Siemens Talks Digital Trends, Challenges

HOUSTON—The need for digitalization was evident in real-life examples shared by John Nixon, senior director of energy and utilities for Siemens.

Standing in front of a crowd gathered this week for the company’s Digital Industries Conference, he explained how a company conducting a forensic investigation into a deadly 2010 California natural gas pipeline explosion was left with no way to digitally track information such as materials used or why propagation occurred.

“There was no digital twin or no digital thread,” he said, later adding “if we’re not preventing this, then what is the point of digitalization.”

He also referred to the importance of digitalization to improve balance sheets to help avoid massive layoffs like those seen during the latest market downturn and to drive GDP growth in countries as well as how it is expected to transform the transportation industry with autonomous electric vehicles by 2030.