Like many manufacturers, Siemens, the largest producer of programmable logic controllers (PLCs), has increasingly added layers of digital control to its production systems, but it still faced the challenge of linking siloed islands of automation to fully optimize the manufacturing process. The company solved the problem by deepening digital systems to the product level and unifying management systems to achieve a greater level of automation at its plants, which produce the company's Simatic controllers in Germany and China. To accomplish this, Siemens created a multilayered digital system where top-level management systems monitor and optimize the change process across the product lines by communicating with factory-level management systems and computer-controlled machines.
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