfectly compatible with MindSphere and its connected applications.

MindSphere’s open cloud, open IoT platform serves as the foundation for a sophisticated IoT OS that includes data analytics and connection capabilities and tools for developers, apps, and services. It aids in the evaluation and utilization of your data, as well as the discovery of new insights. It can improve asset performance and efficiency for maximum uptime.

Now that we’ve explored the benefits of MindSphere, it’s time to turn our attention toward some of its fundamental features. 

5 Eye-Catching Features of MindSphere
While we can list many more items here, for the sake of brevity, we’ve decided to just focus on these top five features. Here they are:

  • A Wide Range of Add-on Apps
    Siemens provides a cheaper version of MindSphere named MindAccess IoT Value Plan that includes basic apps for asset access, installation, monitoring, and administration for novice businesses as far as industrial IoT.

    By linking assets and building database systems for asset evaluation, the Asset Manager function allows firms to model the complete mechanism of an industrial operation. Plus, the “smart templating” features allow MindSphere to configure an entire batch of assets.

    In addition, users can rely on the Fleet Manager function to monitor, organize, visualize, and receive alerts. Businesses can utilize these tools to find particular assets and performance details, monitor critical metrics, and establish rules that generate alerts when certain conditions are fulfilled.

    The MindAccess IoT Value Plan also includes advanced features, such as the ability to form groups, grant permissions and designate roles. Moreover, the package contains a smart data usage monitoring program able to adapt its performance consistent with existing capacity.

    The MindSphere platform (where several companies sell add-on apps), is a great place to seek and find additional features.
  • MindConnect
    MindConnect, one of MindSphere’s most popular products, provides companies a wide range of options for linking multiple machines, facilities, and global distribution fleets. MindConnect Nano is a plug-and-play solution that receives input from an industrial asset and sends it to MindSphere while ensuring its security.

    MindConnect includes a number of connectivity tools, such as the MindConnect IoT2040 or MindConnect Nano, which gathers data from assets and delivers it to MindSphere. The MindConnect Nano provides a better data transfer capability.

    In addition to previous add-ons, there’s MindConnect IoT. This is a protocol-agnostic integration component enabling almost any vendor with an IoT-ready device to connect to MindSphere. The MindConnect API also helps companies organize connectivity agents for their particular purposes.

    The whole point of MindSphere is to enable maximal interconnection whereby the vast majority of data may be transmitted without interruption. Siemens has made this a reality by utilizing open-source standards and interfaces, enabling data collection from sources such as Simatic PLCs, Modbus RTUs, and other sources simple.

  • Tools for App Design & Sales 
    Businesses can create subscription-based apps based on MindSphere and offer them to clients directly or through the MindSphere marketplace. companies can determine their own price and billing strategy.

    In line with MindSphere’s partnership program, these businesses can gain rewards and tools for participating in the company’s development program. Developers have access to the MindAccess DevOps Plan to create apps locally using any coding app or language and then transfer them to the cloud. The open-source platform is utilized to develop and deliver applications.

  • Mendix
    Last year, Siemens acquired the low-code app development solution, Mendix, for $730 million, which made IoT app design much simpler. Now, months after the takeover, Mendix has been seamlessly integrated into MindSphere, allowing users with minimal coding skills to develop applications for the platform.

    Mendix’s system includes a visual drag-and-drop feature, along with collaboration tools and an artificial intelligence platform for development recommendations.

    In addition to Mendix, the MindApps Fleet Manager is provided for functions like predictive maintenance, energy data processing, and other similar tasks. These applications allow users to connect, manage, and adjust the settings of industrial assets. Engineers can also utilize Visual Analyzer to assess the impact of specified data on production volume and quality.

    Siemens is developing a variety of applications to assist companies with a range of issues such as resource utilization and continuous real-time monitoring, among other things.

  • Ease of Integrability
    With the MindConnect Integration feature, Siemens hopes to make it simple for businesses to centralize their data in MindSphere. Companies can use MindConnect Integration on-site and in the cloud to transfer data from a wide range of systems such as enterprise resource planning, production monitoring, data control and acquisition into MindSphere.

    This is because MindSphere supports many protocols and adapters on-site and on the cloud. The solution consists of ready-made integration settings and a graphical interface for transferring data values into MindSphere to facilitate integration.

Bottom Line
MindSphere isn’t just a cloud solution; however, it employs cloud tools to design comprehensive solutions that aid businesses deal with the complexities and massive data flow of IoT. While every solution has its unique drawbacks, the above benefits and features demonstrate that businesses in pretty much every industry can greatly benefit from deploying MindSphere.

Hence, is it time for you to take the final step and opt for an innovative solution like MindSphere? You have to carefully consider your business needs as well as operational goals to determine what will help you on that journey. With MindSphere, there’s a wide range of features able to help firms in every stage of operation.

We at MTS Solutions have developed a partnership with Siemens, which has provided Siemens with innovative resources to bring MindSphere and Mendix together as a reliable solution for all industrial and manufacturing sectors.

If you wish to learn more information regarding MindSphere, please contact our team of experts. We’ll be more than happy to help you!