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Pictures of the Future
The Magazine for Research and Innovation | Spring 2009
Affordable Solutions
Robust, Energy-Efficient Technologies for Developing Markets
Product Life Cycle Planning
Digital Watchmen
Products that use fewer resources
from raw materials to recycling
Innovations that improve safety, from smart detectors to RFIDs Pictures of the Future | Editorial
2 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
ome 125 years ago Werner von
Siemens said, “I won’t sell the future for
a short-term profit.” Today we use the term
“sustainability” to describe this attitude.
And the principle of thinking long term
rather than being shortsighted has become
more important than ever before. That is
true not only of the worldwide system of
finance and business, but also of the ef-
fects that our actions — or lack of them —
have on the environment and the climate. And here climate protection and eco-
nomic growth are by no means mutually
exclusive. On the contrary, in the years
ahead, environmental technologies will
be an engine of economic development.
Barbara Kux is a member of the Siemens Managing Board, Head of Supply Chain Management and Chief Sustainability Officer at Siemens AG
purchase price is cost-effective if the loco-
motives’ energy consumption can be re-
duced by as little as two percentage points
(p. 24). The same principle applies to en-
ergy-saving motors. Here, the purchase
price represents less than three percent of
total costs, while electricity accounts for 95
percent of lifetime costs. Such motors pay
for themselves in less than two years,
sometimes even within one year.
Long-term thinking is also well worth
the effort when it comes to buildings, and
even entire cities. A study showing how
Munich could become CO
-free, for in-
stance, reveals that the additional costs
required to boost the energy efficiency of
most of the city’s buildings would amount
to about €200 per resident annually. In the
end, though, the measures would yield
savings of at least €1,200 per resident per
year — not to mention an annual reduc-
tion of three million tons of CO
for the
entire city (p. 6).
Some improvements don’t even require
big start-up investments — just an ability
to see the “big picture” and all its intercon-
nected aspects. Specialists at the Lifetime
Management department at Siemens’ En-
ergy Sector, for example, upgrade existing
power plants by fine-tuning various param-
eters, including pump flow rates and feed-
water temperatures, and by adjusting the
control systems accordingly. This reduces
the time needed to start up plants by more
than half — an optimization that pays for
itself after just one year (p. 27). Siemens is also developing many simi-
larly smart solutions for the unique needs
of customers in developing countries and
emerging markets (pp. 72–105) — includ-
ing solar-powered energy-saving lamps for
African regions that are far from power
grids; affordable, robust equipment for
monitoring pulse rates at maternity wards
in rural India; and the combination of tradi-
tional medicine and Western image pro-
cessing technology in China. These examples confirm that one thing
is paramount when it comes to intelligent
solutions: people who understand not only
the possibilities of modern technology, but
also the requirements of different markets.
Or, as Kuan Chung Tzu, a Chinese philoso-
pher, put it 2,300 years ago, “If you are
planning for one year, plant grain. If you
are planning for a decade, plant trees. If
you are planning for a lifetime, enlighten
the people.” That is the essence of the
principle of sustainability. Cover:Worldwide, 1.6 billion people
either live in the dark at night or are
forced to use expensive and danger-
ous kerosene lanterns. But for fisher-
men on Lake Victoria in Kenya, clean,
affordable light is now available
thanks to battery-powered lanterns
from Osram that can be recharged at
solar-powered “Energy Hubs.” That’s because such technologies are often
focused on efficiency gains. Innovations in
this sector can therefore conserve resources,
thereby cutting costs.
Just how effective this approach can be
is covered in this issue of Pictures of the
Future, which features many impressive
examples of efficiency (pp.10–37). Energy-
saving lamps, for instance, last 15 times
longer than an incandescent light bulb of
the same brightness, while consuming
about a fifth of the electricity. As a result,
the extra purchase cost can be recouped
within 800 hours. What’s more, thanks to
the lower electricity consumption involved,
less carbon dioxide is produced. In fact, the
amount saved per lamp is higher than the
amount of carbon dioxide that a tree can
absorb in an equal period of time (p. 16).
At Siemens, life cycle assessments have
become invaluable tools. They have been
used to determine, for example, that over
90 percent of the environmental impact of
household appliances occurs during opera-
tion. Transport and recycling are nearly
negligible factors, and even production
adds only a few percentage points. Applying this knowledge, engineers
have developed an entirely new heating
pump for a dryer, which consumes 40 per-
cent less electricity than the limit required
by Europe’s Class A designation — making
it the new energy-efficiency world cham-
pion (p. 32).
Siemens is conducting similar in-depth
studies with regard to locomotives. The
results show that a ten-percent increase in
Seeing the Big Picture
Pictures of the Future
Innovations for
New Markets
Digital Watchmen
Life Cycle Planning
110 Scenario 2025 Energy-Saving Sleuth
112 Trends Assessing Product Impact 116 Lamps Let There Be Savings! 118 Interview: Michael Braungart
Remaking the Way We Make Things 120 Holistic Assessments
Products from Dust to Dust 122 Interview: Stig Irving Olsen
Developing a Holistic Approach to
Environmental Impact
124 Rail Systems
Timely Trains
127 Power Plant Optimization
Oh What a Tune-Up!
130 Manufacturing
High-Speed Throughput
132 Appliances
Miracle in the Laundry Room
135 Facts and Forecasts
The Energy-Efficiency Pay Off
136 Financing Clean Investment
140 Scenario 2025 Cold Comfort
142 Trends One Step Ahead
145 RFID Chips
Products that Don’t Lie
148 Banking
No More Mr. Nice Guy
150 Quantum Cryptography Code of Silence
152 Interview: Anton Zeilinger A Quantum Computer in Your Cell Phone
154 Neural Quantum Computers Catching Worms with Quanta
157 Parking Lots
Driving out the Crooks
158 Facts and Forecasts Boom in IT Security Technologies
160 IT Security in Medicine Indefatigable Guardians
162 Bacteria Detection Closing in on Deadly Enemies
164 Fire Lab Where There’s Smoke, There’s...
172 Scenario 2025 Goddess of Wisdom
174 Trends Tapping New Sources of Hope
178 China
Innovations Tailored for China
183 Smart Cameras for India
Affordable Vision
184 Interview: Rajendra K. Pachauri
Reflecting on the Simple Things
186 Interview: Nandan Nilekani
Imagining India’s Future
188 Biomass in Brazil Sweet Savings
190 Interview: José Goldemberg
Brazil’s Ethanol: Liquid Solar Energy 191 Facts and Forecasts
Objective: Affordable Products
192 Energy Hubs for Africa Light for Lake Victoria
196 The Future of the Electric Car
Electric Ecosystem
102 Interview: Eileen Claussen
Toward an Energy-Efficient U.S.
103 Saving Energy in the U.S.
4 Short Takes
News from Siemens’ Labs 00
6 Study of a CO
-Free Munich
Paths to a Better Planet 0
38 Research in Russia
Fresh Oil from Old Wells
68 Economic Crisis Engines of Tomorrow’s Growth
69 Interview: Ottmar Edenhofer
Climate Protection: Not Optional
71 Interview: E.-U. v. Weizsäcker
Efficiency and Civilization
106 Feedback / Preview
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 3
Pictures of the Future | Short Takes
4 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 5
he Acuson SC2000 is the
world’s first ultrasound sys-
tem that can generate full vol-
ume images of the heart in a sin-
gle heartbeat in real time. An
unprecedented information rate
of 40 volumes per second at a
depth of 16 cm replaces conven-
tional techniques requiring four
or more heartbeats to stitch to-
gether a volume. Enabled by the
active cooling technology in the
transducer, the system’s full-vol-
ume acquisition capability has
the potential to improve diagnos-
tic confidence and to reduce
exam times. In addition, the new
system allows the examination of
a wider range of patients, including those with arrhythmias
and those who cannot hold their breath or stay still long
enough. Using intelligent software and an expert database,
the Acuson SC2000 recognizes anatomical patterns and land-
marks and enables automatic measurements. Safe Drinking
esearchers from Siemens Corporate Technology
have developed a fully automatic system to test
drinking water for the presence of toxic substances. A
lab demonstration model can analyze water samples
every 15 minutes and can detect over 100 toxins, such
as insecticides. At the heart of the system is a biosensor
that measures the activity of special enzymes. The sig-
nal is transmitted electrically, which means that the sys-
tem is fast, highly sensitive, and robust. Cold? No Way!
Winning Team
ictures of the Future, the Siemens magazine for re-
search and innovation, recently received the two high-
est awards in the “Magazines” category of a competition
that was organized by the Society for Technical Communi-
cation (STC). The STC is a professional organization for
technical writers, editors, illustrators, managers and educa-
tors. With approximately 18,000 members in 2008, the STC
is the world’s largest professional organization in its field.
The awards were presented at a ceremony in Washington,
D.C. Siemens’ flagship publication (circulation 100,000)
not only won the top-rated “Distinguished” award, but was
singled out for the “Best of Show” award, which means that
the magazine was judged to be superior to all other compe-
tition entries with regard to its quality, concept, execution
and presentation. Commenting on the publication, one of
the judges remarked: “I am impressed that a translation
from German can look so great, considering all the con-
straints. This is a huge effort, and was fantastically exe-
cuted.” Added another, “This periodical successfully pres-
ents highly technical material by balancing the details with
a general perspective and a sense of the human element
amidst all of the technology.”
A testing system for drinking water detects chemical weapons agents.
The Pictures of the Future team(standing, from left to right): Jürgen Winzeck (Picture Editor); Rolf Seufferle, Rigo Ratschke (Layout); Florian Martini (Managing Editor); Sebastian Webel (Editor). Seated: Irene Kern (Picture Editor); Natascha Römer (Illustrations); Arthur F. Pease (Publisher and Executive Editor English edition); Judith Egelhof (Picture Editor), Dr. Ulrich Eberl (Editor-in-Chief and Publisher).
Light Wait
n Munich Airport’s Terminal 2, travelers can check into
futuristic-looking “napcap” booths that make waiting a
pleasurable experience. The booths are equipped with a
couch, a desk, and Internet access. The right lighting for
the booths is provided by a sophisticated concept from
Osram that generates different colors and levels of
brightness. Depending on the user’s preferences, this can
either be a bright blue-tinged working light that pro-
motes activity or a warm red light for relaxation.
Airport “napcap” booths are outfitted with Osram LED lighting modules.
Capturing Carbon S
iemens and German energy producer E.ON are building a
pilot facility for sequestering carbon dioxide (CO
) at an ex-
isting coal-fired power plant near Hanau, Germany. Starting
this summer, the companies will test a so-called “post-combus-
tion capture” procedure, which is designed to mix the flue gas
from combustion with a solution that absorbs about 90 percent
of the CO
contained in the gas. The purified exhaust gas will
then be emitted into the atmosphere with a minimal amount
of residual CO
. The technology has been tested in the lab and
is especially suited for retrofitting in conventional power plants. Concept design of a coal-fired plant with a pilot CO
sequestration system. The Acuson SC2000 recognizes
anatomical landmarks.
he latest high-speed train from the Velaro family has success-
fully passed an endurance test in Russia. Before delivery to the
customer, experts from Siemens tested the train in a climatic wind
tunnel in Vienna. The train is slated to connect Moscow and St. Pe-
tersburg from the end of 2009, and it has to withstand severe
weather conditions at all times. To ensure that this will be the case,
fierce snowstorms were simulated at the Rail Tec Arsenal (RTA) test-
ing facility in Vienna. During these tests, storm conditions raged at
wind speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour and outside tempera-
tures were as low as –40 degrees Celsius. Siemens engineers had
prepared Russia’s first high-speed train to withstand such condi-
tions by incorporating special-grade materials such as steel and
plastic that retain their properties even at low temperatures. In ad-
dition, special lubricants, a refined design, and auxiliary safety func-
tions for the drive and switching systems were needed to ensure
the smooth operation of the train under the most adverse tempera-
ture conditions. Besides demonstrating the train’s functionality in
snow and ice, the test showed that passengers are in for a comfort-
able ride. Thanks to the use of enhanced thermal insulation, pas-
sengers can count on remaining warm despite the icy
Siemens Velaro trains for Russia stay cosy even under extreme test conditions .
Unique Scanner
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 7
Paths to a Better Planet
Cities are responsible for four fifths of all greenhouse emissions. That means that effective steps to cut emissions in urban areas can have profound effects on the envi-
ronment. A new study based on the city of Munich shows how a major metropolitan
area could make itself virtually carbon-free within a few decades. Most of the technol-
ogy that’s needed is already available — and putting it to work would save money. biggest impact here. The major metropolitan
areas of the world are thus in a unique position
to lead the way to more environmentally-
friendly modes of living and doing business. How can a modern city, despite population
growth, reduce carbon emissions without hav-
ing to compromise on living standards or risk-
ing a slowdown in economic growth? This is
the question that has occupied researchers
from Germany’s Wuppertal Institute for Cli-
mate, Environment and Energy with the sup-
port of Siemens. Their study “Munich — Paths
toward a Carbon-free Future” presents a de-
tailed look at what the city can do to minimize
its environmental footprint between now and
2058. The study concludes that it is possible to
transform a city like Munich into a practically
carbon-free area. This, it says, will require close
cooperation between municipal authorities,
energy companies, and the population, along
with a clear commitment to efficient technolo-
gies, ranging from energy-saving refrigerators
to power plants, as well as a general willing-
ness to invest in greater use of renewable en-
ergy sources such as wind, solar power, bio-
mass, and geothermal energy. Cutting CO
by 80 to 90 Percent. The study
sketches two alternative scenarios for Munich.
The so-called “target scenario” adopts the very
optimistic view that the vision of a carbon-free
future can be more or less achieved over the
50-year span under consideration in the study. Another scenario — the so-called bridge
scenario — is somewhat more conservative
and assumes, for example, that increased effi-
ciency in power generation will be offset by
rises in demand and that individual transporta-
tion will remain similar to its present-day form.
Nevertheless, the results are impressive in both
cases. The optimistic target scenario predicts
that through the implementation of compre-
hensive efficiency measures the average CO
emissions per inhabitant can be curbed by
around 90 percent to 750 kilograms per an-
num by the middle of the century. The more conservative bridge scenario, on
the other hand, results in a average CO
tion of almost 80 percent to approximately 1.3
metric tons. In comparison, on the basis of the
IPCC World Climate Report of 2007, the Euro-
pean Union’s environmental ministers came up
with a target of reducing greenhouse gas emis-
sions worldwide by over 50 percent and
thereby to an average figure of less than two
metric tons per capita. Both of the Munich sce-
narios undercut this target substantially. The Munich study analyzes in detail which
measures will achieve the greatest reduction in
emissions and whether they are economi-
cal. Almost half of Munich’s CO
emissions are
the result of energy used to heat the city’s
homes and buildings. Improving the insulation
of roofs, facades, and basements would thus
yield significant savings. It is therefore crucial
not to scrimp in this area. In fact, the study as-
sumes that the refurbishment of existing hous-
ing in Munich will conform to the Passive
House standard and that all future housing will
also conform to this standard. This includes the
use of not only the best insulation and vac-
uum-insulated windows but also ventilation
systems that recover residual heat from the
houses’ exhaust air before it is blown outside. Source: City of Munich, 2008; Stadtwerke München; estimates by Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Munich’s Energy Requirements in 2008
emissions from energy sector
8.2m t CO
per annum
Losses resulting from power generation and
transmission as well as energy consumption
in the energy sector: 11.4 TWh = 30%
Total energy requirements: 29.0 TWh per annum
From coal
2.4m t
From natural
3.2m t
From crude
2.6m t
Primary energy
40.4 TWh per annum
7.4 TWh
Space heating and process heat
7.5 TWh
Electricity 4.3 TWh
Space heating 9.5 TWh
Electricity 2.5 TWh
Electricity 0.3 TWh
15.8 TWh
Crude oil
9.7 TWh
Renewables 1.0 TWh
Trade + Industry 11.8 TWh
12.0 TWh
5.3 TWh
Fuel 5.0 TWh
Figures rounded, 1 TWh = 3.6 PJ = 122,700 t hard coal equivalent
Nuclear power 6.5 TWh
| Study of a Carbon-Free Munich
ities are attractive places to live. They
promise work, a vibrant cultural life, and a
host of leisure activities. All of which is very
true of Munich, Bavaria’s capital. From here, it’s
only a short hop to go climbing or skiing in the
Alps, to reach crystal-clear lakes, or to drive to
Italy and the Mediterranean. Little wonder
then that Munich is one of the few cities in Ger-
many that is set to grow in the coming
decades. Although an exception in Germany,
the city is, however, very much in line with the
trend toward ever-larger metropolitan areas. In the world’s newly industrializing and de-
veloping countries people flock to cities in
search of work and education and in hope of a
better life. And last year a watershed was
reached. In 2008, for the first time ever, half of
the world’s population lived in cities. By 2050
this figure is forecast to grow to 70 percent.
This will result in huge urban sprawls that con-
sume resources and pollute environments. Although metropolitan areas cover only one
percent of the earth’s surface, they are respon-
sible for 75 percent of the world’s energy con-
sumption and 80 percent of greenhouse gases,
not least carbon dioxide (CO
). As such, they
are storing up trouble for themselves, since ex-
perts expect cities to be seriously affected by
climate change. Shanghai, for example, is likely
to suffer from storms and heavy rains, and Ger-
many’s Federal Environment Agency predicts
that by the end of the century Munich will see
a significant increase in the number of hot days
and “tropical” nights each year. Is there any good news about cities? Well,
yes. The very fact that they are not only the
biggest culprits in climate change, but that
they are so concentrated offers a good oppor-
tunity to tackle the problems they cause, since
the key levers for climate protection have their
6 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Pictures of the Future | Short Takes
Inventions in the Wind
enrik Stiesdal certainly has
what it takes to be a top
inventor. The oil crisis in the
1970s and the debate about fu-
ture supplies of energy
prompted Stiesdal, at that time
a recent high school graduate,
to build one of the first wind
turbines ever on his parents’
farm in Denmark. He got the
materials mainly from scrap
yards. Today, at 51, Stiesdal is
one of the most successful pio-
neers in the field of wind en-
ergy, having made 74 inven-
tions and filed 85 patents worldwide, some of them before he joined Siemens.
“Wind parks have great prospects, especially if they’re on the open sea,” he says.
However, several challenges still need to be overcome, such as the fact that wind
turbines use a gearbox that converts the rotor’s low rotational speed into the high
speed used to generate electricity. “But gear boxes are very complex machines that
are liable to break down and expensive to repair,” explains Stiesdal. To overcome
this problem, he is currently working on developing a turbine without a gearbox. In-
stead of a gearbox, the system uses a synchronous generator that is excited by per-
manent magnets so that it can directly convert the rotor movements into electrical
energy. “If the concept works, wind park operators will be thrilled,” says Stiesdal. Henrik Stiesdal wants to make wind power more robust.
Facelift Fit for a Queen
ccording to researchers working in Berlin, Germany, the famous bust of
Queen Nefertiti originally had a completely different face. Under the outer layer
of plaster is a second face, which at first glance looks much older than the outer
one. For example, there are visible wrinkles around the mouth, and the nose fits in
less harmoniously with the other features. The researchers uncovered this secret us-
ing a Somatom Sensation 64 computer tomograph from Siemens, whose image
resolution is 0.3 millimeters. The scanner provided the team with a detailed image
of the limestone core of the bust. Experts believe that more than 3,000 years ago
the Pharaoh Akhenaten was dissatisfied with his spouse’s image and ordered the
sculptors to remodel the bust of this queen of ancient Egypt. In line with his wishes,
the sculptors emphasized Nefertiti’s cheek bones and straightened her nose. fm
CT scanning reveals that a concealed face is hidden under Queen Nefertiti’s visible face.
be largely satisfied by renewable sources. The
study assumes that the city will continue to ob-
tain electricity from larger power plants in the
region as well as further afield in Germany and
abroad. Such power could be generated essen-
tially by large offshore and onshore wind farms
in northern Europe or by solar-thermal power
plants in southern Europe or northern Africa
and then transported to the cities of central Eu-
rope via low-loss HVDC transmission lines.
Some of this power could also be generated in
low-carbon power plants equipped with tech-
nology for carbon capture and storage.
Plugging Cars into the Picture. One of the
most striking changes investigated by the
study is the massive shift to electric cars. It is
likely that by the middle of the century most
car trips in the Munich area will be made in
electric vehicles. For longer trips, people will
probably still use hybrid or highly efficient
diesel or gasoline cars that consume on aver-
age less than five liters of fuel per 100 kilome-
ters. The large number of electric vehicles in
Munich will also become an important link
within the power supply chain (p. 96), helping
to buffer fluctuating loads from photovoltaic
and wind sources, whose output of electricity
differs according to the weather and the time
of day. When power is plentiful (and therefore
cheap), electric car batteries will serve as an in-
termediate storage system. At times of high de-
mand (and peak rates), they will feed some of
their power back into the grid. At the same time, better town planning can
help reduce the amount of traffic in Munich
Source: Estimate by Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Emissions Per Capita Annual CO
per capita (in kg)
Emissions by Sector
Source: Estimate by Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Thousands of metric tons CO
2 p.a.
Passenger transport
Commercial transport
Power and heat from CHP (coal)
Power and heat from CHP (natural gas)
Heat from CHP (natural gas)
Power from CHP (natural gas)
Power generation (coal with CCS)
Direct heat generation (heating oil) Direct heat generation (natural gas) Percentage of CO
emissions in Munich (2008) resulting from heating of buildings: 46.5% 46.5%
Source: Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Building Heating by
Source TWh per annum
1% 77% District heating
Decentralized CHP Direct supply of
heat -79%
and therefore reduce its CO
emissions. Both
scenarios are based on reduced travel require-
ments. Instead of building shopping malls on
green field sites that can only be reached by
car, the study favors the creation of urban
neighborhoods in which homes, workplaces,
and stores are close to one another. That way,
many more trips can be completed on foot or
by bicycle. The authors likewise advocate mak-
ing public transit more comfortable in order to
encourage its increased use. This includes the
provision of individual services to inform pas-
sengers about fares and connections via mo-
bile terminals. Why Savings Offset Expenses. In addition
to analyzing Munich as a whole, the study pre-
sents a detailed plan of how to improve energy
efficiency in an actual district on the periphery
that contains both old and new housing. Here
a 30-year period is considered. The authors
conclude that it would be possible to create a
low-carbon neighborhood within this relatively
short period of time. Moreover, they say that
the cost of refurbishing existing structures and
building new ones in line with the Passive
House standard would be offset by savings in
energy that would have been consumed for
heating within a 30-year timeframe. The sav-
ings would be sufficient to fund the creation of
a carbon-free district heating distribution sys-
tem powered by geothermal energy. In other
words, investment in a carbon-free supply of
heating would not only reduce emissions sub-
stantially but would also save the district an av-
erage of €4 to €6.5 million per annum over the
lifetime of the systems.
It must be remembered that private individ-
uals and the business sector also have a role to
play in boosting energy efficiency, since in
many cases it is they who must choose be-
tween traditional technology and a more effi-
cient but often, at the outset, more expensive
alternative. This applies equally to the con-
struction of housing, electric appliances, and
industrial motors. Yet the study emphasizes
that this often involves merely a change in be-
havior, not a compromise in the quality of life.
Frequently it is high costs that prevent a whole-
sale shift in attitudes and the widespread use
of low-energy technology. And frequently this
is because consumers fail to appreciate the po-
tential savings in energy costs over a full prod-
uct lifetime. However, experience clearly shows
that people’s behavior can be nudged in the
right direction by the use of appropriate finan-
cial assistance and incentives combined with
targeted information campaigns. The study
therefore concludes that greater energy effi-
ciency is chiefly interesting when it makes
sound financial sense. And that is almost al-
ways the case. Tim Schröder
CHP:Combined heat and power 8 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 9
Pictures of the Future | Study of a Carbon-Free Munich
Based on the above steps, the study finds
that it should be possible to reduce heating re-
quirements for existing buildings from the cur-
rent figure of around 200 kilowatt-hours per
square meter per annum (kWh/m
a) to be-
tween 25 and 35 kWh/m
, while new housing
will require only between 10 to 20 kWh/m
a. At the same time, new buildings are to be
fitted with solar power systems, so that most of
them will be able to cover their remaining en-
ergy requirements autonomously and even
feed excess energy into the grid. In order to en-
sure that the energy efficiency of most build-
ings is raised to the requisite level over the next
50 years, the rate at which such refurbishment
is being carried out must increase from the cur-
rent figure of 0.5 percent to 2.0 percent per an-
num. This means that four times as many
homeowners must implement such energy im-
provements than is currently the case.
