Saildrone Adopts Siemens Xcelerator as a Service

Company plans to develop next-generation products for oceanic data collection, according to Saildrone.

Company plans to develop next-generation products for oceanic data collection, according to Saildrone.

Saildrone has covered about 1 million nautical miles, collecting data that provides information for ocean mapping and maritime security applications. Image courtesy of Siemens.

Saildrone is a California-based company that designs, operates and manufactures unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to collect oceanic data around the world. As a company vested in ocean data collection, Saildrone has covered about 1 million nautical miles, collecting data that provides information for climate, ocean mapping and maritime security applications. 

Saildrone’s mission is to provide “data as a service,” with its fleet of solar and wind-powered autonomous vehicles that are a scalable solution for ocean data collection, the company reports. Serving government and private customers worldwide, Saildrone collects data in real time in terms of how the USVs are powered and how they interact with the environment (e.g., using passive acoustics).

The Saildrone wing technology allows USVs to perform up to 12 months in operation without needing to return to land for refueling or maintenance. Applications include data collection of a seabed for a new offshore windfarm, identifying a coral field to avoid commercial development for environmental protection, or assisting maritime agencies with security.

Why Siemens Xcelerator as a Service?

Saildrone selected Siemens Xcelerator as a Service on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop its next-generation ocean products collaboratively and faster. With Saildrone’s product engineering, the product team needed a solution to replace managing and updating an on-premise IT server, the company says. As a “cloud-first” operation, Saildrone sought Siemens Teamcenter X for a cloud-based solution, offering accessibility, privacy and data security.

A SaaS Offering on AWS

Teamcenter X, part of Siemens Xcelerator as a Service, leverages the cloud for more accessible, flexible and scalable capabilities to speed up digital transformation, Siemens reports. With Teamcenter X, Siemens manages Saildrone’s required operations and maintenance, including software updates. The interconnected teams received updated, real-time changes in process management, and bill of materials management. Also, product lifecycle management interactions between Teamcenter X, Siemens NX software (for 3D product engineering), and other tools reduced time between applications for productivity, leveraging shared data across engineering disciplines, the companies noted.

“We decided to adopt Siemens’ Xcelerator as a Service solution because we’re a cloud-first company,” says Andrew Schultz, chief technology officer, Saildrone. “With a lightweight IT and DevOps team, Siemens’ expertise and its Teamcenter X infrastructure scales well with our company. It’s been great having the bulk of the Teamcenter X configuration just set up out-of-the-box.”

Siemens Xcelerator is an open, digital business platform that offers a curated portfolio of connected hardware and software solutions, along with an ecosystem of partners that allows companies of all sizes to create and leverage digital twins to provide new insights, opportunities, and levels of automation to drive innovation, according to Siemens. Within this digital platform is Siemens Xcelerator as a Service, a subscription offering of software-as-a-service solutions that makes Siemens software and services more accessible, scalable and flexible. Customers can use Siemens Xcelerator as a Service on AWS for cloud-computing capabilities.

“We have had great success getting adoption and use throughout the company,” says Schultz. “Manufacturing uses it for purchasing and building our components in our drones, then our finance and G&A [general & administrative] teams also use it to track inventory. Having Teamcenter X integrate with our other back-end systems has been really important.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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