At the Siemens Media and Analyst Conference last week, Siemens PLM executives announced Xcelerator – a collection of software, services, and application development tools that can be personalized and adapted for industry-specific needs. The goal is to help companies become digital enterprises. Xcelerator combines Siemens’ software for design, engineering, and manufacturing with an expanded Mendix low-code application development platform.

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Siemens Xcelator is a protfolio of softare plartforms that bring together a number of Siemens brands. Many are now merged with the Mendix low-code application generator.

As part of this broadening of industrial software, Siemens PLM Software has changed its name to Siemens Digital Industries Software. The move came from the realization that PLM is just not sufficient to describe the wide range of software tools Siemens now offers.

As well as blending the recently acquired Mendix tools into Siemens PLM software, the Mendix platform has also been expanded. It now includes cloud and application services for digital engineering powered by MindSphere, the company’s cloud-based, open IoT operating system. Since Mendix uses low-code configuration instead of requiring original programming, the platform is designed to help companies go digital by using citizen developers and engineers rather than programmers.

The Ease of Low-Code Development

The standout feature of Mendix – which Siemens acquired last year – is the platform’s low-code development system. Applications can be developed Lego-like rather than requiring substantial original programming. “Everybody is moving in the direction of low code. It’s going into middleware at the minimum. Low code is the next logical step in software. Just like Java was a layer. Now it’s low code to speed productivity and re-use,” Derek Roos, CEO of Mendix, told Design News. “The other benefit low code is that it is abstractive from the technical details. This opens the opportunity for people who are less technical to participate.”

With the advantage of low code application development, companies can automate a wider range of manufacturing tasks. “This is part of the trend of automating what can be automated. Manufacturers can we use the meta data in our platform – which is model driven – and add machine learning,” said Roos. “How much more can we automate? More than we once thought. It’s a mega trend. Everything we’re automating is becoming easier and faster.”

The Further Integration of Siemens Software

As part of the expansion of Siemens Digital Industries Software, the company is blending the software from a number of Siemens brands. Capital software from Mentor has been embedded into NX software so experts across engineering disciplines can create new products collaboratively. Siemens Opcenter solution has been integrated with Valor software, which expands the digital thread from design to manufacturing. The overall goal is continuous quality improvement.

Siemens also recently integrated multiple automotive validation tools to create the PAVE360, a pre-silicon autonomous validation environment. This open-integration was created to provide rapid innovation and validation of products and operations by creating a more precise digital twin that melds model-based simulations with test data and real performance analytics.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.