The idea of improving the energy efficiency
of a city like Munich on a more or less whole-
sale basis over 50 years sounds like a major
challenge. Yet such efforts are worthwhile. Al-
though it is more expensive to build according
to the Passive House standard than to imple-
ment the Energy Conservation Act of 2007, the
additional costs involved in such refurbishment
and the construction of new housing would
amount to around €13 billion for the entire city
Home Power. Of course, insulation is by no
means the end of the story. More has to be
done if CO
emissions are to be cut to almost
zero. Greenhouse gas emissions can also be re-
duced by the use of combined heat and power
(CHP) systems. Such heating systems are par-
ticularly efficient, since they utilize around nine
tenths of the energy contained in their primary
fuel. Both Munich scenarios also assume that
the use of district heating will rise from the cur-
rent figure of 20 percent to 60 percent. This is
not an unrealistic proposition. In Copenhagen,
for example, around 70 percent of all house-
holds are heated this way.
Improving the energy efficiency of buildings will cost
€13 billion but result in energy savings of €30 billion. Other measures designed to reduce CO
emissions include the use of economical elec-
tric appliances and lighting as well as renew-
able and low-carbon energy sources such as
photovoltaic systems, solar collectors, and ge-
othermal systems. The study assumes that
electricity will be increasingly generated on a
decentralized basis — for example, by CHP
plants for individual areas of the city or even
micro CHP units for individual buildings, which
supply not only heat but also electricity for resi-
dents (Pictures of the Future, Fall 2008, p. 78). According to the study, if all the opportuni-
ties to save electricity were rigorously exploited
— from stoplights to tumble driers — the
power consumption of a city like Munich could
of Munich. That would mean extra costs of ap-
proximately €200 a year per inhabitant —
around one third of an average annual gas bill.
By 2058, however, this additional investment
would be offset by energy savings of between
€1.6 and €2.6 billion per year, which translates
into an annual sum of between €1,200 to €2,000 per inhabitant. The refurbishment of
existing and construction of new housing in
line with the Passive House standard would —
according to the study — result in energy sav-
ings of more than €30 billion by 2058. More-
over, this scenario also applies to other areas,
since the study comes to the conclusion that
measures designed to enhance efficiency gen-
erally pay for themselves over their lifetime.
Sources of Munich’s Energy Mix
TWh per annum
Coal-fired power plant with CCS
Solar-thermal electricity generation
Wind power on-/offshore
Biomass Geothermal
Decentralized CHP
Centralized CHP
LPT electricity
LPT biofuel
LPT fuel (fossil)
MIT electricity
MIT biofuel
MIT fuel (fossil)
TWh per annum
Source: Wuppertal Institute, 2008
Power generation:
Accounts for 40.3% of CO
emissions in Munich (2008)
Public transport: Accounts for 12.6% of CO
emissions in Munich (2008)
Munich’s Transport Energy Mix
MIT:Motorized Individual Transport
LPT:Local Public Transport
CCS:Carbon Capture & Storage
16 Let there be Savings! Researchers have studied the life
cycles of lamps from production
to disposal. Result: Efficiency and
life span are the keys to a healthy
environmental balance sheet. 18 Making Things for Tomorrow
An interview with chemist Michael
Braungart, developer of the “cradle
to cradle” concept, concerning the
never-ending materials cycle.
20 Products from Dust to Dust The first environmental impact assessment conducted by Siemens for its Corex/Finex technologies showed that even pig iron can be produced in ways that are rela-
tively environmentally friendly.
24 Timely Trains
Detailed life cycle analyses help
engineers design trains that are
environmentally friendly in their
operation, production, and
27 Oh What a Tune-Up!
Modernizing old power plants can
result in huge savings for opera-
tors while sharply reducing CO
emissions. Siemens is a leader in
overhauling plant control systems
and replacing turbines.
32 Miracle in the Laundry Room Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte has
developed a dryer that uses only
half the power of conventional
products — an energy-efficiency
world champion.
In his special lab, energy-efficiency sleuth
Henry Poiret fine tunes the environmental
balance sheets of new locomotives for a rail-
way company. The trains and the entire pro-
duction hall are represented as holograms.
Poiret is assisted in his work by his avatar
“Virtual Watson.” Here, he presents a new
drive system that produces electricity as
soon as the train brakes, and feeds it back
into the power grid. 10 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 11
The scene is New York City
in 2025. Henry Poiret, a
former FBI scientist, is a
specialist in environmental
balance sheets who tracks
down energy wasters of all
kinds for his clients. For
the very first time, he allows a journalist to
watch him at work — and
to get an inside glimpse of
his new lab.
Energy- Saving
urn the light off for heaven’s sake!” The
elderly man hurries across the room, past
his secretary, and claps his hands quickly three
times. The bright ceiling lights go out, and at
the same time the dark-tinted panorama win-
dows become transparent, revealing a view of
Manhattan. “A few more kilowatt-hours saved,”
he says with evident satisfaction. “Welcome to
my office.”
It wasn’t easy getting an appointment with
Henry “the Sniffer” Poiret — least of all as a
journalist, because if there’s one thing the 70-
year-old former FBI scientist can’t stand, it’s
publicity. Poiret prefers to work out of sight,
and the prodigious wrongdoers he strives to
hunt down — power hogs and energy wasters,
gas guzzlers, and climate killers — often re-
main elusive as well. In short, anything that
consumes too much electricity, raw materials,
or other resources must go. Poiret is an energy-
L i f e C y c l e P l a n n i n g | Scenario 2025
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 13
Production, use and disposal. Companies are looking ever more closely at the life cycles of their
products — from development and production to operation and recycling. Assessing Product Impact
Anyone who wants to protect the environment while cutting costs needs to look at the entire product life cycle. With the help of environmental life cycle assessments, Siemens investigates how much in the way of energy and raw materi-
als products use during their life times and what volume of harmful substances is produced as a result. These analyses are translated into efficient new technologies.
of the environmental benefits, however, was
unclear until recently. The scientists therefore
compared Corex/ Finex with conventional blast
furnaces and documented the impact on air,
water, and soil (p. 20). In this analysis, each step was carefully in-
vestigated and evaluated — from extraction
and preparation of raw materials to processes
such as dedusting, gas cleaning, and desul-
phurization. “We discovered that the environ-
mental life cycle assessment of Corex/Finex is
significantly better than the blast furnace
route,” says CT materials expert Frank Wala-
chowicz. This was especially true of emissions.
The amount of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides,
and dust produced is considerably lower with
Corex/Finex. Waste water is also significantly
less contaminated. “With environmental life cy-
cle assessment, we’ve been able to demon-
strate for the first time just how environmen-
tally compatible the process is compared to
conventional methods,” says Walachowicz.
Saving Energy. Environmental compatibility is
also the credo of Bosch und Siemens Haus-
geräte GmbH (BSH), Europe’s biggest white
goods manufacturer. For instance, a strict in-
ternal guideline at BSH stipulates that every ef-
fort must be made to minimize the impact on
the environment of the company’s washing
machines in all phases of their life cycles. This
approach is well-grounded in economics since
customers want white goods that consume as
little water and power as possible. By 2030, for
instance, the market volume for energy-effi-
cient products such as home appliances is set
to almost double in the U.S., according to the
American Solar Energy Society (p. 35). BSH’s
environmental experts have conducted studies
of their home appliances to find out how devel-
mental life cycle assessment. These balance
sheets summarize all the environmental im-
pacts that are associated with the creation of a
product or service. “This is a holistic approach
in which the environmental compatibility of
every step of production — from the extraction
and processing of raw materials to the disposal
of a product — is evaluated,” explains Professor
Stig Irving Olsen, a sustainability specialist at
the Technical University of Denmark (p. 22). At Siemens Corporate Technology (CT), spe-
cialists involved in the detection of environ-
mental changes teamed up with Professor
Olsen and other partners in 2008 to examine
two complex technologies. In the Corex/Finex
process for steel manufacturing, pig iron is
generated in a single process step from ore
fines. As coking and sintering are no longer
needed, resource consumption and investment
fall — as do production costs. The exact scale
| Trends
f goods were alive, they would lead a desper-
ate existence. Monitored constantly from the
moment of birth, they have to perform per-
fectly throughout their entire lives. And when
they grow old, they are carted away to be can-
nibalized. But something that sounds like a
horror story for humans is actually a desirable
goal for products, since only thorough analyses
can determine which products need as little en-
ergy as possible while resulting in as few harm-
ful by-products as possible. And in the light of
climate change, growing environmental aware-
ness, and the focus on energy efficiency, this
has now become an important requirement in
order to succeed with customers.
Companies are therefore examining the
journey their products take from the drawing
board to the recycling yard more and more
closely. A product’s environmental footprint
can be determined using a so-called environ-
12 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
efficiency sleuth. In recent years, he has made
a name for himself by cracking a number of
spectacular cases. In 2020, for example. With-
out him, the city council would surely not have
succeeded in setting up an almost completely
-neutral district. And many of us remember what happened
last summer, when the yellow cabs in Manhat-
tan finally went green thanks to electric drive
technology. The old fox had a hand in that too. At the moment, Poiret is ready to help a Eu-
ropean manufacturer of railway systems. U.S.
Track, the local New York transit operator,
wants to use a new generation of environmen-
tally-friendly high-speed trains. So it an-
nounced a competition — with the contract to
be awarded to the company whose locomotive
can demonstrate the best energy-efficiency
and most favorable environmental balance
sheet throughout its service life. Naturally, the
Europeans don’t want to miss the opportunity
to submit a concept, and they believe they can
maximize their chances with Poiret’s assis-
tance. The master sleuth has taken time out for
our magazine and has even agreed to give us
an exclusive look at his new laboratory. “Bobby, give the lad something to drink and
start up the lab, we’re going down,” the master
says. His secretary hands me a cup of coffee
and urges me into an elevator at the end of the
room. “I’ve set up a small workroom in the
basement,” says Poiret. “That’s where I also
show customers my results from time to time.
Mr. Watson is expecting us.” When the elevator
doors open, I am met by a wave of loud factory
noise. We are in the middle of a cavernous as-
sembly hall; welding robots are everywhere,
working on half-finished trains, and the air has
a metallic taste. “Watson,” calls Poiret, “turn off
that soundtrack immediately, it’s unbearable.” The din subsides in seconds. A figure that
seems strangely transparent glides forward
from behind a locomotive. “Allow me to intro-
duce Virtual Watson,” says Poiret. “You don’t
have to extend your hand, he couldn’t shake it
anyway. Mr. Watson is an avatar, a hologram,
just like the entire hall. An entirely new tech-
nology, and not exactly inexpensive.” Poiret
takes a sip of coffee. “The entire locomotive production process
can be simulated down here,” he explains. “The
manufacturer has already transferred the data
to me, so I can find out where energy and raw
materials are wasted, for example, and deter-
mine the best ways to save even more.” Poiret pulls an ultra-thin folding OLED dis-
play from his pocket. “But now let’s get to work.
We’re not playing a computer game here. Wat-
son, explain to our young friend what we’ve
learned.” “Very well, sir. We invited the Europeans to
our lab, and together we took the simulated
trains apart literally down to the last screw,
while the design stage was still under way. In
the process we noticed that the designers
wanted to use mainly aluminum panels from
China — flawless in quality, but rather inappro-
priate with regard to the train’s environmental
balance sheet.” Virtual Watson straightens his perfectly sim-
ulated bow tie. “Production of these panels is
very energy-intensive. And in China electricity
still comes to a large extent from coal-fired
power plants — they have become more effi-
cient in recent years, but they still haven’t inte-
grated a system of CO
storage. So they emit a
relatively large amount of CO
. This is why we
have recommended using aluminum panels
from Iceland and Norway. In those countries,
the electricity comes entirely from renewable
sources such as geothermal energy and hy-
dropower. That would considerably improve
the train’s environmental balance sheet.” Poiret nods in approval and browses
through pages on his OLED display. “Of course,
we had other suggestions,” reveals the energy-
efficiency detective. “Watson, show us the
front drive section.” The avatar strolls over to
one of the locomotives and touches the under-
body. As if by a magical force, the entire train
becomes transparent. “The drive system is not
only gearless and ultra-efficient; it also serves
as a generator. Whenever the locomotive is
moving downhill or its brakes are applied, it ac-
cumulates braking energy. It feeds the power
back into the electrical grid or uses it for its on-
board systems — so the train not only con-
sumes electrical energy, but also produces it.” Poiret gestures to Watson to climb aboard
one of the trains. The assistant takes a seat in
one of the compartments and lights up a vir-
tual pipe. “Mr. Watson has just made himself
nice and comfortable atop what is essentially a
compost heap: All the seat covers are com-
pletely environmentally compatible, and
what’s more, they will even become valuable
fertilizer after they have been used,” explains
Poiret. “In theory, you could even eat them. In-
cidentally, the whole train is completely recy-
clable and contains no toxic substances what-
soever. We succeeded in hunting down all the
environmental polluters before it was too late.” Poiret types a combination of keys into his
PDA. Slowly, the production hall disappears,
and all that remains is a small white room —
and Virtual Watson. “I still have a thing or two
to do here. Unfortunately, my holographic
room uses quite a bit of power,” he admits. “But
I can hardly bear to turn off Mr. Watson.”
Florian Martini
Life Cycle Planning | Scenario 2025
Holistic Approach Solves Problems
Companies that are planning to launch products as quickly and flexibly as possible, while maximizing
quality and minimizing costs, would do well to comprehensively review the life cycles of these prod-
ucts. In Product Life cycle Management (PLM), the entire chain — from idea to recycling — is minutely
analyzed. “We have to make this chain more efficient by injecting technical expertise into the process
and integrating it in a practical way,” explains Steffen Grünwaldt, who is a Project Manager for the PLM
Technology Center at Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) in Munich, Germany.
The PLM Center, which was founded in October 2008, strives to achieve this objective by bringing to-
gether expertise from various CT departments — including process and production optimization, de-
sign, materials management, software and factory design, as well as supplier integration and service.
“The fundamental goal of our Technology Center is to support the Siemens Sectors so that they can
manufacture products that satisfy market demands as quickly as possible,” says Grünwaldt. “We also
provide experts from various disciplines throughout Siemens with an ideal development environment
for the mechatronic integration of their planned products.” Networked workstations help achieve this,
as do modern meeting rooms, databases, and 3D simulations of entire production lines. For Grünwaldt and his team, the holistic utilization of the pool of experts is paramount. “With our PLM
Technology Center, we can avoid tunnel vision, since the purpose of the Center is to ensure that prod-
ucts are no longer regarded from the perspective of one individual department, but rather that the en-
tire added value chain can be examined for its optimization potential,” explains Grünwaldt
“Very simply, the PLM Technology Center works as follows,” says Grünwaldt. “Let’s assume that the
Siemens Energy Sector receives a maintenance inquiry concerning a turbine in a remote region and
that the Sector’s specialists know they will have difficulty meeting this request, since it would be too
difficult and cost-intensive to send an engineer there or train personnel locally. This is the kind of sce-
nario in which the holistic approach of process consulting could come into play,” he says. On the one
hand, CT experts would draw up a sophisticated version of remote maintenance with the Siemens Sec-
tor. On the other, the project team would analyze issues that were not addressed in the original de-
scription of the problem, but that could contribute effectively to a solution. In the case of turbines, this
could be a recommendation to optimize the design and materials in terms of robustness, so that the
turbine would be less likely to require repairs and maintenance. “Remote maintenance can therefore
be the original question, but completely different factors can contribute to an economically sustain-
able solution,” says Grünwaldt. As well as providing a solution- and application-oriented process consulting services, the PLM Technol-
ogy Center can also help with the implementation and market launch of innovative ideas. For in-
stance, the Center supports research into electro-mobility — in other words, the development of elec-
tric-powered vehicles and their integration into a corresponding infrastructure (p. 96). At the moment,
the Center is still in its infancy. The first pilot projects have begun, and the Center is set to officially go
into operation in the second half of 2009. Additional PLM Technology Centers are already in the
pipeline for Siemens locations in Princeton, New Jersey and Beijing, China. Kirstin Schliekau
Saving Money. Ralf Pfitzner, Head of Product-
Related Environmental Protection at Siemens,
is convinced that calculating product life time
energy demand will become an essential part
of how amortization value is derived. “In the
medium term, energy costs will continue to
rise. For customers, the consideration of the
entire life cycle is therefore going to play an
ever greater role,” says Pfitzner. “There’s a mas-
sive market for this that has yet to be tapped.”
The point at which investments in environmen-
tal technology innovations are balanced out by
the energy costs saved varies significantly from
product to product, however, and also depends
on electricity prices. For instance, for an en-
ergy-efficient motor that’s used 2,000 hours a
year for ten years, the purchase price accounts
for less than three percent of total costs. En-
ergy costs, by contrast, account for more than
95 percent. “Here, higher procurement costs
are amortized in less than two years,” explains
Pfitzner. “Energy-efficient products don’t just
spare the environment, they also save money.”
In addition to demanding energy-efficient
products, customers are also looking to mod-
ernization of existing facilities as a way of re-
ducing long-term operational costs. Many
power plants, for instance, are over 30 years
old and are no longer at the cutting edge of
technology. In order to cut costs and emissions,
however, such plants need to be operated as
efficiently as possible. Siemens Energy therefore offers a kind of
tune-up for power plants (p. 27). In order to
turn such “dinosaurs” into racehorses, engi-
neers examine all of a plant’s parameters. Of-
ten, simply giving control systems new elec-
tronics generates significant improvements.
For instance, the time it takes to bring a plant
up to full power can be shortened, saving
money and avoiding the production of tons of
. Power plants can also be made more effi-
cient by optimizing individual components.
Consequently, Siemens fits modernized tur-
bines to around 20 to 25 power plants a year
— an improvement that markedly increases ef-
ficiency and reduces emissions. Prof. Olsen regards life cycle assessment as
one of the most powerful weapons companies
can use in the battle against environmental
damage. “Such assessments not only improve
the environmental compatibility of products
and their production processes, they also
sharpen consumers’ awareness of environmen-
tal issues,” he explains. Companies themselves
also benefit from this process, says Olsen.
“With the aid of an environmental life cycle as-
sessment, they can increase their attractive-
ness — both to customers and to clients from
the public sector,” he says.Florian Martini
14 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 15
Life Cycle Planning | Trends
opers can improve their products’ life cycle as-
sessments. These studies show that product
use accounts for more than 90 percent of envi-
ronmental impact, while transport and recy-
cling barely register. In the case of dryers, this figure is 97 per-
cent, with water vaporization being especially
prove their energy efficiency (p. 16). “If we can
increase our light bulbs’ luminous efficiency by
just one to two percent, we can achieve more
than if Osram were to completely cease emit-
ting carbon dioxide generated as a result of the
production process,” says Christian Merz, a sus-
tainability expert at Osram. “Customers want a good locomotive that also
meets the highest environmental standards,”
says Martin Leitel, an expert in sustainable ap-
proaches at Mobility. “Life cycle analyses are
frequently a precondition for participation in
tendering processes.” For his analysis, Leitel uses a database con-
taining many thousands of part numbers and
detailed information about the materials from
which each component is made. Another data-
base lists the primary energy consumption and
emissions associated with each material,
differentiated by region. For instance, an alu-
minum sheet from Iceland, a country rich in re-
generative energy sources, is rated as having a
much lower CO
footprint than one from
China, where electricity is largely obtained
from coal-fired power stations. Graphics ulti-
mately show where energy is consumed.
Siemens launched its blueTherm dryer — the
result of two years of development and testing.
The dryer uses a new type of heat pump and
consumes only half as much electricity as an
average condenser dryer of efficiency class B.
The blueTherm even undercuts the threshold
of class A by 40 percent. “That makes us the en-
ergy-saving world champion,” says BSH project
manager Kai Nitschmann. Although the dryer
is more expensive than its conventional coun-
terparts, it ultimately saves money — given av-
erage use and German electricity prices, it con-
sumes just €18 of electricity a year, while the
operation of a vented dryer costs around €50.
Cutting Emissions.Siemens subsidiary Osram
is also taking a closer look at the life cycle of its
products, in this case light bulbs. The company
wants to market only bulbs that are more envi-
ronmentally compatible than their predeces-
sors. The best way of achieving that is to im-
up to a reduction of 450 million tons per year
in CO
emissions — almost half of Germany’s
total emissions. “You’d have to plant a forest
about the size of Sweden to achieve the same
effect,” says Merz. Osram’s scientists are work-
ing on an environmental life cycle assessment
for LEDs, which have major green potential. In
terms of efficiency, the pinhead-sized lights
can already compete with economical fluores-
cent bulbs— and new materials are set to sig-
nificantly increase their luminous efficiency.
Energy dieting is also becoming popular
among the products from Siemens’ Mobility di-
vision, as railways leave behind a sizeable envi-
ronmental footprint. Trains, streetcars, and
subway vehicles therefore need to be as eco-
nomical as possible and emit as few harmful
emissions as possible during use, manufacture,
and recycling. The Mobility division is also us-
ing life cycle assessments to determine the
most environmentally-friendly designs (p. 24).
Freight locomotives are particularly energy-in-
tensive during operation. For example, in Eu-
rope, between 200,000 and 400,000 tons of
can be generated over a locomotive’s 30-
years lifetime, depending on how it is utilized.
Locomotive production, on the other hand,
generates only around 250 tons of CO
. On the
other hand, the recycling phase generates sav-
ings of 100 tons of CO
because a large propor-
tion of a locomotive consists of recyclable ma-
terials. For engineers, Leitel’s data trove is an
important tool, because life cycle assessments
can be used to develop the most environmen-
tally friendly railways possible. Experts at
Siemens, however, don’t regard the fact that
sustainable locomotives can be more expen-
sive than their conventional equivalents as an
obstacle to progress. “A ten percent higher pur-
chase price for a locomotive still pays off for
the customer if the energy efficiency is two
percentage points higher,” Leitel explains. As part of a life cycle assessment of trains, Siemens mobility engineers use a database that details each component’s primary energy consumption and CO
footprint. Life cycle studies show that an aluminum sheet from Iceland has a lower CO
footprint than one from China.
energy-intensive. This was reason enough for
BSH to develop a dryer that puts all other appli-
ances in the shade (p. 32). Developers ana-
lyzed dryers of all types, counted screws,
weighed components, and tested current con-
sumption and noise. In September 2008
The European Union’s ban on conventional
light bulbs is therefore logical. The switch to ef-
ficient lighting can help save 900 billion kilo-
watt-hours a year worldwide — or about one
third of all the electricity used for lighting, ex-
plains Merz. With today’s energy mix, this adds
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 1716 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Life Cycle Planning | Lamps
algorzata Kroban spent months traveling
to manufacturing workshops and pro-
duction halls every day. The young engineer
visited Osram glass manufacturing centers,
where glass cylinders and tubes are made from
a large number of materials melted together in
giant hot furnaces. Kroban witnessed lamp bodies being coated
with phosphor, filled with gases, fitted with
electronic circuits and stuck to plastic parts.
She spoke with factory managers, researchers,
and developers, and sifted through numerous
databases. Her objective — which was also the
Fluorescent lamp manufacturing. Most of the energy consumed during a lamp’s life cycle results
from operation, while production (small images) requires a relatively small proportion of energy.
Let there be Savings!
