SUNNYVALE, Calif. and MUNICH—Google Cloud and Siemens will cooperate to optimize factory processes and improve productivity on the shop floor. Siemens, a provider of industrial automation and software, intends to integrate Google Cloud’s data cloud and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) technologies with its factory automation to help manufacturers innovate for the future, the companies said in a release.

Data drives today’s industrial processes, but many manufacturers continue to use legacy software and multiple systems to analyze plant information, which is resource-intensive and requires frequent manual updates to ensure accuracy. Although AI projects have been deployed by many companies in “islands” across the plant floor, manufacturers have struggled to implement AI at scale across their global operations.

By combining Google Cloud’s data cloud and AI/ML capabilities with Siemens’ Digital Industries Factory Automation portfolio, manufacturers can harmonize their factory data, run cloud-based AI/ML models on top of that data, and deploy algorithms at the network edge. This enables such applications as visual inspection of products or predicting the wear-and-tear of machines on the assembly line, according to the release.

Deploying AI to the shop floor and integrating it into automation and the network is a complex task. The goal of the cooperation between Google Cloud and Siemens is to make the deployment of AI, in connection with Siemens Industrial Edge—and its management at scale— easier. The benefits, according to Google Cloud and Siemens, will include empowering employees as they work on the plant floor, automating mundane tasks, and improving overall quality.

“The potential for artificial intelligence to radically transform the plant floor is far from being exhausted,” said Axel Lorenz, vice president of control at Factory Automation of Siemens Digital Industries, in the release. “Many manufacturers are still stuck in AI ‘pilot projects’ today—we want to change that. Combining AI/ML technology from Google Cloud with Siemens’ solutions for Industrial Edge and industrial operation will be a game changer for the manufacturing industry.”

“Siemens is a leader in advancing industrial automation and software, and Google Cloud is a leader in data analytics and AI/ML,” said Dominik Wee, managing director, manufacturing and industrial at Google Cloud, in the release. “This cooperation will combine the best of both worlds and bring AI/ML to the manufacturing industry at scale. By simplifying the deployment of AI in industrial use cases, we’re helping employees augment their critical work on the shop floor.”

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