Valeo Siemens eAutomotive (VSeA), an electronic engine manufacturer, migrated its on-premises deployment of Teamcenter by Siemens Digital Industries Software (DI SW) to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to better respond to the unpredictable changes in the electric car market. Siemens DI SW worked with VSeA to get the product lifecycle management (PLM) system configured, integrated, migrated, tested, and up and running in under nine months. It then scaled the system from 400 to 1,200 users over a five-year period of rapid growth—all with almost zero unplanned downtime. Running on AWS helps VSeA meet critical industry standards for data connections and deliver reliable availability to its engineers.
The Electric Car Market Gets a Lightning Boost from a Joint Venture
The future of automobiles is electric with tremendous opportunities for innovation. By 2030, one third of all new vehicles sold will come with a high voltage electric drivetrain, either as full-electrified or as plug-in hybrid vehicle. This offers manufacturers the opportunity to differentiate and reach new customers by installing the most efficient, cost effective, and durable components available for electric engines.
Two leaders in their respective industries, Siemens AG and Valeo, formed Valeo Siemens eAutomotive (VSeA) to help drive the growing market. The team’s portfolio includes eMotors, eAxels, Inverters, On-Board Chargers, and other power electronics used by major car original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
“Teamcenter on AWS empowers our employees to implement their innovative ideas in a virtual digital twin model and to keep track of the changes as they refine the design. Nowadays, one of the key factors to being successful is to implement changes in the product very quickly, and to identify what is the impact before you build the product in the physical world.”
- Axel Biedermann, CIO, Valeo Siemens eAutomotive (Germany GmbH)
Joint Venture Given 12 Months to Move off Parent’s On-Premises PLM
Designing and building components for an electric engine involves coordinating multiple, complex processes. One small change to a single element can have a cascading impact across the whole product. To help engineers maintain a single source of truth and stay alert to potential changes, VSeA initially adopted the PLM tool used by Siemens AG to run its entire enterprise. However, the company needed to be off its parent’s on-premises deployment within 12 months. VSeA knew it wanted the same level of functionality that Teamcenter by Siemens DI SW provided, but it didn’t have the resources to dedicate a full team to managing infrastructure. It also needed a solution that was readily accessible to engineers across countries and could be easily scaled to accommodate growth as the market for electric engines accelerated.
The company looked to the cloud for a solution.
Valeo Siemens Puts the Pedal to the Metal with Teamcenter on AWS
Working against the deadline, the Hosted Managed Service solution by the Cloud Application Services (CApS) Team—together with the local project team—completed the Teamcenter deployment in under nine months despite the fact that VSeA engineers continued to add content to the old system daily. As part of the project, the CApS team helped with cleansing and migrating hundreds of Gigabytes of data and hundreds of thousands of object relationships stored in the PLM used to describe the Digital Twin. “It was a remarkable effort considering the volume of data,” said Thomas Steinbauer, Senior Account Manager for Siemens DI SW. “With the help of AWS, we were able to deploy the Teamcenter environment for VSeA to the AWS Cloud, a first of its kind in Europe, and it's running for the fifth consecutive year with just a few hours of unplanned downtime throughout the whole uptime.”
The Siemens team chose Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Elastic Load Balancing, Network Address Translation (NAT) Gateway, and Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) to support Teamcenter. It further integrated the PLM system with the company’s ERP, design and simulation software, business applications, and manufacturing systems to enable a streamlined end-to-end process. VSeA uses this integration to create accurate, highly responsive digital twin models of its components even as specifications change.
According to Axel Biedermann, CIO of VSeA, “Our overall experience of the Teamcenter application on AWS was faster compared to on-premises performance; it enabled greater agility for innovation at lower total cost of ownership, and it was much easier for us to set up.”
“With the help of AWS, we were able to deploy the Teamcenter environment for Valeo Siemens eAutomotive to the AWS Cloud, a first of its kind in Europe, and it's running for the fifth consecutive year with almost zero unplanned downtime.”
- Thomas Steinbauer, Senior Account Manager, Siemens DI SW
Adopted a Solution that Helps Fuel and Streamline Ongoing Innovation
Continuous innovation requires knowing when making a change to one part of a design will precipitate changes to other parts of the product. Teamcenter provides a flagging feature that alerts engineers to dependencies, which allows them to re-run simulations before they get too far. “Teamcenter on AWS empowers our employees to implement their innovative ideas in a virtual digital twin model and to keep track of the changes as they refine the design. Nowadays, one of the key factors to being successful is to implement changes in the product very quickly, and to identify what is the impact before you build the product in the physical world,” explained Axel Biedermann. “Teamcenter is our main database where we store all that information and handle the impact analysis that leads to high quality products.”
Scaled to 3x its Original Size While Maintaining Flexibility
Moving Teamcenter to AWS solved the problem of trying to estimate the electric market’s pace of growth and plan accordingly. “There was no way to know how fast or slow the electric car market would grow, but we needed to be able to grow fast and easy along with it,” said Axel Biedermann. “We started with 600 employees five years ago, and today we have more than 4,000.” In terms of Teamcenter users, that meant increasing from 400 to 1,200 licenses in bursts of activity.
“The system has grown with us without any pain points. In the five years over which we tripled our usage, we’ve experienced less than eight hours of unplanned downtime and have only needed a small team of dedicated IT engineer focused on second-level support and demand management,” said Axel Biedermann. “The availability of the servers provided through AWS is awesome.”
Achieved Industry Compliance and OEM Trust with AWS Guardrails
Companies in the automobile industry, like VSeA, must adhere to strict industry compliance regulations that can make running in the cloud challenging. In Germany, the TISAX (Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange) certification, created on behalf of the German Automobile Industry Association, is the industry standard for data protection and secure connections with third parties. As Axel Biedermann noted, “AWS is certified for TISAX, which is very important for us to prove our apps meet the security and availability standards as set by the industry.”
Running Teamcenter on AWS enabled VSeA to meet that requirement out of the gate, and it provided the team with additional performance KPIs that the company can use to improve its processes and drive better outcomes.
Looking forward, the company plans to move more on-premises applications to AWS, so it only has to maintain infrastructure for its production workloads. “For many different workloads and applications, cloud-based solutions today are not just competitive to on-premises options in terms of scalability, stability, and availability—they’re better,” said Axel Biedermann. “Teamcenter on AWS has been great. I would never go back.”
VSeA Electric Engine
About the Customer
Valeo Siemens eAutomotive is a leading global company engaged in developing innovative drive components for electromobility. Formed as a joint venture by Siemens AG and Valeo, it runs today as an independent company.
About the Partner
Siemens Digital Industries Software (DI SW) is driving transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing, and electronics design meet tomorrow. The Xcelerator portfolio helps companies of all sizes create and leverage digital twins that provide organizations with new insights, opportunities, and levels of automation to drive innovation.
Published July 2021