Researchers who have studied the life cycles of various lamps from Osram, a Siemens
subsidiary, have found that their environmental balance sheet from production to disposal is almost exclusively determined by their efficiency and life span. An energy-saving lamp lasts 15 times longer than a light bulb — and saves one megawatt-hour of electricity. topic of her doctoral dissertation at the Bran-
denburg University of Technology in Cottbus,
Germany — was to put together a comprehen-
sive environmental balance sheet for fluores-
cent lamps and various other Osram lighting
systems. “This dissertation marked the first time that
the entire lamp life cycle had been closely ex-
amined — everything from quarry operations
and extraction of the materials for the glass to
recycling and disposal facilities,” says Christian
Merz, a sustainability expert at Osram. It was
thus at once a premiere and a complex detec-
tive assignment. Every detail had to be identi-
fied and recorded. Where do raw materials
come from, and how are they extracted, trans-
ported, prepared, and processed? What exactly
occurs during the manufacturing process, and
which machines and tools are needed? How
much material and energy is used, and which
energy sources are involved? How much elec-
tricity do the lamps consume when operating;
how long do they last? And finally, which sub-
stances are recyclable, and can therefore be re-
used when the lamp reaches the end of its
service life? The results of Kroban’s extensive investiga-
tion made one thing very clear: “The environ-
mental balance sheet for lamps is largely deter-
mined by their energy consumption during
operation,” she says. As Kroban discovered,
only one to two percent of total lamp energy
consumption is attributable to lamp produc-
tion. “That’s why efficiency during operation is
the most effective lever for making lamps more
environmentally friendly,” says Merz. “So, if we
can raise lamp luminous efficiency even just
one or two percent, we’ll achieve more than if
we covered up all our smokestacks and no
longer released production-related carbon
dioxide into the atmosphere.” The desired efficiency increases can be at-
tained through extensive refinements, such as
limiting tolerances during production in order
to minimize a lamp’s environmental impact.
Soon, for example, it should be possible to fill
lamps with precisely the amount of gas needed
to make them light up most efficiently. Imple-
mentation of many such measures can raise
the luminous efficiency of today’s common
lighting systems by around 20 percent. When Less is More. Osram’s developers can
also use such life cycle analyses to identify
those parts of the production process where re-
sources can be conserved, and future waste
then, Osram has continually updated its fig-
ures. According to this data, by simply switch-
ing to modern lighting solutions, around 900
billion kilowatt-hours would be saved, or one-
third of the electricity currently being used for
lighting. Given today’s energy mix for electric-
ity production, that would be equivalent to a
450-million-ton reduction in carbon dioxide
emissions each year. “You’d have to plant
450,000 square kilometers of forest — an area
about the size of Sweden — to achieve the
ing the same operating life span, which corre-
sponds to half-a-ton less in carbon dioxide
emissions than a conventional bulb. “That’s
more than a tree can absorb during the same
period,” says Merz. The modest energy con-
sumption of fluorescent lamps also saves
money. Although they cost around €10 more
than a conventional light bulb, fluorescent
lamps pay for themselves after about 800
hours of operation — and save their owners €250 over their entire life span.
toxic heavy metal. Still, the lamps hold only
one tenth the mercury that fluorescent lights
had around 30 years ago. “That’s less mercury
than a coal-fired power plant releases when it
produces the electricity used by a conventional
light bulb during its lifetime,” Merz reports. Nevertheless, over the long term, mercury
will have to be eliminated from the lamps. In
fact, there is already a fluorescent car headlight
on the market known as “Xenarc Hg free” that
employs a potassium-iodine compound that
produces sufficient lighting power without any
mercury. same effect,” says Merz, who adds that it there-
fore makes sense to ban incandescent light
bulbs. “That’s a good idea — and we’ve already
got the lamps in stock to replace them with,”
he says. Comparing Life Spans. For the sake of com-
parison, Osram scientists have examined the
energy consumption and life spans of various
types of lamps. Among the light sources com-
pared were a 75-watt incandescent bulb and a
15-watt Osram Dulux EL Longlife energy-sav-
ing lamp, both of which have practically the
Moreover, because they are long lasting, en-
ergy-saving lamps — seen in a life-cycle con-
text — consume less energy during produc-
tion. That’s because even though the
production of one lamp requires five times the
energy used for a conventional bulb, a total of
15 bulbs would have to be produced to achieve
a similar total luminous output. Energy-saving lamps do pose one environ-
mental problem, though: They contain mer-
cury. “Without mercury, their luminous effi-
ciency would be two-thirds lower,” says Merz,
explaining why Osram still needs to use the
thus prevented. For instance, Kroban’s studies
show that in some cases, energy consumption
can be reduced by using less material. The Os-
ram T5 fluorescent tube, for example, which is
about as thin as a finger, performed much bet-
ter in terms of energy efficiency than the com-
monly used T8 tube, which is as thick as a
broomstick. The “leaner” model actually con-
sumes around 40 percent less energy while de-
livering the same level of brightness. Osram and the Energy Research Center in
Munich began assembling data on the energy
consumption of lamps 20 years ago. Since
same brightness. What the researchers found
was a huge difference in energy consumption.
Not only is this due to the fact that the energy-
saving lamp can convert more electricity into
light than heat; it’s also because the energy-
saving lamp can operate for 15,000 hours, or
15 times longer than the incandescent bulb.
The collective energy consumption of 15 light
bulbs is therefore five times higher than that of
a single energy-saving lamp that burns for ex-
actly the same amount of time. Conversely, an energy-saving lamp saves a
total of one megawatt-hour of electricity dur-
18 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 19
Life Cycle Planning | Lamps
Kroban’s dissertation serves as a valuable
foundation for further environmental balance
sheets being drawn up by Osram for new prod-
ucts. “Our goal is to market only those products
that are more environmentally friendly than
their predecessors,” says Merz. With this in
mind, the company is producing an environ-
mental balance sheet for light-emitting diodes.
These pinhead-sized lamps can already com-
pete with fluorescent lamps in terms of effi-
ciency, and use of new materials should signifi-
cantly increase their luminous efficiency. At the same time, a lamp developed on the
basis of environmental criteria is worthless if
no one buys it. “That’s why we always have to
| Interview
Michael Braungart, 51,
is a professor of Process
Technology at the University of Lüneburg, Germany. He also serves
as director of the Environ-
mental Protection and Encouragement Agency
(EPEA) in Hamburg, which
he established. Braungart
works with both small
companies and global corporations on the development of products
that contain no pollutants
and can either be composted or used in
some other way after they
have served their purpose.
In 2003, Braungart was
presented with the Presidential Green Chemistry Award by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His
supporters include film director Steven Spielberg.
A documentary film about
Braungart’s work will soon
appear in movie theaters. You develop environmentally friendly
products, yet you don’t think much of the
idea of sustainability. Why? Braungart:The conventional interpretation of
sustainability is boring. It’s all about reducing,
minimizing, and saving. In other words, do
everything the same way as before, just not as
badly. Not as badly is not the same as good,
however. That’s why I prefer intelligent waste-
fulness. Instead of developing less damaging
things, we should be developing useful things.
How would this work? Braungart:It’s really not that difficult once
you start to redefine the concept of waste.
Take nature as an example. The world’s ants
consume as much energy as 30 billion people,
but only produce biomass — there’s no waste.
We could do this too if we created products de-
signed for a never-ending cycle. This concept is
known as “cradle-to-cradle,” and with it no
valuable raw materials are ever lost. Instead,
they are used over and over again. Experience
shows that this works. EPEA, for example, is-
sues cradle-to-cradle certificates to new prod-
ucts every year. For example? Braungart:It’s already possible to buy cradle-
to-cradle carpets that are not only free of con-
taminants but can also remove fine dust from
the air. We’re also working on a new type of
concrete that can clean the surrounding air. In
addition, there are cradle-to-cradle seat cover-
ings in the Airbus 380 that contain absolutely
no harmful substances — in fact, you could
even eat them. After their useful life, they can
be converted to valuable peat. T-shirts that can
later be used as compost are also now on the
market. But you can’t convert everything to compost. Braungart:What can’t be used as humus
should be designed in a manner ensuring it
can be recycled over and over again without
any loss of quality. This could be done with
everything from office chairs to sneakers. In-
stead, however, most materials today are gen-
erally “recycled down,” and the result is lower
and lower quality. Not only that, they often
contain a lot of pollutants. Even a classical eco-
logical product like recycled toilet paper can
contaminate millions of liters of water. Remaking The Way We Make Things
Would a cradle-to-cradle world produce
absolutely no waste? Braungart:Yes: Even automobile exhaust gas
could serve as a source of valuable raw materi-
als. At the moment, for example, we’re work-
ing on a technology that can convert nitrogen
oxide exhaust into valuable fertilizer.
How would complex products like TVs or
computer chips be recycled? Braungart:We simply have to reinvent our
products. Of course, at the beginning, there is
the pure market-economy question, which is:
What do customers want? Well, they certainly
don’t want a TV that contains more than 4,000
different contaminants; they just want to
tificate also serves as a recruiting ad for young
scientists. Ultimately, our award brings to-
gether those experts who are the driving
forces behind intelligent innovations. In that
sense the cradle-to-cradle certificate is also a
communication platform.
Steven Spielberg is also a big believer in
cradle-to-cradle. He’s given your institute
$2 million and is producing a documen-
tary film about your work. Braungart:I can’t comment on that due to
contractual issues. But I can say that there are
many celebrities in the U.S. who publicly pro-
mote the cradle-to-cradle concept, including
Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, and Susan Sarandon.
watch a movie or a show. Consumers want
clean clothes, but not necessarily a washing
machine. In such cases, it makes sense to sell
the utility rather than the product. It’s like a
kind of ecological leasing — and if the prod-
ucts were to remain owned by the manufac-
turer, completely different types of materials
could be used to make them. These would be
the best materials rather than the cheapest.
Right now, for example, we’re working with an
automaker to build a car body whose compo-
nents will be glued rather than welded to-
gether. The vehicle won’t be sold; instead cus-
tomers will purchase 100,000 kilometers of
use. After they’re done, the body will be im-
mersed in a solution containing bacteria that
will break down the adhesive, allowing the
components to be used again.
Isn’t the production of such high-quality
products expensive? Braungart:Experience has shown that com-
panies can profit quickly from their cradle-to-
cradle products. Airbus has cut costs by 20 per-
cent with its new seat coverings, for example,
because it no longer has to dispose of the old
upholstery as hazardous waste. Occupational
safety costs are also lower — and in general,
cradle-to-cradle products sell well because
people don’t mind spending money on them. Does your institute issue cradle-to-cradle
certificates to companies as well as products?
Braungart:When implemented, the cradle-to-
cradle concept becomes part of corporate cul-
ture. Those who work for a cradle-to-cradle
company tend to be proud of the fact. The cer-
Arnold Schwarzenegger also recently declared
California to be a “cradle-to-cradle state.”
Why is Germany, your home country, so
unenthusiastic about the concept? Braungart:Many Germans excessively ro-
manticize nature and quickly view technical
and chemical innovations as a threat. Still, it’s
possible to look at cradle-to-cradle rationally,
as they do in Japan, where it’s synonymous
with quality assurance. In Japan, a product
that contains pollutants and that can’t be recy-
cled is simply considered a bad product.
Do you expect the concept of never-
ending cycles to take hold over the next
few decades?
Braungart:I’m optimistic because more and
more young, motivated engineers and scien-
tists are becoming top managers. In addition,
developments in some countries are proceed-
ing much faster than we anticipated. The
Netherlands, for example, is well on its way to
becoming a cradle-to-cradle nation every-
where from its kindergartens to its royal
palaces. We have a lot of projects there, in
which we’re working on new cradle-to-cradle
ideas with construction and civil engineering
companies, electronics manufacturers, and
government agencies. Cradle-to-cradle prod-
ucts also sell very well in the Netherlands. Could legislation promote the concept? Braungart:No. People have to want to buy
these products. They have to believe in the cra-
dle-to-cradle concept. As this happens, a popu-
lar phrase will acquire enhanced meaning: Yes,
we can.Interview by Andrea Hoferichter
determine how appealing a lamp is to con-
sumers,” Merz explains. Such a study could ne-
cessitate altering lamp shapes to conform with
consumer tastes, even if a different design
would offer a technologically superior solution.
It’s also important that the lamps have a dim-
mer function and can be easily integrated into
existing lighting systems. Of course, they should also emit pleasant,
natural-looking light. After all, environmen-
tally-sound lighting should create a relaxing ef-
fect. But there’s no time to relax for Osram’s
lamp developer. They’re already busy working
on the next generation of innovative lighting
systems. Andrea Hoferichter
The DULUX EL’s Energy Consumption and CO
Emissions are more than 80% Lower than those of
Light Bulbs over a 15,000-Hour Life Span
15 x 60 W light bulbs (1,000 h each)
0.18 kg CO
/lamp x 15 = 2.7 kg CO
39.78 kg CO
/lamp x 15 =
596.7 kg CO
Total: 599.4 kg CO
0.33 kg CO
/lamp x 7.5 = 2.5 kg CO
55.7 kg CO
/lamp x 7.5 =
417.7 kg CO
Total: 420.2 kg CO
0.87 kg CO
/lamp x 1= 0.87 kg CO
109.4 kg CO
/lamp x 1 =
109.4 kg CO
Total: 110.3 kg CO
7.5 x 42 W HALOGEN ENERGY SAVER (2,000 h each)
1 x 11 W DULUX EL LONGLIFE (15,000 h)
599.4 kg CO
9,723 MJ
of primary energy used
6,817 MJ
1,789 MJ
420.2 kg CO
110.3 kg CO
-2,906 MJ
-7,934 MJ
-30% CO
-81% CO
Source: OSRAM
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 2120 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Life Cycle Planning | Holistic Assessments
t was a power company in Italy that got the
ball rolling. Seeking information for its recy-
cling documentation, the company asked
Siemens in 2005 about the substances con-
tained in its Siprotec power protection devices.
Siprotec devices prevent high-voltage lines and
terminal equipment from being damaged in
the event of excess voltage or lightning strikes. “That was the start of life cycle assessment
for the Siprotec device family,” says Frank Wala-
chowicz of Siemens Corporate Technology (CT)
in Berlin. Walachowicz and his team of materi-
als experts were asked to completely dismantle
the shoebox-sized Siprotec protection devices,
study their insides, and assess their environ-
mental friendliness.
Among the questions to be answered by the
team were the following: What resources were
used in the production of the coils, resistors,
circuits, and capacitors? How much primary en-
ergy was used in the process? What emissions
Life cycle assessments can be prepared for a variety of products, from small power protection devices (left) to the Corex/Finex process for the production of pig iron.
Products From Dust to Dust
Ever more companies are assessing the environmental impact of their products and
production processes. One recognized method of doing this is life cycle assessment, in
which environmentally relevant data are collected and visualized over a product’s entire existence ——
from raw materials to recycling. Siemens has now presented its
first-ever life cycle assessment, which focuses on the production process for pig iron.
cycle assessment can be prepared for a single
product. It can refer to a transportation process
or be tailored to a plant.
“When I joined CT in 1991, software was ex-
tremely limited in term of its ability to process
information. Nor was it possible to model
process sequences and material flows for prod-
ucts, production lines or locations. You had to
laboriously enter all of the data into an Excel
spreadsheet,” recalls Walachowicz. Today, however, his team has better tools at
its disposal — namely, commercial software
such as GaBi (an acronym based on German
words for holistic balancing), with which com-
prehensive life cycle balances can be prepared. GaBi also helps CT staff with the manage-
ment of large volumes of data and the model-
ing of product life cycles. “Once models have
been created, we think about what can be im-
proved. For example, we try to make the
processes more energy-efficient and less re-
term. Life cycle assessments help them to in-
tensify their efforts to protect the environment
while putting these efforts on an objective
foundation. Why Corex/Finex Cuts Emissions. In 2008,
Siemens’ Industry Solutions Division asked
Walachowicz and his team to assess
Corex/Finex, two innovative processes for the
production of pig iron. The Corex technology
(Pictures of the Future, Fall 2006, p. 39) was
developed by Austrian Siemens subsidiary VAI
— which today is part of Siemens Industry So-
lutions — and is considered to be particularly
easy on the environment. With conventional
blast furnace processes, coke and sinter are re-
quired to produce pig iron from iron ore. A
Corex plant, on the other hand, can be oper-
ated with ordinary hard coal. Finex is a refine-
ment of Corex. Here, the pig iron is produced
from ore fines in a single process step. Neither
a coking plant nor a sintering plant are required
with Corex/Finex. Thus, not only is resource
consumption lower, but investment and pro-
duction costs are also lower than with a con-
ventional blast furnace.
The Technical University of Denmark, the
Technical University of Berlin, and the Univer-
sity of Leoben in Austria also participated in
drawing up the life cycle assessment. “Siemens
contributed the steel-making expertise and
the universities provided the methodological
foundation for the life cycle assessment,” says
Walachowicz. Scientists compared the
Corex/Finex process with that of a traditional
blast furnace and measured impact on air, wa-
ter, and soil. Every step was assessed, from
mining and preparation of raw materials to
manufacturing processes and processes such
as dedusting, scrubbing, and desulphurization. and wastes were produced during their manu-
facture, transport, operation and disposal?
The CT experts began by preparing a materials
declaration and then designing a life cycle
assessment model that was based on the data
revealed by their research. The result demon-
strated that climate-relevant emissions occur
primarily during the use phase of the protec-
tion devices’ life cycle.
In the late 1990s, the question of the envi-
ronmental impact of a product over its entire
life cycle was still a rather exotic subject pur-
sued by universities and research institutes.
The first simplified method for measuring cli-
mate-relevant emissions was introduced in
early 2000. Since then, life cycle assessments
have developed into a holistic tool for the col-
lection, documentation, and graphic represen-
tation of environmentally relevant data. A life
source-intensive,” explains Walachowicz. Even
though GaBi takes a lot of work off their hands,
CT experts like him still spend roughly 80 per-
cent of their working time looking for informa-
tion about materials or component substances. One of the first orders for the preparation of
a comprehensive life cycle assessment was re-
ceived in 2005 from Siemens’ former Commu-
nications Division, which wanted an assess-
ment of a family of telephone systems. This
was followed by similar orders pertaining to
mobile phones and medical devices. “But it was
the order from Italy for power protection de-
vices that started the trend toward determining
the environmental impact of products,“ says
Walachowicz. The reduced availability of resources such as
water and energy is forcing companies world-
wide to do business with an eye to the long
“There are enormous differences, particu-
larly with respect to emissions. The blast fur-
nace process produces significantly more sulfur
dioxide per metric ton of pig iron than does
Corex/Finex. Emissions of dust and oxides of ni-
trogen are similarly reduced. And post-
Corex/Finex waste water contains significantly
less ammonia, phenols, and sulfides,” says
Wolfgang Grill of Siemens VAI. Grill, an expert from VAI’s Reduction Tech-
nology department, has been working on the
development of the Corex process for five
years. He points out that one of the major ad-
vantages of the process is that steel producers
can use the gas produced during the Corex
process to drive turbines and thus generate
electricity for their own use. “Even though the
production of steel continues to be associated
with the consumption of energy and resources
as well as CO
emissions, Corex/Finex has a
much better life cycle assessment than the
blast furnace
blast furnace
EU-25 China Brazil
Life Cycle Assessment of Processes by Region
blast furnace
The same technologies at different locations have different environmental impacts. Corex, for example, can help to reduce acidification in China because the
gas produced during the Corex process
can be used to generate electricity, elimi-
nating the need to burn sulfur-rich coal. (Abiotic) resource consumption
Acidification potential
Summer smog: near-ground formation
of oxidants such as ozone Eutrophication (nutrient enrichment)
Greenhouse gases Unweighted CML normalization
Source: Siemens
22 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 23
Life Cycle Planning | Holistic Assessments
blast furnace process. Corex/Finex is particu-
larly advantageous in economies where sulfur-
rich coal is used to generate electricity,” con-
cludes Walachowicz. That’s because the
high-energy-value gas produced during the
production of pig iron can replace conventional
process sequences in power generation. The gas can be converted into electrical en-
ergy in a combined-cycle power plant to help
cover a steel plant’s own electrical power re-
quirements. “The Corex process helps to reduce
emissions by up to 30 percent, but that’s
not all. It also has the advantage that it does not
contribute to the acidification of the environ-
ment. This is of particular benefit in China, be-
cause the coal-fired power plants there burn lo-
cally-mined hard coal characterized by a high
sulfur content,” says Walachowicz. One of the reasons that the Siemens Sectors
are so interested in the expertise built up by
Walachowicz and his team is that Siemens has
mandated the use of efficiency-enhancing
| Interview
Prof. Stig Irving Olsen,
48, an Associate Professor
in the Department of
Quantitative Sustainability
Assessment at the Techni-
cal University of Denmark,
was a member of the team
of scientists that advised
and supported Siemens’
evaluation of the Corex
process for steel produc-
tion. Olsen is recognized
worldwide as an expert in
the field of environmental
life cycle assessment.
What’s the purpose of environmental life
cycle assessments?
Olsen:The purpose is to register all of the
negative impacts on the environment that are
connected with the manufacture of a product,
an item, or the provision of a service. It’s a ho-
listic approach in which the environmental
compatibility of every step of production —
from the extraction and processing of raw ma-
terials to the disposal of a product — is regis-
tered and evaluated. This body of knowledge
then has to be taken into account in the devel-
opment of new products and goods.
What progress have environmental life
cycle assessments made so far?
Olsen:The energy crisis of the early 1970s
marked the birth of environmental life cycle
assessments, but the concept was not subse-
quently pursued consistently. In the mid 1980s
the packaging industry showed interest, but
that was more for marketing reasons in order
to enhance its profile and position itself better
in the market in comparison with other actors.
A scientific approach was gradually worked
out, and in 1997–2000 it was standardized by
a series of ISO norms. Today, environmental
life cycle assessments are part of many EU di-
rectives, such as EC2002/96, which covers
end-of-life electric and electronic devices.
What are the limits of this method?
Olsen:Environmental life cycle assessments
are very time-consuming and sometimes very
hard to perform. That’s especially true if the
links of the production chain and the disposal
process haven’t been adequately described in
terms of their environmental effects. Increas-
ingly short life cycles for high-tech industrial
goods are a big challenge because of rapidly
changing production technologies. Another
problem lies in the complex processes used by
the chemicals industry, where reactions are of-
ten inadequately documented and thus hard to
take into account.
What are some examples of the use of
environmental life cycle assessments? Olsen:Environmental life cycle assessments
are conducted in almost all areas of industry,
from the sectors that process raw materials to
the consumer goods and waste disposal indus-
tries. One can also conduct environmental life
cycle assessments of materials such as steel,
Developing a Holistic Approach to Environmental Impact
aluminum, and plastics. In principle, almost all
products can be evaluated using environmen-
tal compatibility criteria. That also applies to
complex production processes such as those
that support agriculture and meat production.
In these areas it is important to also take into
account the production processes of the raw
materials involved, such as animal feed. The
petrochemical industry with its refining
processes is also a candidate for environmental
life cycle assessments. How did you organize your work with
Olsen:Our department has accumulated wide
experience with European companies. How-
Olsen:It’s obvious that an industrial company
has to operate profitably. Companies have an
interest in enhancing their attractiveness to
customers and public sector clients with the
help of environmental life cycle assessments.
Such assessments not only improve the envi-
ronmental compatibility of products and their
production processes, they also sharpen con-
sumers’ awareness of environmental issues.
And they help people to identify potential ways
of saving resources and reducing energy con-
sumption. At universities, the focus is generally
on the academic interest — in other words, on
research. For politics and the public sector, environmental life cycle assessments are im-
portant tools that can encourage companies to
ever, many of these projects were academic in
nature. In other words, they were managed by
the university, but the results were not neces-
sarily implemented within companies. With
Siemens, it was clear from the start that the re-
search results would be incorporated into the
company’s own environmental protection pro-
gram and implemented. Besides, it was very
important for Siemens that the results be ap-
plicable in practice. What have you learned from working
with Siemens?
Olsen:The aim was to create a framework for
Siemens so that it could improve the environ-
mental compatibility of its products and pro-
duction processes. To do so, we had to adjust
our assessment methods so that Siemens
could use them effectively. The assessment
process also had to be compatible with the
Corex/Finex process we studied for Siemens in
order to show how the method works. Of
course the company couldn’t adjust its techni-
cal processes to our methods; instead, we had
to subordinate our method to existing produc-
tion processes. As external scientific advisers,
we could only offer our ideas and expertise;
Siemens’ management was responsible for im-
plementing them. However, we didn’t want to
prepare a report that would only gather dust
on a shelf once the project was over. We con-
sidered it important to sensitize Siemens em-
ployees to the importance of conducting envi-
ronmental life cycle assessments.
Do you make a distinction between the re-
quirements of industry and those of public
authorities or of a university?
engage in greener and more sustainable pro-
duction and consumption. What’s the outlook for environmental assessments?
Olsen:They are increasingly developing into
an instrument with whose help environmental
policy directives can be gently implemented in
the EU and other parts of the world. They also
support the increasing interest in sustainable
lifestyles by providing concrete data. In contrast
to the carbon footprint, which mainly takes into
account CO
emissions, environmental life cy-
cle assessment are holistic. They take into ac-
count all the substances that impact the envi-
ronment. Companies everywhere are starting
to recognize the signs of the times and are us-
ing environmental life cycle assessments not
only to optimize their products but also to cor-
rect weak spots in production processes. The
European Commission is now preparing a
handbook with directives and data sets that will
serve as universal guidelines for many indus-
trial sectors. The aim is to increase trust in the
assessment process and the level of acceptance
within industry. The climate debate has greatly
increased industrial companies’ efforts to re-
duce CO
emissions as much as possible and
produce CO
-neutral products. But focusing
only on CO
isn’t the right way to arrive at the
most environmentally compatible lifestyle, as it doesn’t take into account the toxic risks of
many chemical substances. There’s a danger
that people will assume that minimizing CO
emissions is the same thing as achieving a
good level of environmental compatibility. We
have to counteract this tendency early on.
Interview by Evdoxia Tsakiridou.
technologies and materials in all of its products
and the avoidance of CO
emissions. Siemens
has invested a great deal of effort over many
years in continuously refining its own environ-
mental management system, which includes
the company standard SN 36 350 for the “envi-
ronmentally compatible design of products and
plants.” This standard helps company development
engineers to comply with the environmental
declaration that is required by the German gov-
ernment. Even more important in Walachow-
icz’s eyes is consideration of environmental im-
pact during the development process prior to
the construction of a plant and the product
production process itself — a task for which life
cycle assessments are ideally suited. Environmental assessments also drive com-
petition for the most environmentally friendly
developments. “Life cycle assessments enable
Siemens business units to show how much bet-
ter they are than the competition,” says Wala-
chowicz.Evdoxia Tsakiridou
Conventional blast
Conventional blast-
funace & VAiron
Corex/Finex: major reductions in resource consumption, acidification and ozone formation
(Abiotic) resource consumption
Acidification potential
Summer smog: near-ground formation
of oxidants such as ozone
Eutrophication (nutrient enrichment in bodies of water)
Greenhouse Gases
Unweighted CML normalization
Region EU-25
CML is a method to normalize various environmental impacts to make them comparable. Environmental Impact of Pig Iron Production
Source: Siemens
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 2524 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Life Cycle Planning | Rail Systems
he assembly hall is filled with locomotives,
some of them missing their roofs, others
without control cabins. And some are even
mounted on temporary platforms that make
them appear to be floating on air. Martin Leitel,
who is responsible for making life cycle assess-
ments of locomotives for Siemens Mobility in
Allach, Germany, points to a yellow locomotive
without a roof. “That one’s going to Australia,”
he says, a country where rail service operators
recently started making energy conservation a
At a Siemens locomotive factory in Allach, Germany,
efforts to maximize product environmental compatibility and flexibility include, among other
things, the use of LED signal lights (facing page). Timely Trains Today’s locomotives should consume as little energy as possible — not just when they are in operation, but also during production and eventual recycling.
Life cycle assessments can help with selection of the
most environmentally compatible designs. product’s life to disposal, which will soon be-
come the legal responsibility of the manufac-
turer. As a result, developers must now plan to
recycle as many components as possible. To ensure that the associated analyses —
also known as material balances — remain ac-
curate, Leitel relies on an extensive database
containing thousands of parts numbers and in-
formation on the materials used in each com-
ponent. This database reveals, for example,
that the left door of a locomotive control cabin
energy consumption is highest. With freight
trains it’s clearly locomotive operation itself.
Over a service life of roughly 30 years, a loco-
motive in Europe emits between 200,000 and
400,000 metric tons of CO
, depending on the
type of use. Locomotive production results in
only about 250 metric tons of CO
however. And the recycling phase generates
savings of 100 metric tons of CO
because over
95 percent of the materials in a modern loco-
motive are recyclable. These materials — for
ly good for the environment. A locomotive also
shouldn’t be too light because it has to pull a
train 20 to 30 times its own weight. When
asked if all the environmental effort that is now
being implemented will ultimately pay off in
the form of orders, Leitel says he’s certain it
will, but cautions that “the locomotive market
is price-sensitive, so the sales price is still often
decisive.” Nevertheless, customers are well aware of
the fact that the purchase price of a locomotive
A database lists the primary energy consumption and car-
bon dioxide emissions associated with different materials. higher priority. In fact, the model will be the
first electric locomotive on the island continent
to be equipped with an energy recovery sys-
tem. The system collects braking energy gener-
ated on downhill stretches by trains full of coal
that are traveling from the interior of the coun-
try to the coast. It then feeds the energy into
the grid for use by empty trains going uphill. Another locomotive, Leitel explains, is for a
European leasing company. It’s equipped with
a transformer that achieves optimal efficiency
because it was built using more copper than is
usual, which also makes it heavier than similar
units. In order to compensate for the trans-
former’s additional weight, other parts of the
locomotive must be lighter, which is why its
roof is made of aluminum. Naturally, all of this
results in higher energy consumption during
manufacturing. But, as Leitel points out, after
only a few years of operation, the transformer’s
high efficiency and the aluminum’s light
weight counterbalance these energy costs.
Such conflicts are a part of Leitel’s routine.
In addition to conducting life cycle assessments
(LCAs), his job at the Allach locomotive factory
near Munich is to ensure coordination with
customers when drawing up custom-tailored
technical specifications for their locomotives.
Combining these two goals has proved to be a
good idea. “Customers simply want a good lo-
comotive that meets the highest environmen-
tal standards,” he says. What’s more, life cycle
analyses are often a prerequisite for taking part
in tendering processes.
Quick LCAs. Munich has been a locomotive
production site since 1841 — at one time un-
der the name Krauss-Maffei, whose logo still
adorns the front of the factory hall that
Siemens took over in 1999. But much has
changed over the years. While steam locomo-
tives churned out enormous amounts of soot
and carbon dioxide, their modern counterparts
are subject to strict environmental regulations.
And it’s not just the emissions caused by opera-
tion of these powerful locomotives that need
to be low; environmental impact throughout
their entire life cycles must also be kept to a
minimum. This begins with the manufacturing
process and continues all the way through the
weighs 87.1 kilograms, including 68.1 kilos of
aluminum, 6.6 kilos of glass, and 4.2 kilos of
elastomers, with the remaining weight ac-
counted for by other materials, including steel
and insulation elements. Just a few mouse clicks is all it takes to eval-
uate specific assemblies or material classes and
determine their proportion of total weight. An-
other database lists the primary energy con-
sumption and carbon dioxide emissions associ-
ated with each material, as well as regional
the most part metals and coolants — are
reused, which obviates the CO
2 emissions that
would have been produced if the materials had
been manufactured from scratch. Materials Review. Leitel believes that the ma-
terial analysis process can be improved. “We’re
reviewing the entire range of materials now in
use,” he says. The idea is to use batteries that
don’t contain heavy metals, as well as coolants
made of biodegradable materials — and to
differences. For example, an aluminum panel
made in Iceland, a country that uses a lot of re-
newable energy, has a much lower CO
than one from China, where most electricity is
generated in coal-fired power plants. The material analysis does not extend down
to the last bolt; this would require too much ef-
fort and expense. “We make a general estimate
of the energy consumption and emissions of
small components,” Leitel explains. The analy-
sis ultimately produces charts that show where
generally ensure that new designs have more
recyclable parts by avoiding use of composites
as much as possible. “The ideal would be to
loosen a few bolts and have the whole locomo-
tive break apart into sets of unmixed materi-
als,” Leitel explains. Not every trend is as good as it sounds,
however. Although lightweight construction
with plastics and composites reduces operating
energy consumption, it also poses recycling
problems, which means that it is not necessari-
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 27
| Power Plant Optimization
Oh What a
It takes around a decade to plan and build a power
plant. As a result, within a few years of commission-
ing, most plants no longer meet the latest techno-
logical standards. But in many cases, replacement of key parts and adjustments to a plant’s control system can help it to meet evolving requirements,
save huge amounts of energy, and significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Siemens is a
leader in upgrading existing facilities. Engineers at Siemens’ Mülheim plant near Dusseldorf, Germany have developed a range of solutions for significantly improving the performance and efficiency of power plants.
hen it comes to the quest for optimal
performance, nothing beats a well-oiled
Formula One racing car team. Here a tightly
drilled squad of mechanics waits in the pits,
poised to swap tires, tighten bolts and tweak
components — all in pursuit of a few more
mph or a little extra traction.
In some ways, tuning up a power plant is a
similar endeavor. Even if it doesn’t move like a
Formula One car, it often has to be run at full
load, just like Felipe Massa’s Ferrari at the Nür-
burgring race circuit. When operating in this
mode, a power plant generates a lot of energy,
usually in the form of electricity. At other times,
when the grid’s hunger for power is lower, the
plant is operated at partial load.
But unlike racing cars, power plants do best
when operated at a relatively uniform pace. No
gas turbine or coal-fired boiler, for instance,
can reach full power in seconds. In fact, de-
pending on the type of plant, reaching full out-
put may require anything between 10 minutes
and several hours.
Increasingly, however, electricity companies
need to be able to ramp up generation on short
notice, not least because the growing use of re-
newable sources of energy leads to greater
fluctuations in capacity. Since the wind and
sun are variable factors, solar and wind farms
feed power into the grid on an irregular basis.
For this reason, the hours of darkness or peri-
ods of calm at sea must be bridged by conven-
tional base load power plants. This, in turn,
means that such plants need to operate more
flexibly than before in order to compensate for
load variations and prevent blackouts.
Older plants in particular have problems
cushioning such rapid changes in load. Given
the growing trend toward renewable energy
26 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Life Cycle Planning | Rail Systems
is only around 15 percent of the cost of power-
ing it throughout its service life. “So a ten per-
cent higher list price for a locomotive still pays
off for the customer if energy efficiency is two
percentage points better than the competi-
tion’s,” Leitel points out. Recyclable Subway. This argument is familiar
to Dr. Walter Struckl, who works at Siemens
Mobility in Vienna, where subway trains, rail-
way cars, and trams are built. The market for
these products is also extremely price sensitive,
Siemens locomotives are designed to be efficient — for instance by returning braking energy to the grid that is generated when traveling downhill.
A ten percent higher purchase price pays off for customers
if energy efficiency is two percentage points higher
together with hook-and-loop fasteners rather
than glue, for example, which makes it easy to
disassemble them. The LCA, however, can still be improved. Ex-
perts estimate that an additional 30 percent in
energy savings could be achieved in actual op-
eration and that the associated costs would be
recouped in one year, says Struckl — even
though the system already consumes around
one-third less energy than its predecessor,
mostly thanks to more efficient heating and
more effective insulation.
derground and its winters are warmer, mean-
ing that its trains can get by with less heating
and that an investment in improved insulation
wouldn’t really pay off anyway. What would
pay dividends, says Stuckl, would be a more ef-
ficient drive unit like the Syntegra bogie with
its permanently excited gearless electric mo-
tors, which Siemens is testing as a prototype
(see Pictures of the Future, Fall 2007, p. 70). Struckl’s goal is to turn the focus away from
the LCA of individual assemblies and toward
the overall mobility system. Siemens offers de-
and energy-saving innovations here have to
pay for themselves within two to three years.
Struckl opens a copy of his doctoral disserta-
tion from Vienna Technical University. In this
work, Struckl calculated down to the last detail
the energy balance of the Oslo subway system
— probably the most efficient subway in the
world in terms of resource conservation. When
Struckl joined Siemens in 2003, it still wasn’t
possible to market the environmental aspects
of a product, but today LCAs are a normal part
of the tendering process. Life cycle costs have
to do with costs, but life cycle assessments ad-
dress environmental concerns. People tend to
confuse the two, says Struckl — but they’re not
contradictory, given that greater energy effi-
ciency usually has a rapid and positive effect on
life cycle costs. With regard to the Oslo subway system, a
total of 84 percent of its materials can be recy-
cled; the rest are burned and the resulting en-
ergy is exploited. There isn’t much left to im-
prove here because the rail cars are held
Mobility in Context. Struckl warns against
generalizations, explaining there is no such
thing as a “good” or “bad” LCA. Absolute num-
bers, such as those for CO
emissions, don’t re-
veal much in and of themselves. Instead, each
application scenario must be carefully studied
in context in order to develop optimal meas-
ures. Subway trains such as those in Oslo, for
vices that store braking energy either on trains
themselves or as stationary units on tracks. The
company also supplies efficient technologies
for producing electricity at power plants and
transporting it to tracks, as well as traffic man-
agement systems that intelligently network rail
and road transport. Siemens’ Complete Mobili-
ty concept attracted lots of interest at the Inno-
example, produce only 827 metric tons of CO
during a 30-year service life — a low figure due
to the fact that 99 percent of Norway’s electric-
ity is generated with hydro power. On the other
hand, the same trains would emit 47,900 met-
ric tons of CO
equivalent if operated in the
Czech Republic because most of that country’s
electricity comes from coal-fired power plants.
But unlike Oslo’s trains, Prague’s run mostly un-
trans fair in September 2008 in Berlin. These
days, companies in Norway receive a cash
bonus for every kilowatt-hour of energy saved;
and other countries plan to introduce emission
trading systems for the transportation sector.
“When transport companies also begin to bear
the cost of carbon dioxide emissions, many of
them will quickly become interested in our in-
novations,” predicts Struckl. Bernd Müller
es of t
he F
e | Spr
ing 2009
es of t
he F
e | Spr
ing 2009 29
Life Cycle Planning
| Power Plant Optimization
sources, a lot of base-load plants now need to
be upgraded. And there’s another, equally
pressing reason to modernize existing turbines,
boilers, and generators: With the cost of fuels
such as gas and oil set to become more and
more expensive in the long term, operators are
looking for optimal efficiency from their power
plants. What’s more, as they invest in efficiency
improvements, they and their customers stand
to benefit from reduced carbon dioxide emis-
sions per kilowatt of energy produced. Teasing out the maximum.
According to
estimates by the German Association of
Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), a
quarter of Germany’s total generating ca-
pacity of 130 gigawatts needs to be re-
placed for climate-protection reasons and
due to the fact that many power plants are
three or four decades old. That, says the
, will require investment of 40 billion
euros between now and 2020. At the same
time, the International Energy Agency cal-
es that t
he colossal sum of $16 tr
will be needed until 2030 to expand and
modernize the world’s energy infrastruc-
ture. Around $10 trillion of this is ear-
ed f
or pow
er suppl
y systems.
The modernization and upgrading of
power plants is an important line of busi-
ness at Siemens Energy. In the German
town of Mülheim an der Ruhr, it’s the job of
Ralf Hendricks and his colleagues from the
Lifetime Management Unit to turn com-
bined cycle power plants (CCPPs), which
are operated at base load, into racing ma-
hines. On behalf of a client in the UK, for
ample, they have recently upgraded a
CCPP without having to replace any com-
ponents. The f
t step was an inspection
our of t
he facility t
o determine its condi-
tion, as a pr
uisite for puting together a
package of measures that is tailored to the
customer’s needs. After that, a team of ex-
perts from Mülheim and Erlangen traveled
to England for three days to optimize all
parameters of the 400-megawatt plant,
modifying the load ramps of the steam and
gas turbines, for example, and adjusting
the pressure rates to the boiler. By fine-tuning these parameters, the
team was able to optimize the operations
control system, which means full load can
now be reached with maximum speed.
“Optimizing the open and closed-loop con-
trol technology helped us get the best out
of the plant,” Hendricks confirms. As a re-
sult it now takes only 60 minutes, rather
than an two hours, for the turbine to run
up to full load after having been shut down
for ten hours. In other words, only one
it now takes only 60 hours,” says Hen-
dricks. That’s a time difference of four
days, which is a valuable saving when an
operator is waiting to start routine inspec-
tion and maintenance. Energy providers
that rely on this technique can save mil-
lions of euros for every overhaul, for mini-
mal investment costs.
Efficient Megawatts In addition to shorten-
ing start-up and shutdown times, improve-
ments can also be made in other areas. For ex-
ample, upgrading individual components not
only increases the service life of a power plant
but also improves its efficiency, which in turn
reduces its carbon dioxide emissions. There is often also scope to extract more
performance from the turbines without the
need for extra fuel consumption, thereby in-
largements are usually not an option in an exist-
ing plant. “This is a huge benefit for customers,”
explains Dr. Norbert Henkel, who is responsible
for upgrading steam turbines at Siemens in
Erlangen, Germany. “We fit between 20 to 25
power plants a year with upgraded turbines.”
Last but not least, there is also the generator,
which converts the rotary motion of the tur-
bine into electrical energy. In itself, a generator
has an efficiency of almost 100 percent. How-
ever, it has to be tailored to other components,
which as a rule age faster. In older plants, for ex-
ample,the turbine blades have to be replaced
either because the material has become brittle
and there is a danger of failure or in order to
make the turbine more efficient. “It’s like a
champion cyclist getting onto a normal bike,”
says Anastassios Dimitriadis from Siemens En-
ergy in Mülheim. “Obviously we have to check
Time saved due to a reduction in cooling time can cut the
cost of overhauling large power plants by millions of euros.
hour elapses from the time the gas turbine
is started until it runs up to full load — and
hout the need f
or any ne
w har
dware. In
only half the time it used to take, the
power plant is up to full load and feeding
its total output of 400 MW into the grid. Such improvements soon pay off. Usu-
ally after one to two years’ time, the oper-
ator has recovered the costs of the up-
grade. But cost savings are realized not
only when running up a CCPP: Using the
orced cooling technique reduces the time
needed t
o cool t
he steam turbine. The trick
is to actively cool the steam turbine by ex-
acting air fr
om t
he turbine hall. “Instead
of ha
ving t
o w
ait 160 hours for the turbine
o cool bef
e the plant can be shut down,
creasing generating capacity without addition-
ally burdening the environment. The effective-
s of a turbine depends ver
y much on its
blades and flow area. In this connection, major
advances in the field of 3D computer simula-
tion over the last 20 years have given rise to the
development of turbine blades that exhibit very
low flow resistance. Moreover, when additional
improvements are made to the blade path, this
reduces losses even further, thus resulting in
ery high efficiency. This means that as much
hermal energy as possible is transferred from
he g
as or steam to the turbine blades. All of this, in turn, allows efficiency to be in-
eased wit
hout ha
ving to increase the volume
of g
as sw
t by the blades and therefore the size
of t
he turbine. That
s important, since turbine en-
As might be expected, this kind of upgrad-
ing is of major interest to utility companies,
since it can yield substantial cost savings.
“Modernization is an important step on the
road toward greater cost efficiency and climate
protection,” says Nikolaus Schmidt from Eon
Energie in Hanover. For Schmidt, Mehrum is a great example of
a successful energy efficiency project, as is the
Farge coal-fired plant near Bremen, where effi-
ciency has been ratcheted up by three percent-
age points to 42 percent. All in all, he estimates
that upgrading at Mehrum and Farge has re-
sulted in the creation of 200 “green
megawatts” of additional generating capacity,
which for operator Eon will mean a reduction
in carbon dioxide emissions of almost a million
metric tons by 2010.
“Inevitably, the state of technology in the
energy industry tends to lag behind the latest
echnological developments,” points out
Thomas Sattelmayer, Professor of Thermody-
namics at the Technical University in Munich.F
or this r
eason, ev
y new power plant that
goes online is already to a certain extent out of
date. “It therefore makes good sense to
upgrade efficiency when conducting routine
enance,” sa
s Satt
er, who is
spokesman of “Kraftwerk 21,” a Bavarian
energy research alliance. Sattelmayer sees
huge business opportunities in the optimiza-
tion of power plants. Whatever the outcome of that prediction,
government interest in reducing carbon diox-
ide emissions from power plants certainly co-
incides with the goals of utility companies,
h want to operate the most efficient
plants pos
sible. Consider
ing this, we can ex-
pect to see a major increase in the number of
ojects intr
oduced t
o upgrade the efficiency
and s
t-up speeds of power plants in the
s t
o come.
Jeanne R
whether the existing generator is up to handling
the increased performance.” If necessary, a new
rotor has to be installed or the coils rewound.
Upgrading Output. Over the years Siemens
has ramped up the performance of many
power plants. At the Forsmark nuclear power
plant in Sweden, for example, all the internal
parts of the low-pressure turbines were re-
cently replaced, which not only boosted the ca-
pacity of the facility by 30 megawatts — or al-
most three percent of its total rating of 1,200
megawatts — but also extended its service life.
The same applies to coal-fired power plants.
Using Siemens technology, the output of the
690-megawatt Mehrum facility, which is situ-
ated east of Hanover, in northern Germany,was increased by 38 megawatts, thus boosting
efficiency from 38.5 to 40.4 percent.
art-Up Times for Full-Load Operation
Output (%)
Almost 100% output after 40% of the time formerly required
Gas turbine ignition
Time (%)
40 100
power plant
power plant
Power plant efficiency can often be significantly improved by upgrading operational instrumentation
and control systems (below right). Enhancing individual components can also improve efficiency.
ce: Siemens
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 3130 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Life Cycle Planning | Manufacturing
he scales fell from my eyes when I saw
what the Siemens Production System
could mean for us,” says Wolfgang Machate,
production director at Messgerätewerk Berlin,
Germany, (MWB), a part of Siemens’ Energy
Automation Division. MWB manufactures digi-
tal protection devices of the SiProtec family.
The devices prevent high-voltage lines and ter-
minal equipment from being damaged in the
event of excess voltage or lightning strikes.
Machate isn’t the only one who suddenly
saw the light. The 400 other employees at the
plant are equally energized. “All of us were so
used to the shortcomings in our working meth-
ods that we were blind to them,” says Machate.
“Now, we see things in a different light and are
much better at identifying waste and potential
improvements.” Machate is not referring to machine produc-
tion times, nor is he alluding to the use of ma-
terials. He means, for instance, that inventories
of fully assembled equipment used to collect
dust in the production hall; that workers had to
go long distances to pick up materials and had
to waste time during functional testing; that
they would repeatedly interrupt their duties to
prepare for the next step in a process, sort
tools, or organize records; and that after every
step, the product would end up in a container
where it would wait for the next worker to
carry out the next step. Time was therefore
wasted again and again.
Today, everything at MWB is different. The
Siemens Production System (SPS) was intro-
duced at MWB in the spring of 2008. And it
The “Siemens Production System” is optimizing processes with U-shaped work cells such as those at
the Messgerätewerk plant in Berlin (left), and at
plants that produce wind and industrial turbines.
Throughput The new Siemens Production System is the first company-wide mechanism aimed at dramatically optimizing production. At one location it led to a 90 percent reduction in throughput times as well as higher quality and productivity.
lated departments, such as purchasing and de-
velopment. There are also training programs
designed to develop SPS specialists. “One im-
portant element is communication. We start at
the very top with decision-makers. They have
to believe in SPS and set an example. That’s the
only way they can get workers onboard,” says
Müssig. By 2010, 80 percent of all Siemens plants
will have launched the SPS — which means
there is plenty of work for Müssig’s team. After
all, Siemens runs approximately 300 produc-
tion sites in 40 countries. At the moment,
U-shaped cells. And since May 2008, they have
been working together in these U-shaped areas
in a permanent group. With this arrangement,
all the work steps are synchronized, and the re-
quired materials are ready at hand, as are tools
and testing equipment. When employees complete a shift, they can
pass unfinished products to incoming col-
leagues so that the next step can be completed
without missing a beat. Each worker passes un-
finished products on to the next person in the
production chain until each product is ready
and packaged. Seamless Flow. The plant has thus moved
away from batch production and now concen-
trates on “one-piece flow” production.
Whereas, previously, a typical 50-piece order
went through a process and then waited for
the next step, each individual piece now runs
through the entire process chain without any
intermediate stops. This rearrangement results
in many advantages: The work area has not
only been optimized for each step in the
process, but has become smaller and easier to
navigate. The distance between workstations is
as short as possible. And re-sorting stages and
needlessly subdivided steps have become a
thing of the past. “Our processes are now more synchronous
and better adjusted to one another,” says
Machate, who points out that productivity has
already risen 20 percent at MWB, and that
throughput time has been shortened by more
than 90 percent. In the past, it took four days for a product to
be produced, fully packaged and ready for
transport to the warehouse. But today it takes
only an hour. The number of unfinished parts
has been reduced by 95 percent and the reject
rate by 25 percent. What’s more, SPS has freed
up about 1,200 square meters of space at the
MWB plant, a savings of 30 percent.
Lean production is currently experiencing a
renaissance. Nevertheless, Müssig concedes,
the pioneer in this field — Toyota — is still unri-
valed. So far, no other technology company
has succeeded in introducing a uniform, inte-
amounted to the first company-wide effort to
focus on lean production — a methodology
that Toyota introduced to the auto industry in
1940. But although the concept has been
around for a long time, the trick to its success is
to implement it systematically at all times.
“Our SPS strategy is to design and carry out
all processes on the basis of whether they add
value,” says Dr. Bernd Müssig of Corporate Sup-
ply Chain Management and Procurement
(CSP). His department is the extended arm of
the Global Manufacturing Board, which is the
highest-level Siemens committee responsible
for production and represents all of Siemens’
divisions. The Global Manufacturing Board initiated
the new production system in 2005 and is re-
sponsible for its development. In the SPS, any
processes that benefit the customer are viewed
as adding value. “That’s why we define as
waste the periods in which a product is not pro-
gressing because employees are busy rearrang-
ing things, sorting or waiting. The customer
shouldn’t be expected to pay for rejects or for
product storage,” says Müssig.
Eliminating Waste. Machate remembers well
when representatives of the Corporate Supply
Chain Management and Procurement organi-
zation visited his plant. There was a desire for
more space to expand production. It was only
for this reason, in fact, that the CSP experts for
plant design were originally called in. “The per-
son from CSP wanted to show me how we
could gain more room even without an annex
while increasing both quality and productivity,”
says Machate. “At first, I didn’t understand
that.” But the fact that MWB’s parent, the En-
ergy Automation Division, could see plenty of
ways of improving its subsidiary’s operations
should not have come as a surprise given the
fact that that Division has led its competitors
for many years and can boast increasing earn-
ings and growing market share. And the tip to “first eliminate the waste” was
therefore not understood immediately. Every-
one asked themselves what it was that they
could do better. The training session on “learn-
ing to see” then revealed the waste that was
lurking all around. Machate stood in the production hall inside
a circle marked with chalk. For a whole hour,
he simply watched. And that opened his eyes.
“I was suddenly surprised to see inventories ly-
ing all around. If they hadn’t been there, there
would have been more space available. It also
struck me that workers had to stand around
and wait for things. Does that serve the cus-
tomer?” says Machate, a 30-year veteran of
Siemens, as he recounts his impressions.
After the training session, things moved
very quickly. In just a few weeks, the workers
reorganized their workstations themselves. Be-
forehand, they analyzed the whole production
process and completely redesigned their work-
stations, which they simulated with cardboard
models. As they did this, they changed the se-
quence of the process steps. The production
lines at which they had formerly sat in parallel
separated by large spaces were converted into
It used to take four days for a product to be produced
and packaged. Now it takes only one hour. grated production system. In fact, for most
companies, “lean” means little more than an
add-on program aimed at cutting costs. But at Siemens, the objective is to make
“lean” a vital part of corporate culture. The
Siemens Production System should therefore
not be be seen as a modular set of building
blocks or ready-made concepts imposed on
production centers from outside. “The princi-
ples of SPS are always the same, but the solu-
tion is different in each plant,” says Müssig.
“The nice thing about all of this is that it can be
implemented right away. You can redesign
your production the next day.”
The SPS includes training sessions for all
employees involved in production and for re-
about ten percent of the company’s plants are
in the process of implementing the system.
But this is only the beginning of Siemens’
transformation into a lean company. “The next
challenge is getting leaner in other areas — in
logistics, accounting and purchasing, for exam-
ple” says Müssig. Those in charge at MWB see things the
same way. “We have laid the foundation for
production. Next in line are order processing,
the technology planning units, and our opera-
tions department,” says Machate. Asked what
will become of the 1,200 square meters of “ex-
tra space,” he doesn’t hesitate for a moment
before answering: “That’ll be used for new
products.” Evdoxia Tsakiridou
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 3332 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Life Cycle Planning | Appliances
he number-one manufacturer of home ap-
pliances in Western Europe, Bosch und
Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH) of Munich,
Germany is committed to minimizing the envi-
ronmental impact of its products. “Before we
develop any new household appliance, we al-
ways conduct a thorough analysis of its poten-
tial impact,” says Dr. Arno Ruminy of the BSH
Environmental Protection department. In fact,
a strict internal guideline stipulates that all
washing machines, refrigerators, and dryers
must have a minimal impact on the environ-
ment in all phases of their life cycles. Before the
development process even begins, each prod-
uct idea is carefully examined in order to iden-
tify the most environmentally-compatible and
recycle-friendly materials, determine the areas
where material savings can be achieved, and
produce a design that allows the easy replace-
ment of used parts. “Every new device must be
better than its predecessor in terms of environ-
mental protection,” says Ruminy. By designing energy efficient appliances,
BSH is also meeting the needs of its customers.
That’s because appliances still account for
around 40 percent of total energy consump-
tion in private households — despite the effi-
ciency gains achieved with refrigerators and
such over the last ten years. Life cycle studies
carried out by BSH environmental experts also
show that such appliances mainly impact the
environment through electricity and water con-
sumption when they’re being used. “Transport
and recycling play only a minor role, and re-
At the heart of Siemens’ new dryer is an innovative
heat pump (right). Designed to be the most efficient
dryer on the market (center), blueTherm passed endurance tests (left) with flying colors.
Miracle in the
Laundry Room Once considered to be power gluttons, dryers are becoming much more conservative in their energy
demand. For instance, Siemens’ new blueTherm
heat-pump dryer consumes 40 percent less energy
than is permitted within Europe’s top Energy Effi-
ciency Class A — a new record. A visit to the develop-
ers at BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH in
Berlin reveals how they achieved this latest success.
greenhouse gas, which is why BSH commis-
sioned the Institute for Applied Ecology in
Freiburg, Germany to determine whether the
heat pump approach made sense. As Ruminy
explains, the institute established that “the
lower energy consumption by far offsets the
greenhouse gas potential involved.” The
Freiburg experts did, however, emphasize the
importance of effective recycling. Specifically,
steps would have to be taken to ensure that the
dryer’s coolant, like that of a refrigerator,
would be disposed of properly and not released
into the environment at the end of the ma-
chine’s service life. source consumption in production accounts for
only a small percentage of the total resources
used. In contrast, operation is responsible for
more than 90 percent of the overall environ-
mental impact of most appliances,” says Ru-
miny. In the case of dryers, this figure is as high
as 97 percent. “Making things more efficient
here will benefit the environment and save
consumers money,” Ruminy says.
Heat Pump Strategy. Back in August 2006,
BSH engineer Kai Nitschmann was given the
assignment to develop a clothes dryer
equipped with heat-pump technology that
would outperform all other dryers on the mar-
ket in terms of energy efficiency. The first thing
Nitschmann and his colleagues did was to de-
fine target values. “We were looking to achieve
energy consumption of 2.1 kilowatt-hours for
seven kilograms of laundry, which was just
slightly above the world record at that time,”
Nitschmann recalls. His development team at BSH’s Berlin plant
started out by disassembling all types of dryers,
counting their nuts and bolts, and weighing
their plastic parts. They also measured the dry-
ers’ energy consumption and loudness. Their
analysis resulted in the conclusion that the only
way to achieve their ambitious energy effi-
ciency goals was to use a heat pump — a tech-
nology that had never before been used in a
dryer. “A heat pump prevents the energy con-
tained in the vapor and hot air from escaping
from the dryer,” says Nitschmann. The results of the team’s efforts are pre-
served in a glass case in Nitschmann’s office.
There are, for example, copper arteries through
which a coolant flows. Circulation is main-
tained by a powerful electric motor whose out-
put is four times that of the motor that turns
the dryer drum. A compressor pumps the con-
densed and thus heated coolant into the cop-
per pipes, which repeatedly twist through two
aluminum frames. The first of these frames is a
heating unit in which the coolant transfers the
heat it contains to the circulating air. This
heated air then flows into the dryer drum,
where it absorbs moisture. A second aluminum frame works as a
cooler. When hot, humid air returns from the
drum, it comes into contact with this frame,
which has been cooled down by the cooled
coolant. Moisture condenses as the air cools,
and the heat obtained from the air is then
transferred back into the coolant. “The energy
in the hot dryer air and in the vapor is tem-
porarily stored in the coolant and then used for
heating purposes,” Nitschmann explains. Ruminy points out that the coolant, which is
known as R407c, conducts heat very effec-
tively, which significantly reduces energy con-
sumption. Unfortunately, however, it is also a
Meanwhile, developers in Berlin were faced
with the challenge of incorporating heat-pump
technology into a dryer for the first time, since
up until that point they had been used only in
refrigerators, air conditioners and heating
units. “If it hadn’t been for our Spanish col-
leagues’ experience with air conditioners, we
wouldn’t have succeeded so quickly,” says
Nitschmann. The team in Berlin also had to in-
tegrate a second new technology for optimiz-
ing efficiency: an innovative lint cleaner for the
“Tiny pieces of lint in the wash can eventu-
ally clog condenser frames — and that nega-
More than 90 percent of the environmental impact of
household appliances results from their operation.
Global Market for Environmental Technologies: One Trillion Euros Absolute growth of annual market volume 2005–2020 (in billions of euros) CAGR 2005–2020
Key technologies
Source: Roland Berger
Energy efficiency 5% Measuring and control technology, electric motors
Sustainable water management 6% Decentralized water treatment
Energy generation 7% Renewable energy sources, clean power generation
Sustainable mobility 5% Alternative drive systems, clean engines
Natural resource & material efficiency 8% Biofuels, bioplastics
Closed systems, waste, recycling 3% Automated material separation processes
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 35
The Energy-Efficiency Pay Off
| Facts and Forecasts
he purpose of energy-efficient products is to help de-
couple economic growth from energy consumption.
Whereas the global market volume for energy-efficient
products and solutions totaled €450 billion in 2005, that
figure could rise to approximately €900 billion by 2020,
according to an analysis conducted by the Roland Berger
consulting firm. The effects of the current economic crisis
were not taken into account in the study, but various new
stimulus programs that focus on the application of energy-
efficient solutions make the future look bright for the sec-
tor. Among growth drivers here are energy-saving motors.
According to the German Copper Institute, use of a high-
efficiency motor to drive a cooling water pump at full ca-
pacity for 8,000 hours a year can reduce energy costs by
€405 if such a motor replaces a 30 kW standard motor.
Given procurement costs of €1,650 for the high-efficiency
motor and €1,300 for the standard motor, the amortiza-
tion period for the additional cost of the energy-saving
motor is only 9.5 months. In combination with frequency converters, for exam-
ple, energy-saving motors can help reduce the amount of
electricity needed by pumping systems, which according
to the EU Commission, account for four percent of global
electricity consumption. An important market for this sec-
tor is India, where business with pumps and compressors
for use in the construction industry, infrastructure proj-
ects, agriculture, and the processing industry is booming.
According to the Indian Pump Manufacturers Association
(IPMA), the sector’s market volume increased at an annual
rate of 12–15 percent between 2003 and 2006, when it
totaled approximately €1.8 billion.
The U.S. is another major market that offers great po-
tential for energy-efficient products. An American Solar
Energy Society (ASES) study found that market volume for
energy-efficient household appliances, lamps, computer
equipment, and buildings (including windows and doors)
was $160 billion in 2006 and will nearly double by 2030.
Developments here are driven mainly by energy-efficient
buildings, but energy-saving lamps — from high-pressure
gas-discharge lamps to LEDs — are also in demand.
Measures to boost energy efficiency in buildings and
households also pay off in Germany, where, for example,
insulation of a basement ceiling in a one-family house
costs approximately €2,000 and reduces heating costs by
€150 a year. Combined with a subsidy from the govern-
ment’s building renovation program, this investment will
pay for itself in around ten years — or even sooner if oil
and gas prices increase. A high-efficiency refrigerator
(A++) is about €50 more expensive than a less efficient
device, but will save its user €11 a year. Investment in en-
ergy-saving lamps also pays off, as their higher procure-
ment costs compared to conventional incandescent light
bulbs are amortized after as little as 240 hours of opera-
tion — which is why the EU plans to ban the use of light
bulbs soon. Some 3.7 billion incandescent light bulbs are
now being used in Europe, compared to only around 500
million energy-saving lamps. Sylvia Trage
Amortization Periods of Energy-Efficient Solutions
Amortization period for additional costs (through energy savings) Source: Own research
Energy-saving lamp vs. incandescent lamp of the same brightness
Conversion from incandescent to LED traffic lights Speed-controlled energy-saving motor vs. conventional motor
A++ refrigerator vs. an appliance in a lower efficiency class Energy-efficiency-based building renovation through technical measures
Energy-efficient solutions for rail vehicles
Optimization of control system at combined cycle power plant** (p. 27)
800 hours of operation
About 5 years
0.5–2 years
4–5 years
5–10 years
2–3 years
About 1 year
* Based on a family of 4 using a dryer 229 times per year. **Based on 50 starts per year and €80 per megawatt
34 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Life Cycle Planning | Appliances
were put to work drying one wash load after
another in the huge testing hall at the BSH
plant. In the end, each one handled about
2,000 washes. “These endurance tests ensure
that our appliances will operate error-free for
ten to 15 years,” says Nitschmann.
Champion Energy Saver. The result of all this
development work was launched in September
2008 in the form of a dryer known as
blueTherm. The appliance uses only half as
much electricity as a conventional Efficiency
Class B condenser dryer, and 40 percent less
energy than the permitted limit for a Class A
machine, which itself appeared unattainable
just a few years ago. “In other words, we really
are the energy-saving world champion,” says
Nitschmann. That’s not all. Freiburg’s Institute for Applied
Ecology also found that the heat-pump dryer’s
overall environmental impact is only around
half that of a conventional air-vented dryer.
“The dryer is in some cases even more econom-
ical than a clothesline,” says Carl-Otto Gensch,
who managed the institute’s study. “Contrary
to popular belief, you don’t necessarily con-
serve energy by hanging up the wash to dry.
For instance, if you do so in a heated room,
you’ll use more energy than the heat-pump
dryer consumes.” Although at around €1,000, blueTherm is
more expensive than a conventional dryer, the
investment pays off. According to the institute,
blueTherm consumes 1.9 kWh per load, or 10
percent less than was originally planned. A nor-
mal air-vented dryer needs 4.1 kilowatt-hours
for one load — so assuming average use and
German electricity prices, blueTherm will cost
€18 per year, while a conventional air-vented
dryer will cost approximately €50.
tively affects heat transfer,” says Nitschmann.
The team rejected the conventional solution of
removing lint with a filter. “The user would
then have to clean, wash, and dry several filters
— it’s simply too much effort,” says
Nitschmann. In addition, tests conducted at BSH labs
showed the energy efficiency of a so-called A-
Dryer falls to the level of a less efficient C or D-
Dryer if the filters aren’t regularly cleaned. En-
gineers therefore came up with a completely
new solution: a type of shower for the con-
denser. Here, the condensate is pumped into a
container on top of the dryer and then pumped
out again four times per drying cycle, rushing
over the condenser like a waterfall, and thus
washing away the lint. “Energy consumption
here is consistently low over the dryer’s entire
service life — and the customer doesn’t have to
do anything,” says Nitschmann.
While all these technical questions were be-
ing addressed and prototypes were being im-
proved under various test conditions in the
labs, Nitschmann began considering which
production lines could accommodate the new
dryers, which tools and machines should be
used, and whether suppliers would be able to
provide enough compressors in time to meet
pre-series production. Despite these pressures, everything went
according to plan. The pre-series machines
Condensate washes away lint, which reduces energy consumption, and eliminates the need for a filter.
Source: UN 2005
Distribution of Impact over Appliance Life Cycle
(Consumption of raw materials, energy, and water)
(Energy consumption for merchandise transport)
(Consumption of water, energy, and chemicals)
* Depending on product and use
(Consumption of raw materials,
energy, and water)
Raw materials
(Non-ferrous metals, steel, plastics, glass, other)
90-95%* of appliance’s total environmental impact
< 0.5%
< 0.5%
World record: The blueTherm dryer uses only half as
much electricity as a conventional dryer. And operating costs are expected to be re-
duced even further in the future. “We’re contin-
ually working to enhance efficiency,”
Nitschmann reports. “There’s definitely poten-
tial for improvement.” For example, use of al-
ternative coolants and improved drive motors
for the cooling cycle could save a few kilowatt-
hours. Consumers, in any case, need no further
convincing. BSH marketing experts had ex-
pected to sell 10,000 units in blueTherm’s first
three months on the market — but the com-
pany ended up selling 50,000 instead. Ute Kehse
BlueTherm dryer compared to efficiency class “B” dryer* (p. 32) About 3.9 years
36 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Life Cycle Planning | Financing
mission regulations are becoming more de-
manding in the U.S., where the Environ-
mental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to dra-
matically reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide
and particulates from engines in heavy-duty
commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks.
California, which has been particularly hard-hit
by air pollution, has stipulated that carbon
dioxide emissions must be cut by 30 percent by
2020. The state is now being backed in these
efforts by President Barack Obama, who an-
nounced that the federal government intends
to provide funding for fuel-efficient vehicles
and introduce more stringent CO
These goals are ambitious for heavy vehi-
cles like trucks and buses, given their high fuel
requirement and intense stop-and-go drive cy-
cles. ISE Corporation, a young American com-
pany, is doing its part by providing environ-
mentally-friendly hybrid technology for such
vehicles. ISE’s mature products and good mar-
ket prospects have also impressed managers
from Siemens Venture Capital (SVC). As a re-
sult, Siemens investment specialists joined four
other venture capital firms last November in in-
vesting a total of $17.5 million in ISE, which
was established in 1995. The investment is in-
tended above all to help ISE further develop its
products and sales network.
Decoupled Engine. ISE, which employs 136
people, has enjoyed Siemens’ support in its de-
velopment work for years and uses Siemens
electric motors and converters in its drives. The
company offers a hybrid system in which elec-
trical components and energy sources can be
modularly exchanged depending on the appli-
cation. “ISE’s series hybrid drive system is tech-
nically superior to conventional parallel hybrid
systems,” says Gerd Götte, a managing partner
Around 225 buses outfitted with ISE series hybrid drives are already in use. An electric motor
drives the axles, and a small combustion engine
charges the energy storage system. Clean Investment
With its environmentally-friendly hybrid drive systems
for heavy-duty commercial vehicles, ISE Corporation, a
young, California-based company, is targeting a rapidly
growing market. Siemens Venture Capital (SVC) recently
invested in this long-standing Siemens partner.
Growth prospects for efficient, low-emis-
sion hybrid technology are good. “The hybrid
bus market alone can be expected to grow by
50 percent or more in coming years,” says
Götte. “And it’s not just the U.S.; we’re seeing
an increasing interest in hybrid technology in
Europe and parts of Asia as well.” ISE is set to
profit greatly from these developments. The
company’s sales have in fact been growing at
an average annual rate of 141 percent since
2006. With ISE’s order books well-filled at pres-
ent, this trend is likely to continue — despite
the currently difficult economic situation. Sales
of gasoline hybrid vehicles in particular are ex-
pected to increase rapidly in the near future,
because they meet the tighter limits on nitro-
gen oxide and particulate emissions that are al-
ready in effect in smog-plagued southern Cali-
fornia — and which will become law
throughout the U.S. in 2010. The outstanding environmental compatibil-
ity of ISE drive systems is also important to
SVC. “Environmentally-oriented investments
are a top priority for us,” reports Götte. “That’s
because the clean-tech sector offers Siemens
opportunities for major growth. Siemens gen-
erated sales of €19 billion with its environmen-
tal portfolio in 2008 — and that corresponds to
around 25 percent of the Group’s total sales.”
Accordingly, some 25 percent of SVC’s total
venture capital volume of €800 million is cur-
rently invested in clean-tech innovations such
as ISE’s hybrid drives — and this percentage is
increasing. SVC believes its clean-tech invest-
ment volume will continue to grow despite the
current economic crisis. This is because the
sector benefits from a unique demand profile:
the urgent need to solve infrastructure prob-
lems worldwide in a rapid, environmentally-re-
sponsible manner.Anette Freise
at SVC, and a member of ISE’s supervisory
board. The great advantage of ISE’s technology
is that the combustion engine it uses is smaller
than those in conventional, heavy-duty com-
mercial vehicle drive systems. That’s because
the engine isn’t connected to the drive shaft
and is only used to provide power to the energy
storage system or electric motor that propels
the vehicle. That’s why it always operates in the
most optimal, efficient manner possible, which
means low CO
emissions. The ISE system also ensures that the energy
storage system is charged when the vehicle is
braked. This “brake energy recovery” and the
use of high-performance energy storage sys-
tems like double-layered ultracapacitors — or
“ultracaps” (ISE’s Ultra-E 500) — enables the
system to deliver brief power spurts for acceler-
drive systems can be offered with a choice of
either a diesel engine, a gasoline engine, or a
fuel cell system. “ISE has the broadest product
range in a dynamically growing market,” says
Götte. As a result, ISE ideally meets the expec-
tations SVC has of companies it invests in. “An
investment such as this should provide
Siemens with access to new technologies,
while at the same time generating a good re-
turn,” says Götte. Fuel Cell Bus. Approximately 225 buses
equipped with the ISE hybrid system are al-
ready on the road. Customers include 19 trans-
portation agencies, among them Transport for
London, which is planning to purchase at least
eight hydrogen fuel cell buses by 2010. At the
heart of ISE’s successful technology is the com-
The hybrid bus market can be expected to grow by 50
percent or more in coming years.
ation or inclines, without requiring the com-
bustion engine to provide additional energy.
“ISE has important expertise in energy storage
and energy management,” says Götte.
The combustion engine in a conventional
parallel hybrid operates less continuously than
in ISE’s series hybrid. That’s because the engine
has to cover increased energy demands by op-
erating at a higher power level to immediately
supply extra power to the vehicle drive, along-
side the electric motor. This increases fuel con-
sumption and emissions when parallel hybrids
are used in heavy vehicles like buses, which are
often driven in stop-and-go traffic.
Another advantage of the ISE technology is
that the company’s series-produced hybrid
pany’s adaptable control software, which regu-
lates the finely-tuned interaction between the
combustion engine, the generator, the energy
storage system, and the electric motor. ISE’s
proprietary control software is used with its
diesel hybrid drive systems, gasoline hybrids,
and fuel cell variants.
The software and the Ultra E-500 Energy
Storage System are critical contributors to ISE’s
high energy efficiency. “The control software is
what enables us to obtain the maximum yield
from brake energy recovery, and it also allows
for automatic cutoff of the combustion engine
whenever a vehicle comes to a stop or reduces
its power demand,” explains Kevin Stone, ISE
Director of Engineering Applications. In Brief Companies are taking an ever-closer look at
the life cycle of their products. A product’s en-
vironmental footprint can be determined us-
ing life cycle assessments, which measure all
of the environmental loads associated with
its production. Such analyses are often a pre-
requisite for participating in tenders.
Osram has studied the life cycles of various
lamps from production to disposal. The result:
The life cycle assessment is largely deter-
mined by energy consumption during their
operation, with only a small fraction of con-
sumption attributable to lamp production.
The key to making lamps more environmen-
tally friendly is thus making them more en-
ergy-efficient. (p. 16)
Siemens has for the first time prepared a
life cycle assessment for a new pig iron pro-
duction process. The assessment shows the
Corex/Finex technology to be substantially
more environmentally friendly than conven-
tional methods: Not only are pollutant emis-
sions significantly lower, but toxin levels in
the wastewater are lower as well. (p. 20)
Today’s locomotives should consume little
energy and emit few pollutants — not just in
operation but also during production and
eventual recycling. Siemens uses life cycle as-
sessments to identify the most environmen-
tally compatible design. (p. 24)
Many power plants have been in operation
for at least 30 years and no longer meet the
latest technological standards. Modernization
measures offered by Siemens, such as over-
hauling the instrumentation and control sys-
tem or replacing a complete turbine, can help
to make the plants more efficient and reduce
costs and CO
emissions. (p. 27)
An internal guideline stipulates that appli-
ances made by Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte
must have a minimal impact on the environ-
ment. The new blueTherm dryer consumes
only half as much electricity as a conventional
dryer. The blueTherm is thus not only the
world’s most energy-efficient dryer, it’s also
easy on the wallet. (p. 32)
Life Cycle Assessments for Lamps:
Christian Merz, Osram
Holistic Assessments:
Frank Walachowicz, CT
Wolfgang Grill, Siemens VAI
Life Cycle Assessments of Trains:
Martin Leitel, Mobility
Dr. Walter Struckl, Mobility
Power Plant Modernization:
Ralf Hendricks, Energy
Dr. Norbert Henkel, Energy
Anastassios Dimitriadis, Energy
Siemens Production System
Dr. Bernd Müssig, CSP
The World’s Most Efficient Dryer:
Dr. Arno Ruminy, BSH
Kai Nitschmann, BSH
Fridolin Weindl, BSH
Financing Green Technolgies:
Gerd Götte, SVC
Institute for Applied Ecology:
EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung
Website Prof. Michael Braungart:
ISE Corporation:
EPA — U.S. Environmental Protection
American Solar Energy Society:
Technical University of Denmark, Dept. of Management Engineering:
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 37
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 39
Fresh Oil from Old Wells
Oil deposits need to be regularly cleaned to keep them viable. A promising new
process developed by Siemens in Russia and oil company Rosneft uses a special foam
that cleans oil wells more efficiently, ensuring significantly higher oil throughput.
38 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
t’s a well-known fact that crude oil can’t be
pumped out of the ground until a well goes
dry. The amount of oil that can be extracted
from a well depends on the nature of the de-
posit and the properties of the oil that lies
within it. The average recovery factor world-
wide today is between 35 and 40 percent of a
total deposit. And only around ten percent of
the petroleum is initially channeled by natural
pressure into boreholes, which can extend to
depths of between three and six kilometers.
From there it is pumped to the surface for fur-
ther processing.
Once the natural pressure in a deposit be-
gins to abate, oil companies need to get cre-
ative. One method they use is to pump water
or gas into the ground in order to increase
reservoir pressure. The artificial pressure dis-
Research Cooperation | Oil Well Efficiency
places the oil and forces it into the borehole.
Use of this technique often raises the rate of
extraction by 20 percent, or by 30 percent at
Another option is to pump in steam. This in-
creases reservoir pressure and lowers the oil’s
viscosity, which allows it to flow more easily
into the borehole. Despite their varying de-
grees of effectiveness, these methods have the
same drawback: They require sophisticated
technology that is also very costly in relation to
the amount of oil it frees up for pumping.
That’s why it used to be a very common
practice to close a well when it showed signs of
exhaustion, and then to move on to a new oil
field. Today, however, a growing number of oil
drilling companies are taking another look at
extracting more crude from older deposits —
not least because of the anticipated high price
for crude oil over the long term.
A recent study conducted by the U.S. De-
partment of Energy found that “mature” de-
posits in the West contain up to 200 billion bar-
rels of oil (one barrel = 159 liters), and that at
least 89 billion barrels of this oil could be ex-
tracted in subsequent operations using the
methods described above. This figure can also
be expected to increase as extraction tech-
niques improve.
One man who is working on refining such
extraction techniques is Russian physicist Dr.
Andrey Bartenev, the director of the Power En-
gineering and Energy Resources department at
Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) in
Moscow. A key area that Bartenev’s team is fo-
cusing on is the modernization of old oil-
drilling facilities in Russia. Here, the team has
succeeded in gaining the state-run oil company
Rosneft as a research cooperation partner. Ros-
neft, Russia’s leading oil producer, extracts
about 110 million metric tons of oil annually
and has a workforce of 75,000 people. Acidic Foam. Siemens engineers Dr. Vitaly
Malinin and Dr. Stepan Polikhov, who work in
Bartenev’s department, have been specializing
in oil-deposit cleaning techniques. Together
with RN-Ufanipineft — a research institute op-
erated by Rosneft in the city of Ufa near the
Ural mountains — they have developed an effi-
cient, cost-effective method for increasing the
oil-flow rate in the near–borehole zone of an
oil reservoir. The technique uses a foam con-
sisting of water, hydrochloric acid, and other
The method is based on a long-applied tech-
nique for cleaning oil wells. It involves use of
an acid solution to dissolve impurities, such as
calcium, gypsum, and barium sulfates, which
are found in oil-bearing sediments and would
otherwise block the flow of oil into the bore-
While researching the process of multi-
phase filtration, specialists from Siemens Cor-
porate Technology found a way to ensure that
the solution gets to precisely where it should
be. “This foam that’s pumped into the bore
hole in the first step seals off most of those ar-
eas of the underground reservoir that don’t
need to be cleaned, but which nevertheless
soak up large amounts of the solution,” said
Bartenev after extensive computer simulations.
After just five months of work, and with the
help of computer systems from Siemens CT
Russia, research was completed in February
2008. As Bartenev explains, the results not
only provide a solution to flow-process prob-
lems; the numerical calculations also were sup-
plemented by development of an analytical
model that gives researchers a better under-
standing of technological aspects of the clean-
ing process. Rosneft has been using the results
since the spring of 2008. “The new solution has
provided us with deeper insight into how to
lower the permeability of the highly porous
sediment segments, and into how the acid
mixture reaches exactly those areas where
confirmed, however, that the new model does
result in a significant increase of oil production
compared to conventional chemical cleaning
After monitoring 27 wells, the researchers
determined that conventional acid cleaning re-
sulted in an average increase of only 8.6 metric
tons in the daily flow, while the foam-plus-acid
technique boosted it by an average of around
17 metric tons. In addition, the sealing effect
of the foam method means that it requires the
use of fewer chemicals. This not only yields
savings in time and money; it also helps to pro-
tect the environment.
More Projects Planned. Because CT re-
searchers were able to benefit from the practi-
cal experience of Rosneft’s staff, as well as
from the company’s extensive data, “we suc-
ceeded in obtaining valuable new knowledge
in the field of foam-acid treatment. This al-
lowed us to clearly demonstrate our capabili-
ties, which will serve as an excellent founda-
tion for future business relations with Rosneft,”
says Bartenev. “In fact, we have already begun
hole. The reservoir is first flooded with the so-
lution, which is then pumped out and the af-
fected rock is washed with water. Without this
treatment, which is normally carried out once
every two to five years, the product extracted
from roughly one million boreholes, which
yield 30 billion barrels annually worldwide,
would be around 30 percent less. Still, the
cleaning method’s effectiveness hasn’t entirely
measured up to expectations so far. “When you
use an acid solution alone to clean the reser-
voir rock of an oil deposit, you often find a
large portion of the chemicals don’t necessarily
get into the places you want them to be in or-
der to eliminate the blockages,” says Bartenev.
That’s because when the solution flows into
the borehole, part of it disappears into layers of
sediment where it just isn’t needed.
blockages need to be eliminated. Then the oil
flows more easily to the pump,” Bartenev re-
In order to be able to investigate the effect
of the acid-foam solution, Bartenev’s team ob-
tained extensive data from Rosneft on bore-
hole depths, permeability, pressure ratios, and
flow rates, which the state-run company had
systematically gathered and kept at its oil
fields. “Thanks to all that data from the bore-
holes, we were able to develop a detailed ana-
lytical model for foam-acid treatment,”
Bartenev says.
The Foam method does not return extrac-
tion levels to the average value achieved at
new wells — around 700 barrels per day, with
an average Rosneft well producing only about
100 barrels of oil per well — but It has been
talks with the aim of intensifying our coopera-
tion on efforts to substantially improve equip-
ment used in oil and gas industry automation
systems.” Another area of activity that the partners
are looking into is extraction of oil from oil
shale, for which a feasibility study is already
under way. Rosneft is also optimistic about the
success of the partnership. “The work we ac-
complished together was very stimulating for
both sides,” says Vladimir Savichev, head of
Production, Development, and Research at the
research center in Ufa. “We have been able to
exchange concrete, specialized knowledge
while combining the strengths of Siemens CT
Russia and RN-Ufanipineft. That has shown us
how we should be moving forward in the fu-
ture.” Thomas Veser
A foam-based process developed under the leadership of Andrey Bartenev (right) and Rosneft Oil
increases oil well flow, and therefore the effectiveness of production sites. 45 Products that Don’t Lie
Thanks to new algorithms and
reductions in power require-
ments, radio frequency ID chips
track sterile pads in the operating
room, make transfusions safer,
and help to prevent product piracy.
48 No More Mr. Nice Guy
According to crime statistics,
banking transactions are anything
but safe. New technologies for
online banking and ATMs will
make life tougher for criminals.
50 Code of Silence
The IT industry is discovering
quantum physics. Examples in-
clude a quantum computer soon
expected to achieve a previously
unheard-of level of computational
power, and a quantum cryptogra-
phy chip that encrypts data with
absolute security. Pages 51, 52
57 Driving out the Crooks
The digital camera is a real jack of
all trades. In addition to protect-
ing against theft and vandalism in
parking lots, when used with a
fire alarm it can identify and report fires. Pages 57, 64
60 Indefatigable Guardians
Thanks to an innovative remote
maintenance concept, computer
viruses are under fire in hospitals.
Live bacteria are also heading for
trouble as Siemens develops
promising new methods of early
identification. Pages 60, 62 Highlights
In the ice of the Svalbard archipelago, re-
searchers of the ReLife Institute have discov-
ered organisms millions of years old based
on previously unknown genes, which could
revolutionize the biotechnology industry.
Competitors are alarmed. Biologist Magnus
Caspersen and his brother, IT specialist Ole,
have been sent to look for a way to get into
the research center — or at least to get their
hands on the research results. 40 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 41
Svalbard, 2025. On this archipelago north of the Arctic Circle, scientists at a research station owned by ReLife are
studying unknown micro-organisms frozen in the perma-
frost millions of years ago. But are they safe from spies? Cold Comfort
he mountain has a huge underground facil-
ity inside it, Magnus.” Ole is surprised
when, after several laborious attempts with his
thick gloves, he finally succeeds in unrolling an
e-paper display with a cross-sectional view of a
gigantic laboratory. He holds it up against the
mountain range. An IT security expert, Ole
knew, of course, that his native Svalbard is de-
scribed as the “largest laboratory in the world”
for arctic research. But he had no idea there
was such a large research station here. “Impres-
sive, isn’t it?” replies his brother, biologist Mag-
nus Caspersen. “Among other things,” he adds,
“this station conducts research on algae that
used to grow here when there were still sub-
tropical temperatures, before they were frozen
D i g i t a l W a t c h m e n | Scenario 2025
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 43
Counterfeit products cause financial damage that adds up to billions every year. Customs agents are largely powerless and reduced to simply destroying the counterfeits they do find. A total of 6,284,661 crimes were reported
in Germany in 2007; in the U.S. the number
was 11,260,000. Obviously it takes more than
just the police to prevent such crimes, and cries
for preventive measures go hand-in-hand with
rising crime rates. One glance at figures for Se-
curity 2008, the world’s largest security trade
show, which takes place in Essen, Germany,
confirms this trend. The number of visitors in
attendance doubled from the previous year,
and the 1,100 exhibitors also set a new record. Among the fair’s highlights were new video
monitoring capabilities — including solutions
provided by Siemens (p. 57) — and the latest
generation of fire alarms, which literally “sniff
out” invisible and toxic carbon monoxide. Man-
ufacturers also presented innovative fire extin-
guishing systems, such as the Sinorix H
O Gas
from Siemens, which features a special nitro-
gen-water mixture (p. 64). The latest financial figures confirm that the
industry is booming, with worldwide growth of
about ten percent. And the engine that is driv-
ing this growth will surely continue to hum
along (p. 58), particularly in sectors with rising
crime rates such as information technology
(IT), since life without a computer and the In-
ternet is now unimaginable.
Criminals at Work. The Internet is already the
marketplace of the future. Experts estimate
that online sales in Germany alone will rise to
694 billion euros by 2009; in 2005 the figure
was 321 billion euros. The number of online customers is growing
too. According to the German Federal Statisti-
cal Office (Destatis), 27 million Germans made
Internet purchases in 2007, thus putting their
personal data into circulation online. This represents a potential feast for scam-
mers, reports Dr. Udo Helmbrecht, President of
the German Federal Office for Information Se-
curity (BSI) in Bonn. “Internet crime has be-
come a flourishing, globally organized under-
ground economy,” he says. “While computer
hackers use Trojan horses to gain unauthorized
access to other people’s computers, where they
steal and sell private data such as account
numbers and PINs, scammers make targeted
use of this data to get their hands on money.” And lots of it, in fact. According to BitKom,
an IT trade association, 4,100 such cases of
theft, with damages totaling 19 million euros,
were reported in Germany in 2007 alone, and
the German Federal Criminal Police Office
(BKA) estimates that the number of unreported
cases is actually much higher than that. The corporate world also has suffered enor-
mous damage. A survey conducted by Corpo-
rate Trust, a consulting firm, found that
roughly 20 percent of German companies sur-
veyed had been victims of at least one case of
espionage in recent years, cases in which confi-
dential company information was the primary
target. And the situation is not any better
abroad. The Internet Crime Complaint Center
(IC3), a U.S. consumer protection agency, re-
ported a record-breaking $240 million in dam-
ages in the U.S. alone in 2007 — an increase of
20 percent from the previous year’s figure. BSI President Helmbrecht explains, how-
ever, that just a few precautions are needed in
order to substantially limit damage. “Many
users underestimate the danger on the Inter-
net,” he says. “It’s as if they were running
around with an open wallet full of money while
shopping from their livingrooms.” He adds that
Internet users have to be aware of potential
risks at all times and take appropriate security
measures. “That begins with a healthy distrust
of dubious e-mails and installation of security
solutions,” he says. Such solutions can include biometric sys-
tems external to the PC, such as a credit card-
sized Internet ID card bearing the user’s finger-
| Trends
Online scammers are defrauding us of huge
sums while dangerous
counterfeit products flood markets. The security sector is working
overtime on solutions that
include RFID and quantum cryptography chips.
ne of the most spectacular criminal cases
in recent years began back in May 1988 in
Germany. At that time, Arno Funke, an extor-
tionist, threatened to detonate bombs in a
number of department stores and demanded a
hefty sum of money, throwing not only depart-
ment store owners but also the police into a
state of chaos. Funke was made famous by the media as
“Dagobert” (the German name for Walt Disney’s
Scrooge McDuck character was used as a code
name during the negotiations). He used a sur-
prising number of intricate mechanical devices,
including remote-controlled vehicles with false
bottoms and a mini submarine where money
was to be placed — and repeatedly managed
to evade the police. Funke was finally captured in April 1994, af-
ter six years and a total of 30 attempts to hand
over the money. Media coverage of the case took on the
character of a road movie, with the ingenious
criminal making fools of the police time and
again. The public eagerly followed the story,
which provided a picture of criminality that was
entertaining, and thus entirely inaccurate.
Crime, after all, was and remains omnipresent
— and it’s anything but amusing.
Digital Watchmen | Scenario 2025
for millions of years. And the scientists are
bringing them back to life, as the name ReLife
suggests. In the revitalized organisms, these re-
searchers have discovered previously unknown
genes that could revolutionize the entire
biotechnology industry — and even be useful
for clean power generation. Now you see why
our client wants to know at all costs whether
it’s possible to obtain the research results and,
if so, how.” While Ole’s gaze scans the sketch in front of
him, Magnus signals with a hand gesture to
the huskies, commanding the dogs to be ab-
solutely quiet. “Let’s start figuring out how to
gain access. Is there any way we can get in-
side?” he asks. Ole can’t help but laugh faintly
in reply. “Not very likely,” he answers. “As you
can see, every inch of the outer area is carefully
monitored with video cameras. They register
not only anything that is approaching but also
what the object is — whether a bird, a polar
bear, or a person. And if it’s the latter, you can
be sure they’ll sound an alarm.” Magnus stares
raptly at the reclining dogs for a moment and
then tramps over to Ole to take a closer look at
the layout of the station. “Even if we could
make our way into the mountain,” Ole contin-
ues, “we’d reach a dead end in front of every
laboratory door, according to this map. There
are hand scanners that use infrared technology
to examine the structure of hands, down to the
smallest wrinkles, including veins, and then au-
tomatically compare the structures with a data-
base — and that in combination with biometric
voice identification. It’s going to be impossible
to crack all that.” His brother Magnus is slowly running out of
patience. “But we have to get in there some-
how,” he insists. He sneezes. “Well, your cold is-
n’t going to make it easier,” says Ole, trying to
see the humor in their predicament. “There is
also a biochip detector in front of every labora-
tory door. In just a few seconds it tests your
breath for the presence of DNA components of
certain bacteria, and other organisms that
shouldn’t be allowed in the labs.” “That re-
minds me,” says Magnus, wiping off the
fogged-up e-paper. “Pretty soon we won’t be
able to see anything at all anymore thanks to
our breath. If we can’t get in physically,” he
ponders, “then maybe virtually — for example
with a specially programmed Trojan horse that
we can use to spy on the computers and…” “Not a chance,” interrupts Ole without look-
ing up from the map. “A completely new anti-
virus program provides security for their IT sys-
tem. It’s coordinated from the mainland
headquarters with a quantum computer that
can simulate all imaginable virus combinations
and identify them during an attack.” Ole looks thoughtfully at the northern
lights. “But the station here and the headquar-
ters have to communicate with each other
somehow. With a high-performance computer,
we could crack the encryption and eavesdrop
on the data traffic,” he points out. But Magnus
dismisses this too. “Forget it,” he says. “Even a
biologist like me can see from the e-paper that
the satellite connection is using a quantum-
cryptographic encryption system. And that
means it’s not physically possible to crack the
data flows — they’d notice any attempt at
eavesdropping.” Ole is growing irritated. “Then it looks like
there’s just no way for us to get the results. If
that’s the case, our client says that we should
then examine how we can manage to at least
put a stop to the ReLife research.” His biologist
brother considers for a long moment. “We
could use a drone to drop gas cartridges near
the air shafts. That would destroy the highly
sensitive micro-organisms.” “That won’t work,”
says Ole. “I can see from the diagram that the
whole complex, including the ventilation sys-
tem, has fire alarms installed, equipped with
gas sensors that our informant says are incredi-
bly precise. Each of these devices can sniff out
dangerous gases in the air and sound the alarm
if there are any irregularities. Apparently, the
same thing applies to the containers holding
the organisms, in the storage rooms. Each of
them has a wireless sensor chip that not only
measures ambient data and the temperature
but also uses an automated system to ensure
the ideal air composition — which is different
for each species of organism and storage
chamber. As soon as these tiny sensors detect
even the slightest anomaly, they seal off the air
intake and mix their own air by means of re-
serve tanks.”
“Well, I guess that settles it then,” says Mag-
nus wearily. He steps onto the dog sled and
snaps his fingers. The dogs leap up instantly
and jostle into formation. “What’s settled?” asks
Ole. “The station is an impregnable fortress.
What’s your opinion?” Ole nods and grins, plac-
ing a checkmark on the e-paper and putting it
away. “Inspection passed,” he says and climbs
onto the sled as well. “ReLife — your client and
my employer — is going to be very pleased, in-
deed,” says Magnus. “I don’t think there is any-
one who would stand a chance of infiltrating
this place. Let’s write the report and call it a
day. You’ll stay for dinner I hope, brother?
Emma is making her famous reindeer roast
tonight.” “I wouldn’t consider missing out on a
chance to experience the culinary skills of my
sister-in-law,” says Ole with a hearty laugh, giv-
ing the huskies a shout that sets them in mo-
tion: “Ready — let’s go!” Sebastian Webel
42 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 45
| RFID Chips
Products that Don’t Lie
Wireless identification tags made their first appearance over 40 years ago as bulky
antitheft devices in warehouses. Today, thanks to advanced algorithms, reductions
in chip power requirements, and other improvements, their applications are far
more diverse. Siemens’ engineering laboratories are developing counterfeit-proof
radio chips that will prevent product piracy, track sterile pads in the operating room,
and make transfusions safer by ensuring that blood has been consistently cooled.
RFID chips (bottom, left) have many uses — whether
it’s in the operating room to count and track abdom-
inal pads (large photo), to monitor banked blood, or to ensure that products are not counterfeit.
rom watches, jewelry and clothing to water
faucets and brake disks —virtually no
product is safe from counterfeiters. Product
piracy is a booming business. Dr. Michael
Braun, Project Manager for RFID Security Sys-
tems at Siemens Corporate Technology in Mu-
nich, Germany, estimates that the worldwide
economic damage due to counterfeit products
amounts to at least €56 billion annually. And
he emphasizes that this figure is based on very
conservative calculations. The Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) in Brussels estimates the figure to be
five times higher. Product piracy therefore is a
major threat to manufacturers, who face the
prospect of immense losses in sales. It is there-
fore not surprising that they want to prevent
such nefarious activities and are striving to pro-
tect their products against counterfeiting as ef-
fectively as possible — in much the same way
as governments protect paper money. Solu-
tions involve the identification of products with
color-changing inks, reflective pigments, wa-
termarks, holograms, and bar codes. The ultimate identification technology uses
electronic tags, known as RFID chips (Radio Fre-
ticity of a product offline at any point,” says
Braun. The chip encodes a query from a reader
device with its own private key. The receiver is
then able to verify the correctness of the an-
swer to this query by means of the matching
public key.
The prototype device functions perfectly.
But Braun sees areas that still need improve-
ment before the system can be brought to
market. His team is working closely with cus-
tomers and semiconductor manufacturers to
start several pilot projects. The projects are
designed to determine which additional func-
tionalities over and above pure authentication
may be needed for a range of different user
scenarios. The results of this work will support
the successful introduction of a mass-market
But even as RFID chips gradually enter the
mainstream, they certainly will not offer a uni-
versal solution to the plague of counterfeit
products. Experts fully expect the neck-and-
neck race between criminals and security tech-
nology to continue in the years ahead. It’s a
cat-and-mouse game — one in which the bad
guys certainly are inventive. But unlike Dagob-
ert, most will never experience even a moment
of public sympathy. Sebastian Webel
44 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
prints (p. 48). With this technology, for in-
stance, authentication data never comes in
contact with the PC, putting it out of reach of
anyone trying to spy — at least for now.
Over the long term, however, it could prove
difficult to find a tool for fighting Internet crim-
inality, since ongoing technological develop-
ment benefits not only the security industry,
but also the scammers. Take, for instance, the
quantum computer, which uses quantum
physics to achieve unparalleled computing per-
formance (p. 54). The BSI considers this kind of
computer, which is still in the development
When Counterfeits Kill. When it comes to
counterfeit products, most companies can only
dream of achieving victory over criminals. In
product categories ranging from brand-name
jeans to luxury watches to MP3 players, trade
in counterfeit products causes approximately
30 billion euros worth of damage each year in
Germany alone, according to the Association of
German Chambers of Industry and Commerce.
And the EU Commission estimates that losses
suffered worldwide as a result of product coun-
terfeiting are somewhere between 200 and
300 billion euros. along the supply chain has to support this in-
frastructure and be trustworthy. What’s more,
it wouldn’t take a lot of effort to copy the code
and print it on a counterfeit. No systems are
available that can tell the difference.” Copy protection is Braun’s area of expertise.
His team recently developed a solution that
could deliver the blow to the counterfeiters
that is so eagerly anticipated by industry: a
copy-protected RFID chip based on public key
cryptography, allowing reliable verification of
its authenticity (p. 45). “Our radio chip makes it
possible for the first time to verify the authen-
stage, to be one of the greatest challenges fac-
ing the entire IT security industry. In Helm-
brecht’s opinion, as soon as such a computa-
tional powerhouse hits the market, Internet
criminals will have no problem cracking today’s
standard method for encrypting data. “As the
central IT security services provider to the Ger-
man federal government, the BSI must be able
to anticipate future scenarios such as the quan-
tum computer — and to work with research in-
stitutions on the development of solutions that
can thwart this previously unimaginable level
of computing power,” says Helmbrecht.
One such defense mechanism could be the
quantum cryptography chip developed by the
Vienna-based Austrian Research Center in co-
operation with Graz Technical University and
Siemens (p. 50). This chip protects data by gen-
erating a random sequence of numbers from
light particles — also known as photons. Be-
cause quantum mechanical processes alter the
photons, any attempt at tapping is recognized
immediately and the chip simply generates a
new key. Here, the laws of physics themselves
make it impossible for anyone to crack an en-
crypted message. If it ever goes into produc-
tion, the chip would be a tremendous benefit
to security technology. Even worse, counterfeit products are be-
coming a health hazard in the pharmaceutical
sector. In a best case scenario, medications
contain powdered milk or starch instead of an
active substance. But in the worst case, the
wrong dose or even the wrong active sub-
stance is used. The World Health Organization
(WHO) estimates that ten percent of the Euro-
pean market was affected by these “risk cock-
tails” in 2007. The corresponding figure during
this same period was 20 percent in the former
Soviet states, and it has reached 30 percent in
parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The European Union Commission is well
aware of the issue. In late 2008, it published a
proposal for combating pharmaceutical piracy.
One suggestion calls for special 2D bar codes
on packaging to be scanned by the manufac-
turer and stored in a central database. The data
can then be compared online to verify its au-
thenticity as the product moves through sales
chains. “But such bar codes offer only limited pro-
tection,” cautions Dr. Michael Braun of Siemens
Corporate Technology in Munich. “Everyone
Product authenticity can be verified using
copy-protected RFID chips (left) and a reader.
With an Internet ID, sensitive data never
finds its way online (right). Digital Watchmen | Trends
46 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
quency Identification), which make counter-
feiting particularly difficult. RFID operation is
based on a secret key that is known both to the
chip and to the reader. This approach is there-
fore referred to as a symmetrical method. Such
chips may for instance store encoded product
data or a serial number. The reader receives
this information by a radio signal and uses the
same key to decode the contents. However, as RFID expert Michael Braun is
quick to emphasize, anyone who manages to
steal the secret key could hack into this sym-
metrical security system. “At Siemens we have
therefore chosen what’s known as the asym-
metrical approach, which is based on the pub-
ing optimized algorithms. Instead of a pro-
grammable processor, they use fixed, nonpro-
grammable circuit elements. This substantially
reduces the energy consumption and size of
the chip, which are important cost factors.
Braun therefore believes this new technology
has a great chance of establishing itself in the
market for authenticity verification. And there’s another advantage. In addition
to providing maximum security, the technology
costs only around one-tenth as much as com-
parable smart card technology. In addition, it
can, for instance, be used throughout the en-
tire value chain from supplier to customer for
authenticity testing without a database link.
basket by the end the operation. If the two
numbers agree, it’s clear that no pad was left
behind in the patient. “But despite this safety
procedure, in rare cases a pad does get left be-
hind,” admits chief surgeon Prof. Hubertus
Feußner, who adds that this happens in
roughly one out of every 5,000 (mostly ab-
dominal) operations, and can result in a life-
threatening infection.
Although aluminum strips have been wo-
ven into sterile pads and are visible in x-ray im-
ages, forgotten pads may be difficult to see in
post-op medical images depending on their po-
sition. In 2007 Siemens therefore launched a
three-year program in cooperation with Intel,
lic key concept, to develop a counterfeit-resist-
ant system,” he says. In this system the reader
operates with a commonly accessible public
key, which is consequently of no interest to
hackers. The RFID tag, on the other hand, con-
tains a private, secret key the chip uses to en-
code a test inquiry of the reader. This asymmet-
rical method is presently used, for example, to
encode e-mails and digital signatures. To ensure that the private key isn’t copied
and transferred to another chip, Siemens re-
searchers have additionally developed an algo-
rithm that interacts with so-called elliptical
curves. “The RFID tag gives a different response
to each inquiry by the reader. This means that
criminals can only clone obsolete information
that is of no use in attacking a security system,”
explains Braun. But until recently, such methods could not
be applied to RFID chips, which have limited
computing power. Now, however, Siemens re-
searchers have solved this problem by develop-
Researchers have already developed a proto-
type and presented it at the CeBIT 2009 com-
puter fair.
RFIDs in the O.R.In the surgery suite of the
Klinikum Rechts der Isar, a major medical cen-
ter in Munich, a patient lies on an operating
Fujitsu Siemens and the Klinikum Rechts der
Isar medical center to develop an RFID system
that detects and counts radio chips sewed into
the sterile abdominal pads. The system makes
it possible to count the number of pads on the
preparation tray, in the patient, and in the
waste bin. When the operation is completed,
RFID chips equipped with temperature sensors can
monitor the entire cooling chain of banked blood. table with his abdominal cavity open for treat-
ment. The surgeons use sterile pads to stop any
bleeding. One pad after another disappears
into the fissures and spaces between the or-
gans, only to be removed and discarded soon
afterward. A surgical nurse counts the number of pads
she has handed to the surgeons, as well as the
number that have accumulated in the waste
the system displays the totals of counted pads
on a monitor — and the surgical staff knows
exactly where the pads have ended up. That’s the idea. “But there’s still quite a bit to
be done, before the system is market-ready,”
cautions Thomas Jell, Head of RFID Delivery at
Siemens IT Solutions and Services. For exam-
ple, development engineers intend to at least
double the present wireless range of the radio
Developments in RFID tag technologies are making it possible to track sterile pads in the operating room...Ensure that donated blood has been kept cool, and...
How a Crypto Chip Works
The secret key used in Siemens’ crypto chip employs a computational method based on so-called elliptical curves. If these formulas are visualized as an x/y-axis graph, the resulting curve resembles the cross-section of a doorknob. Initially, two points (P and Q) are defined on this curve. A straight line
through these points intersects the curves at a third point R, which is reflected symmetrically to inter-
sect the lower arc of the curve. This arithmetic formula is then repeated one trillion times. As a conse-
quence, the new end points are always created at different locations on the elliptical curves. Final results are computed from these values. The secret of the key lies in the multiplicity of times this process is repeated. With every query that
the reader poses to a digital chip, the computation starts all over again and creates a new resulting
point transmitted to the reader as a response. This method has been known to mathematicians for
about 30 years, but was too complicated for the computing power of small, “passive” RFID chips that
lacked an integral power supply. Such chips derive the energy required for computation from the
electromagnetic field of their associated reader. Considering this stringent requirement, Siemens
researchers have compressed the algorithm upon which calculations are based to the point where
reasonably priced, passive standard tags can use it. This is where the special know-how of crypto re-
searchers comes in. For instance, RFID experts have managed to transfer some of the computational
functions to the reader in order to reduce demands on the passive crypto chip. Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 47
chips from the present limit of 50 cm. That’s es-
pecially important in order to allow the reader’s
antenna underneath the operating table to
register an RFID chip in a pad that is inside a
very obese patient. The solution will be to use abdominal pads
outfitted with a sewn-in antenna that is several
times longer and therefore more effective than
the one in the previous prototype. Another issue involves the RFID’s transmit-
ting frequency. By transponding on the stan-
dard high frequency of 13.56 MHz, the device
could interfere with operating room medical
equipment. Jell can now exclude this for
Siemens products. “We’re in the process of
On an elliptic curve
you can easily define
the n-fold product of a
number with itself
(the diagram symboli-
cally shows an addi-
tion). But to recalcu-
late the factor n from
the result is virtually
impossible. This fact
makes it possible to
develop an efficient
encoding method that
combines short key
lengths with fast cod-
ing times. Such a solu-
tion is ideal for chip
cards and mobile
E: y
+ax+bmodp with a=2 b=98041560852373919804497702945164778239981033357
consists of 10
donor to recipient and also store additional
data, such as the blood group. This is impor-
tant because blood spoils rapidly when it is
stored without effective cooling. “The system not only records the tempera-
ture of every blood bag but also closes the
communications gap between donor stations,”
explains Harald Speletz, who heads the RFID
Solutions Department at Siemens Process Au-
tomation in Linz, Austria. “Our solution enables
complete documentation from vein to vein and
substantially improves patient safety. Siemens
scientists are committed to making the cooling
chain of banked blood completely transparent
using this new recording system,” he said.
Using this new solution, medical personnel
will attach an RFID chip to each blood bag as
soon the blood has been donated. And that
chip will stay with the blood throughout its life
cycle from whole blood to blood cell concen-
trate — even in the centrifuge. The electronic
chip’s system, which includes a temperature
sensor with a battery, is so robust that it can
withstand being spun at a centrifugal force of
up to 5,000 g. “This RFID system for monitoring banked
blood is now sufficiently mature to enter the
market,” says Speletz. So it won’t be long be-
fore wireless tags help to ensure the safety of a
range of medical procedures.
Rolf Sterbak
making our system compatible with currently-
available operating room equipment,” he says. But that still leaves the fact that some med-
ical devices, such as electrocoagulation sys-
tems, emit high-frequency pulses that can in-
terfere with RFID systems. Responding to this
challenge, Siemens researchers have devel-
oped reader software that simply filters out
these brief interruptions Tracking Blood. Another major area in which
RFID tags could save lives is in monitoring the
temperature of donated blood. With this in
mind, in 2008, a consortium consisting of
Siemens, French blood bag manufacturer Ma-
coPharma, and circuit board manufacturer
Schweizer Electronic of Schramberg, Germany,
clinically tested a temperature sensor-equipped
RFID system in collaboration with the Medical
University in Graz.
The newly-developed RFID tags monitor the
entire cooling chain of banked blood from
Track blood products throughout their life cycle.
Digital Watchmen | RFID Chips
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 49
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Banks are under fire for not taking sufficient steps to ensure security. That’s not surprising, given that misuse of banking data is on the rise — in some cases leading to disastrous consequences for banks and their customers. New technologies from Siemens are set to make life a lot tougher for criminals.
48 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
nline banking conducted from the con-
venience of the customer’s home is be-
coming increasingly popular. In fact, in Ger-
many alone, there are more than 35 million
online accounts that generate nearly 1.7 bil-
lion online fund transfers per year. But the
other side of the coin is that crime in the on-
line realm is also on the rise — in the form of
phishing scams, for example, where hackers
try to gain access to bank account data by set-
ting up fake web sites. According to Germany’s Federal Criminal
Police Office, Internet scams in 2007 alone re-
sulted in damages totaling approximately €19
million, which was 50 percent higher than the
figure from 2006. Also not to be underesti-
mated is the damage these scams can cause to
a bank’s reputation. In an effort to combat this problem,
Siemens is developing several solutions that
Digital Watchmen | Banking Thanks to scanners and optical sensors, verification data for Internet identification doesn’t even need to pass through a PC.Non-contact hand vein scanners will make banking more secure — and life tougher for anyone attempting online fraud. will make banking more secure — not only on-
line but also over the phone and at bank
branches. “Many Internet users prefer to do
their banking conveniently online, but they
are nevertheless worried about the security of
their personal data,” says Olaf Badstübner,
who is responsible for Worldwide Banking and
Insurance Security Services at Siemens IT Solu-
tions and Services in Frankfurt am Main. “Our
goal is therefore to offer solutions that com-
bine user-friendliness with the highest security
standards. The key question here always boils
down to how we can securely identify our-
selves via anonymous communication chan-
nels such as the Internet and telephone lines.” Mini Scanners. Together with a Swiss bio-
metric solutions company, Siemens now offers
an Internet ID product that puts a stop to on-
line scamming. The device, which is the size of
a credit card, is equipped with a fingerprint
scanner and six optical sensors. It requires no
additional hardware or software installation,
which means that it can be used with any In-
ternet-enabled computer. Any user wishing to conduct a bank trans-
fer initially identifies himself or herself by
means of a fingerprint. This print is compared
to a previously made copy of itself, which is al-
ready stored on the device. The bank’s website
then sends a flicker code to the user’s com-
puter, and the code is registered and de-
crypted by the ID card’s sensors. During this
process, the user’s monitor displays six rapidly
flickering fields. In addition to the transfer
data already entered using the computer key-
board, the flicker code contains the associated
shops and services,” he says. The system is al-
ready being widely utilized within Siemens, es-
pecially with applications that involve external
partners. In such cases, the device ensures
that only authorized persons can gain access
to internal Siemens data. “Because users iden-
tify themselves with their fingerprint, you al-
ways know that the individual in question was
physically present when they logged onto the
system,” Badstübner explains. “That means
there’s absolutely no possibility that a third
party can get in by stealing a password.” Despite the varied range of application pos-
sibilities, Badstübner continues to focus on the
banking sector. One reason: manipulation of
ATMs is increasing dramatically. Approximately
5,000 instances of ATM fraud were recorded in
Read My Hands. The new system works as
follows: An infrared scanner installed in the
ATM registers the vein structure in the cus-
tomer’s hand. This data is then transferred to a
biometric data recognition unit that compares
the scan with the user’s stored information.
“This type of ID provides customers with addi-
tional security to supplement their PIN num-
ber,” Badstübner explains. Siemens developed the technical equip-
ment for data recognition and comparison,
while Fujitsu supplied the infrared scanner and
sensor. “Along with enhanced security, this
procedure also offers the benefit of touchless
operation. Unlike the fingerprint ID, the hand-
vein reading unit doesn’t require the customer
to touch the scanner,” says Badstübner.
Voiceprint by Phone. Badstübner’s develop-
ment laboratory has also come up with a third
verification application, one that makes use of
speech biometrics technology. Speaker recog-
nition is an ideal solution for telephone bank-
ing — and Siemens is now offering a system
that registers the individual characteristics of a
user’s voice and then uses this data as a basis
for verifying the customer’s identity in all fu-
ture telephone transactions. And to prevent fraud attempted by means
of replaying recordings of the user’s voice, the
system also generates a random number se-
quence that the customer must repeat. Then
the customer’s voice is compared with the
stored data to ensure completely secure identi-
fication. Customers who use the hand vein scanner don’t even
need to touch the device in order to be identified. transaction authentication number generated
by the bank (TAN). Using an integrated cryptographic key, the
ID card deciphers the code and displays the in-
formation on its small screen. The user can
check the data to make sure it’s correct and
then complete the transaction by entering the
TAN. “The new ID eliminates the need for sepa-
rate passwords and TAN lists,” explains Bad-
stübner — and that makes the system not only
easier to use but also much more secure than
conventional setups. At the moment, the Internet ID device is be-
ing offered exclusively to banks, but Badstüb-
ner believes it could also be used for less secu-
rity-critical online applications. “Whether
you’re booking travel arrangements or down-
loading music from the Internet — the ID has
128 different keys and could theoretically be
used for a corresponding number of online
Europe in 2007, but that number had climbed
to more than 6,000 in just the first six months
of 2008 — a staggering increase of 143 per-
cent. Three out of every four such incidents in-
volve what is called “skimming” — a method
by which a thief gains access to bank card data
“What’s more, the scanner avoids the problem
that even just a little dirt or a slight cut can
lead to an error in fingerprint identification,
which could otherwise impede the authentica-
tion process.” Hand-vein scanning can be used to identify
customers doing business inside a bank
Siemens is currently involved in negotia-
tions with German, Spanish, and Turkish banks
that are interested in using its speaker-recogni-
tion technology, which could simply be added
on to a bank’s existing telephone banking sys-
tem. And Siemens is already successfully using
the system internally to prevent the time-con-
suming documentation process that had been
necessary for retrieving or changing pass-
words. “Now, when employees forget their pass-
words, they simply call a number where their
identity can be confirmed on the basis of their
recorded voiceprint,” Badstübner reports. They
can then reset their password quickly, easily,
and securely. Secure, fast, and easy — these are exactly
the qualities that apply to all three of the secu-
rity solutions from Badstübner’s development
department. Kirstin Schliekau
by installing a mock-up card slot, equipped
with a scanner and miniature camera, in the
cash machine. A new system that uses hand
vein scanning could put a stop to that, be-
cause each individual’s vein structure is unique
and can therefore be used as a means of iden-
tification. branch as well, eliminating the need for them
to present their IDs. Time-consuming signa-
ture checks would also become a thing of the
past. Several British banks are particularly in-
terested in this technology and are now en-
gaged in talks with Siemens about the possi-
bility of obtaining the system. calibrated in a painstaking process. We’d love
to turn it into an easy-to-manufacture product
that costs under €10,000, but that’s going to
require two years and a development partner
who can make the hardware more compact.
We still haven’t found that partner. Who would be your customers?
Monyk:The financial sector has expressed
great interest; banks could use the system for
secure data communication between branches
and headquarters. Public agencies, hospitals
and, of course, police and the military are also
interested. And the average consumer?
Monyk:At some point it will generate interest
among private individuals, but only after many
households have fiber-optic connections. It’s
easy to imagine inserting a quantum cryptog-
raphy device into a computer like a USB stick.
Computing power is not an issue here — any
PC could handle the device. Interview by Bernd Müller.
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 51
Code of Silence
No encryption code is secure — unless it’s created in
keeping with the laws of quantum physics. Siemens and
partners in an EU project have shown that unbreakable
quantum cryptography is ready for widespread use. 50 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Digital Watchmen | Quantum Cryptography
od does not play dice with the universe,”
said Albert Einstein once in criticism of
quantum physics. But it was Einstein who had
helped to launch the most successful physics
theory of the 20th century, with a Nobel Prize-
winning paper on light quanta (photons) back
in 1905. Today we know that God does “play
dice” in the sense that certain phenomena in
quantum physics can’t be predicted; instead
they become real only at the moment in which
they are measured. Einstein was also wrong
about something else: The peculiar entangle-
ment of light particles, which he dismissed as
“spooky action at a distance” in 1935, is a real
phenomenon. When specially prepared twin
pairs of photons are created, one photon al-
ways knows the state of the other — without
any delay in time and across any distance, even
that of the entire universe. This unusual behavior that so irritated Ein-
stein is ideally suited for data encryption. Physi-
cists working in this field exploit the entangle-
ment of the twin photons and the fact that
their state can only be determined at the mo-
ment they are measured. If such photons are
sent through fiber-optic lines in order to ex-
change encryption keys, anyone “listening in”
can still pick up the data, but the laws of
physics ensure that their eavesdropping will
not go unnoticed, and that action can then be
taken. This is because if one of the photons is
measured by an outside party, the transmitter
and receiver will immediately see this in the
Christian Monyk, 43, of the Austrian Research Centers (ARC), is head of
the SECOQC project, whose
other partners include Graz
Technical University and
Siemens. In this interview,
Monyk talks about applications of quantum
cryptography. Affordable Quantum Cryptography How did the SECOQC project come about?
Monyk:Our goal was to liberate quantum
cryptography from its academic isolation and
take a decisive step toward an actual applica-
tion. Although commercial solutions already
exist, they are only suitable for point-to-point
connections. Our cryptochip, on the other
hand, makes possible the creation of networks
with many participants, and thus the bridging
of great distances. Is your cryptochip market-ready?
Monyk:It’s ready to be used and we could of-
fer it to customers right now — but at €100,000
per unit, the system is still very expensive.
That’s because it’s built by hand and has to be
tween two parties. Because photons are lost as
they pass through glass fiber lines, system
range has also been limited to just a few kilo-
meters. What has been missing here is a super-
ordinate authority that passes the code on
across several point-to-point connections and
controls the quantum cryptography devices
linked with the network. In October 2008 partners in an EU project
known as SECOQC (Secure Communication
based on Quantum Cryptography) presented
the first such network at a conference in Vien-
na. Consisting of seven participants, the net-
work was able to pass a quantum key from
node to node, and it can be expanded to in-
clude any number of connections. The project
partners included the University of Vienna and
Siemens IT Solutions and Services Austria, with
the latter providing the network infrastructure.
The project was managed by Austrian Research
Centers (ARC) in Vienna. Entangled Twins. The project’s cryptographic
network used commercially available devices
whose operation is based on different quan-
tum cryptography technologies. Their effec-
tiveness is limited, however. Devices that use
photon phase shifts as a quantum property, for
example, are susceptible to inaccurate meas-
urements. That’s why the network relied for
the first time on a system for generating entan-
gled photons, which was developed by Anton
Zeilinger, a professor at the University of Vien-
before sending the particles out via two fiber-
optic lines. Their oscillation direction, known as
“polarization,” is initially uncertain. It’s only
when a photon has been measured that it pos-
sesses a specific polarization. At this point the
information unit, the bit, takes on the value of
either zero or one. As if it were telepathic, the
second photon registers this and takes on ex-
actly the same value. If a hacker attempts to eavesdrop on either
one of the glass fiber lines, the transmitter and
receiver (designated “Alice” and ”Bob” by cryp-
tographers) notice this through a comparison
of their measurements. The cryptographic de-
vice then repeatedly creates new keys until the
hacker (“Eve”) gives up and exits the line. The
comparison of measurement data can take
place on unsecured lines like the Internet or a
state of the twin. They can then take measures
to make the bits and bytes incomprehensible to
the hacker. Although commercial quantum cryptogra-
phy systems have been in use for a number of
years, their success has been held back by high
costs and technical limitations — more specifi-
cally by the fact that they have, until recently,
only allowed point-to-point connections be-
na who is considered a pioneer of research into
new quantum phenomena (see interview, p.
52). In fact, Zeilinger caused a sensation in the
1990s when he “beamed” specific properties
from one photon to another. For his cryptography approach, Zeilinger ac-
tually uses the “spooky action at a distance”
that occurs between twin particles, which his
team generates in a crystal by means of a laser,
| Interview
Detectors measure the polarization
of photons generated by a laser, and a cryptochip uses these measurements to continually create new encryption codes. Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 5352 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Digital Watchmen | Quantum Cryptography
| Interview
Anton Zeilinger, 63, is a
professor at the University
of Vienna and the Austrian
Academy of Sciences’ Insti-
tute for Quantum Optics
and Quantum Information.
Considered a quantum
physics pioneer, Zeilinger
sparked the imagination of
science fiction fans in the
1990s by teleporting pho-
tons. He has also taken
part in philosophical talks
with the Dalai Lama on
quantum physics and the
nature of time and space.
Among other things, his
work today focuses on ap-
plications for data encryp-
tion systems and random
number generators. Quantum physics is already a hundred
years old, but it seems that its practical
applications are only now becoming a reality. Zeilinger:That’s not true because all semicon-
ductor technology is based on quantum physics,
and lasers would also be unthinkable without it. Certain phenomena addressed by your
work, such as entanglement of photons,
weren’t even studied or applied until a
few years ago. Why not?
Zeilinger:It’s true that studies concerning
photon entanglement didn’t begin to emerge
until the 1970s, although Erwin Schrödinger
had described the phenomenon as early as
1935, a time when Albert Einstein also was ex-
amining the “spooky action at a distance,” as
he referred to it. The phenomenon was then
neglected for several decades because scien-
tists considered it a question for philosophers
rather than for physicists. I wasn’t taken seri-
ously when I began looking into the question
with some colleagues in the 1970s, and only
about 30 people attended the first conference
we held on the topic. Today, there’s a confer-
ence every month attended by hundreds of re-
searchers, more than I can even go to because
of time constraints. So we are experiencing a
revival of interest in the fundamental ques-
tions of quantum physics, and several entirely
new applications have been emerging since
the 1990s, including quantum cryptography. What are the benefits of using quantum
physics to help with data encryption? Zeilinger:It makes encryption completely se-
cure because you notice immediately if some-
one is trying to eavesdrop on the fiber-optic
line that’s used to exchange the keys. This isn’t
some kind of technological trick; it’s a funda-
mental aspect of physics. In the project that
we worked on with Austrian Research Centers,
which Siemens was also involved in, we used
entangled photons to transmit the keys. One
photon always knows the state of the other, so
if one is measured, say by a hacker, we can im-
mediately see this in the measurement reading
for the twin. We are now able to generate twin
photons at a rate of ten million per second. We
used around a dozen keys per second in the
project with ARC, and that represents a com-
pletely new dimension compared to conven-
tional procedures in which keys are exchanged
A Quantum Computer in Your Cell Phone
on an unsecured line, and possibly used for
years at a time. Are there drawbacks to your procedure?
Zeilinger:Because you can’t measure the
photons without destroying the entanglement,
you unfortunately can’t reinforce them. Losses
in the fiber-optic lines lead to a loss of pho-
tons, which is why the maximum bridging dis-
tance in the line has been limited so far to
around 30 kilometers. During wireless trans-
mission experiments between the islands of
Tenerife and La Palma, however, we have
achieved a distance of 144 kilometers. That’s
more than enough for the purpose of secure
data transfer between government offices or
initially didn’t realize how many different
things could be done with their inventions. But scientists seem to have a very firm
idea of what can be achieved with quan-
tum computers, although they understand
it will take a long time to do this. Zeilinger:There’s a big race going on with
quantum computers today. When a quantum
computer is actually built and can function
properly, it will be in a class by itself, truly un-
precedented. The exceptional feature of such a
computer is that it will be able to process sev-
eral operations simultaneously rather than in
succession, because it will exploit the quantum
mechanical overlapping of atoms. (Editor’s
note: see article, p. 54)
What can be done with such tremendous
computing power?
Zeilinger:One application would be Shore’s
algorithm for breaking down large prime num-
bers, which is a necessary component in the
process of cracking an encrypted code. This
would amount to the counterpart of quantum
cryptography — but it would be useful for
breaking only today’s conventional codes, not
those generated by quantum cryptography.
Another application could involve a search for
a name in an unsorted database, for example.
When you use conventional algorithms here,
you might end up having to search the entire
database if you’re unlucky, which would mean
a million computing steps for a million entries.
A quantum computer with just eight quantum
bits, by contrast, could do the job in less than
4,000 steps. Some of your colleagues doubt that there
will ever be a quantum computer. They
say that phenomena in the quantum
world cannot simply be transferred to the
macroscopic world. Zeilinger:I’m absolutely certain we will even-
tually see quantum computers. There is no ob-
stacle inherent to physics that would prevent
this. According to Moore’s Law, the number of
transistors that can be placed on a chip doubles
every 18 months. So, you could also say that
the number of electrons needed to store a bit is
reduced by half every 18 months. If you project
that, you’ll find that in 20 years only one atom
will be required to store one bit — and with
that we have the quantum computer. We have
a lot of work to do, of course, because we still
aren’t able to control complex quantum sys-
tems. Nevertheless, it’s only a question of time
until we will do this, and some day every cell
phone will contain such a quantum computer. Interview by Bernd Müller.
banks in a given city. We also have to be care-
ful to prevent side-channel attacks, which
eavesdrop on the electromagnetic signals cre-
ated in the transmitter and receiver when the
keys are generated in the crypto-hardware sys-
tem. But we’ve already taken appropriate
measures to deal with that. Are there any other applications for quan-
tum physics that are ready for the market?
Zeilinger:Yes — generation of random num-
bers, for example, which are needed for online
gambling systems, certain types of optimiza-
tion algorithms, and for calculation of integrals
in mathematical problems. Today such random
numbers are generated with computers by set-
ting a starting value for the program and then
letting it run for a certain period of time. If the
circumstances are the same, though, you’ll
end up with the same numbers, which is why
these are called “pseudo-random” numbers.
Someone working in a computer center who
understands how a certain process works can
use that knowledge to hit the jackpot at an on-
line gambling site. We, on the other hand,
generate true random numbers by shooting
photons onto a semitransparent mirror and
then measuring when the light particles either
pass through or are reflected, which is a com-
pletely random process that can’t be predicted.
We’ve developed a market-ready generator
that creates billions of random numbers per
second, and we’re already talking to compa-
nies that want to build and sell it. In general,
however, quantum physics is currently in the
same application stage that we saw with semi-
conductors and lasers when they were still in
their infancy. By this I mean that the inventors
phone line, and even the transmission of the
data encoded using the quantum key can be in-
tercepted without giving the eavesdropper any
valuable information. Zeilinger’s team proved
this in 2004, when they transferred €3,000
from Bank Austria to Vienna City Hall, a dis-
tance of 1.5 kilometers. The great accomplishment of the SECOQC
project is that it has scaled down this simple
physical effect, which nevertheless used to re-
quire a lot of machinery, into a system that fits
into the housing of a conventional PC. The
housing contains the optical components for
generating the photons using a laser, the de-
tectors that determine polarization direction,
extended period of time; changing keys fre-
quently enhances security. Ideally, a crypto-
machine should generate a new key of the
same length for every 128-bit data package,
because it is impossible to crack such a “one-
time pad” — even if one of the code keys is suc-
cessfully broken, hackers would only have a
snippet of data. What’s more, it would take
them months to break each key. ARC’s cryptochip moves cryptography into a
new dimension in this regard. It generates a
new quantum key five to ten times per second,
and each key can be as long as 256 or 512 bits.
Then, after sending out these keys, it immedi-
ately destroys its record of them. “We could
and a cryptochip that uses light measurements
to continually create new keys and exchange
them via the fiber-optic line. The same housing also holds the computer
that uses the quantum keys to encode the actu-
al data with cryptographic algorithms. The data
then races in encrypted form through the Inter-
net at a speed of several gigabits per second.
The keys are usually 128 bits long. “That’s se-
cure enough and is doable with limited re-
sources,” says Dr. Johannes Wolkerstorfer of
Graz University of Technology. The university is
collaborating with ARC and Siemens to develop
the cryptographic machine hardware and soft-
ware, including an easy-to-use interface, as
part of the Quantum Cryptography on Chip
project. A length of 128 bits corresponds to
different possibilities that a hacker would
have to work through. That’s the equivalent of
searching through ten billion people for a spe-
cific, individual atom.
Quantum Keys. Still, even 128-bit encryption
can eventually be broken with the help of sta-
tistical analysis of the encrypted data. That’s
why one and the same key should never be
used to encrypt large amounts of data over an
also switch the keys more often by stockpiling
them,” says Christian Monyk of ARC, who coor-
dinates the SECOQC project. “We took part in the project in order to gain
new knowledge about quantum cryptography
applications,” says Robert Jonas, head of Securi-
ty Solutions at Siemens IT Solutions and Services
in Vienna. As Jonas points out, Siemens sees it-
self as a systems provider that advises customers
and creates solution packages encompassing
hardware, software, and infrastructure. Devel-
opment of quantum cryptography hardware
was never part of this approach, however. As a result, Siemens is interested not only in
the hardware developed by ARC, Anton
Zeilinger’s research group, and Graz University
of Technology; other components that are al-
ready commercially available, including those
from idQuantique in Geneva and MagiQ in
New York, are also suitable for such applica-
tions. So Jonas is optimistic. “Once the system
attracts greater interest, and customers such as
banks and military organizations begin asking
for it, the cost of hardware components will fall
and our commercial solutions will become
more attractive. We’re ready for that day,” says
Jonas. Bernd Müller
The SECOQC system changes its quantum keys several times per second. Each key can be as long as 512 bits.
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 5554 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Digital Watchmen | Neural Quantum Computers
t’s an eternal battle. Criminals conceive ways
to hack into computer systems and send
their creations through the Internet, while soft-
ware developers at companies and public
agencies scramble to block intrusions and pro-
tect users from damage. But as soon as one
dangerous code is cracked, a new one springs
up in the virtual world. Malicious software can
trigger undesirable functions in an infected
computer. Such programs usually operate in
the background, unnoticed by computer users
— but they can cause considerable damage, in-
Researchers Rodion Neigovzen (left) and Steffen
Glaser from the Technical University of Munich
are using sodium formate molecules (see model
at right) to realize a neural quantum computer. Catching Worms
with Quanta
The digital watchmen of
the future will repel computer attacks, relying
on a neural network’s
adaptability and a quantum computer’s lightning speed. Siemens is already developing a prototype.
Regardless of the anomaly-identification
methodology, however, both require amazing
speed. In fact, conventional computers trying
to do the same thing would quickly be hin-
dered by their physical limitations. With this in
mind, Sollacher’s team is planning to combine
neural networks with a technology that is still
in its infancy: quantum computing. “For com-
plex tasks like pattern recognition, a quantum
computer really has what it takes,” say Sol-
lacher. Trained as a physicist, Sollacher (48) uses a
special property of quantum systems for his
work. As a rule quanta are not in a single, un-
cluding manipulation or deletion of entire files,
detrimental changes to a computer’s online se-
curity software, and unauthorized gathering of
data for marketing purposes or for spying on
the user. In 2005 the FBI conducted a study that in-
cluded a survey of security experts at American
companies, government agencies, and univer-
sities. The survey respondents reported an av-
erage loss of approximately $200,000 as a re-
sult of online crime. The most commonly cited
causes of the financial damages were viruses
and worms.
A particularly nasty form of attack is the
computer worm. Unlike a virus, which attaches
itself to a file that must be opened by the user
in order to do its damage, a worm au-
tonomously spreads through networks and at-
tempts to burrow into other computers. To
date, roughly 2,000 computer worms have
been uncovered. Their codes are known, so
their bit sequences can be “sniffed out” and
barred by suitable security software, known as
“sniffers.” But new worms, different from those
already known, can emerge every day. That’s
why we all need “digital watchmen” — elec-
tronic systems that can automatically identify
these new threats.
With this in mind, specialists at the Learning
Systems department of Siemens Corporate
Technology (CT) are working on far-sighted so-
lutions designed to permanently put worms
out of business. Their weapon: development of
a combination of neural networks with a quan-
tum computer. Less Wiggle Room for Worms. When it
comes to neural networks, Siemens experts
rely on processes that work in a way similar to
those in the human brain. “In neural networks,
all nodes are connected with one another. The
information is found in the strength of the indi-
this nearly magical ability of neural networks
that the Siemens researchers are now taking
advantage of in their efforts to hunt down new
worms. They can use it to recognize potentially
dangerous signatures, much like the way fin-
gerprints are used to recognize criminals. How-
ever, if a worm is based on an entirely new
process, a neural network will not catch it any-
more than an FBI database will catch a first-
time criminal. This is why Störmann recommends taking
the opposite approach. “A sniffer that rapidly
recognize patterns reads entire data transfer
processes. It allows everything to pass through
that corresponds to normal business transac-
tions. But the instant it detects something new
and unexpected, it sounds an alarm. Then the
task is to determine if the anomaly represents a
threat,” he says. This method is particularly
suited for use in companies where the data be-
ing transferred internally is very well known.
ambiguous state but rather are simultaneously
in all possible states, “superposed” on one an-
other. A conventional computer calculates with
bits, which have a value of 0 or 1, but a bit in a
quantum computer can be 0 and 1 at the same
time due to superpositioning. In the quantum
world this kind of bit has even been assigned
its own official name: “qubit.” Exploiting a Universe of Possibilities. A sys-
tem composed of two qubits can assume the
following states: 00, 01, 10, and 11 — and all
simultaneously. And the number of possible
combinations rises rapidly. For instance, with
32 qubits there are four billion possibilities. The
idea in quantum computing is therefore to ex-
ploit this multiplicity, with each calculation pro-
ceeding in all states at the same time. It is
therefore easy to see why the achievement of
such technology could result in a super-power-
ful parallel computer capable of working many
vidual connections,” explains Dr. Rudolf Sol-
lacher, of the Learning Systems center at CT.
“These networks can be used to recognize new
patterns without having to be given specific
rules, for example.” Specialists call this adaptive
learning. For instance, with regard to interpreting
handwriting, Christof Störmann, who works
closely with Sollacher, explains that, “A neural
network that is trained using the letter ‘a’ writ-
ten in many different ways will learn in time
how an ‘a’ is supposed to look and then will be
able to recognize an ‘a’ written in a style differ-
ent from the ones it has already learned.” It is
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 57
Driving out the Crooks
Services at airports should be secure, efficient, and convenient. And parking is no exception. That’s why Siemens is using overlapping imaging systems to help manage
parking lots around Moscow’s booming Domodedovo Airport and make them safer.
he Russian capital of Moscow and its sur-
rounding area can be reached by air via five
airports. One of them — Domodedovo Interna-
tional Airport — has become the largest and
most rapidly expanding airport in Russia over
the past few years. Between 2001 and 2007,
passenger volume at the airport, which is lo-
cated in the south of the city, rose from 3.8 mil-
lion to around 18 million per year. This increasing volume poses new chal-
lenges for the airport’s parking lot manage-
ment system. To tackle this challenge, airport
management turned to Siemens. “We opted for
a parking lot solution from Siemens because, in
addition to enabling the expansion of the exist-
ing system, it provided parking lot users with a
high level of security and convenience,” says
Dmitrij Ognev, project manager for Domode-
dovo Airport. Since November 2005, Siemens’
| Digital Parking Lots
A car is allowed to leave the parking lot only if the number on a ticket agrees with its previously-
photographed license plate. Cameras record the
driver and the vehicle’s condition.
Mobility Division has gradually installed state-
of-the-art technology at three of the airport’s
large parking lots with space for a total of
2,400 cars. As a result, the airport now has the
most modern and secure parking lot system in
One of the principal features of the Siemens
solution is a license plate reading system. “This
is one of the project’s most innovative compo-
nents,” says Kirill Golovinski, who manages the
project for Siemens in Russia. “It is without par-
allel in Russia and very few comparable sys-
tems can be found anywhere in Europe.” The system is equipped with three cameras.
The first of these is an infrared camera that
records the license plate numbers of entering
vehicles. The camera can even read license
plates when it’s dark or when weather condi-
tions are bad. Meanwhile, a second camera
takes a picture of the driver, while a third films
the entire vehicle, documenting its color,
brand, and condition. The data is transmitted via a broadband
connection to a database, where it is stored.
When a vehicle is about to leave the parking
lot, the system compares the sets of data, al-
lowing the driver to leave only if the car’s li-
cense plate number and the number on the
parking ticket match. The images from the other two cameras’ are
also compared. “In this way, we were able to
combat the previously frequent car thefts and
manipulations of vehicle damage, which have
since become more difficult and less common,”
says Ognev. “The new system is especially good
at defeating the parking lot defrauders who se-
cretly sold short-term parking passes to long-
term parkers.”
56 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Digital Watchmen | Neural Quantum Computers
Rodion Neigovzen puts a solution of sodium formate and water into a spectrometer to manipulate qubits. times faster than conventional computers
when recognizing patterns. And such a feature
is a must if a sniffer is expected to check for
malicious codes in real time in an avalanche of
data that can easily amount to many gigabits
per second. There’s one big problem with all of this,
however: The kinds of quantum computers
that would be needed to perform such opera-
tions don’t exist. What’s more, those quantum
tion under the supervision of Prof. Wilhelm
Zwerger, the chair of Munich Technical Univer-
sity’s Theoretical Physics department. “This
simulation works with as many network nodes
as you like,” says Neigovzen, “but only if the
computer has the required capacity.”
Neigovzen’s simulation of a neural quantum
network functions beautifully in the virtual
world. In fact, Sollacher's team at CT has al-
ready used the algorithm to predict how a real
exciting breakthrough. In December 2007, in
the basement of the Chemistry building, the
two teams completed the world’s first experi-
ment creating a neural network which con-
sisted of two bits running on a simple quantum
computer. Reality Check. The researchers who con-
ducted the experiment, Neigovzen and the uni-
versity’s Dr. Jorge Neves, used a solution of wa-
ter and sodium formate, whose molecules each
have one carbon and one hydrogen atom. They
poured the solution into a test tube, which
they placed in a nuclear magnetic resonance
spectrometer. NMR spectrometry is often used
by chemists to perform structural analysis of
biomolecules. However, the method can also
be used to manipulate qubits. The NMR principle is based on the fact that
most atomic nuclei — and particularly hydro-
gen nuclei — behave like tiny bar magnets,
spinning and tilting in a magnetic field. Thus,
when the test solution is placed in a powerful
magnetic field, its atomic nuclei arrange them-
selves along the lines of the field, as a result of
their spin and magnetic moment. Then, using
appropriate high-frequency pulses, the atomic
nuclei are “perturbed” — the equivalent of en-
tering information into the quantum computer.
The nuclei start to rotate like tops around the
lines of the magnetic field, giving off character-
istic radiation, which can be measured. This
step corresponds to reading out the desired
data. In the case of the researchers’ neural
quantum computer, the measured signals
agreed exactly with the values predicted by the
simulation, confirming that Neigovzen’s simu-
lation of a quantum computer delivers correct
results in practice. Researchers have succeeded in creating the world’s
first neural network using a quantum computer. computers that have been developed to date
can handle only a few qubits, and these proto-
types are too complex and cumbersome for
everyday use. That’s why Sollacher and his col-
leagues decided to assess the advantages of
running a neural network on a quantum com-
puter by simulating how such a system would
work. Simulating a Quantum Network. The man
who was given this complex simulation assign-
ment is 29-year-old quantum computing spe-
cialist Rodion Neigovzen. “I started by transfer-
ring the spatial and chronological development
of a neural network into the quantum world
and developing the associated mathematical
formulas,” he reports. Neigovzen used a con-
ventional computer to simulate this process, an
original development for his doctoral disserta-
quantum computer running on a neural net-
work would behave in detecting patterns. But
do the results reflect reality? To determine the
answer, Sollacher’s team looked for a way to
observe the results in an experiment. Their search led them to Prof. Steffen Glaser
and his colleagues at Munich Technical Univer-
sity’s Chemistry department, where re-
searchers had been working for years toward
the realization of quantum computers and the
ability to control qubits in theory and practice. This encounter quickly led to the the estab-
lishment of a partnership between Siemens
Corporate Technology and the Technical Uni-
versity —a partnership that soon produced an
As far as Prof. Glaser was concerned, the ex-
periment constituted something like a contact
with another world — the world of neural net-
works. “It’s exciting to combine Siemens ex-
pertise in this area with our know-how in quan-
tum computing,” says Glaser. And for Siemens, this collaboration could be
the seed that grows into a neural quantum
computer, one that can detect computer
worms faster and more effectively than any
system available today. A prototype of such a computer is expected
to be ready in one to two years. “But it will still
be a few years before it all results in a product,”
says Sollacher.Brigitte Röthlein Growing Boom in IT Security Technologies
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 59
the user into transferring funds to such sites. In December
2007 an anti-phishing initiative, APWG, recorded more
than 25,000 attacks per month. And in a series of studies
from 2008 titled “Banking IT in 2023,” U.S. market re-
searcher Forrester forecasts that convenient use of new
types of mobile terminals will become the standard means
of conducting banking processes and transactions. In this
series, Forrester Vice President Jost Hoppermann sees a
two-fold authentication process, for example using finger-
prints and passwords, as indispensable. Another area of application for “digital watchmen” is
protection against counterfeit products by means of radio
frequency identification chips (RFIDs). Between 2006 and
2016 in Germany, sales generated with RFID components
are expected to rise by an average of 19 percent annually,
from more than €1.1 billion today to €16 billion. And ac-
cording to an assessment by Deutsche Bank Research in a
current study titled “RFID chips: Enabling the efficient ex-
change of information,” annual growth rates worldwide
may be as high as 25 percent. “Transport of goods and re-
lated logistics are the largest areas of application, and use
of the chips with costly medications and lifestyle drugs is
increasing,” says Stefan Heng, an analyst at Deutsche Bank
Research. Pharmaceutical companies are attaching RFID
tags and electronic certificates of authenticity to bulk
packages of medications. Using a reading device, a phar-
macist can quickly check a medication’s authenticity. This
market is expected to develop strongly. Market researchers
at IDTechEx, for example, predict the market for RFID
equipment used in the health care and pharmaceutical
sectors will grow from its 2008 level of about $20 million
to more than $400 million by 2018. This is due to the
number of counterfeit medications being produced, which
has been rising sharply for years. Statistics released by EU
customs authorities indicate they found 2.7 million coun-
terfeit medications in 2006. And the number of such med-
ications seized in 2007 increased by 51 percent compared
to the previous year’s total. In 2008 alone, customs per-
sonnel taking part in an EU-wide operation found 34 mil-
lion counterfeit medications in only two months.
“The market for security technologies overall has
grown from what initially were only loosely linked niche
markets into a vibrant new sector shaped by its high-tech
applications and dynamic growth,” concludes Wolfgang
Pflüger, chief economist at Berenberg Bank. And there are
still areas of potential to be opened up in this market. “Use
of new materials and security mechanisms, as well as de-
velopment of innovative application scenarios for modern
high-security technologies, must guarantee improved pro-
tection against identity theft,” says Ulrich Hamann, CEO of
Bundesdruckerei GmbH, in assessing this growth market.
Nikola Wohllaib
Worldwide RFID Demand Sales in billions of euros
Average growth +25% p.a.
2006 2008 2011 2016
Source: Deutsche Bank Research, 2008
RFID Applications
Percentage of the projects covered by
the survey
Access control
Customer cards/
Health care
Public services
5 10 15 20 25 30 35
n = 493 companies in Germany
Source: IIG Freiburg, 2008
Projected Increases in Mobile and Internet Banking
Users aged 16 years or older (in %)
Great Britain
Internet banking users 2007
Internet banking users 2010
Mobile banking users 2007
Mobile banking users 2010
6 6
25 25 25
Source: Celent Europe
Phishing Victims in Germany
2005 2006* 2007*
* Extrapolation, basis: approx. 90% of the population
Source: BITKOM 58 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
| Facts and Forecasts
emand for security technologies has increased
tremendously in recent years. This is a result, in part,
of our awareness of the risks related to public safety is-
sues. Security standards have been upgraded at railway
stations and airports, and for commercial buildings. This
has been confirmed in recent years by the booming busi-
ness in biometric solutions — including systems that rec-
ognize fingerprints, speech, and faces — and in access
control systems (Pictures of the Future, Spring 2008, p.
99). Also showing strong growth are security technologies
Post-crisis,” IDC forecasts that growth rates will decrease
from their 2008 level of 13.2 percent to 9.8 percent in
2009, before slowly rebounding to about 10.3 percent in
2010. IDC analyst Brian E. Burke expects “demand for se-
curity products will continue to be stronger than that for
other IT technologies in 2009.” This is because companies
will have to comply with legal requirements imposed by
European and international guidelines, Burke explains. For
2010 and beyond, for instance, Burke predicts that addi-
tional requirements in the field of data protection and
more stringent regulations for financial reporting will lead
to a robust increase in companies’ expenditures for secu-
rity solutions. Analysts at Celent, an international market research
firm, expect a big increase in online and mobile phone
banking by customers in Western Europe. Today only six
percent of bank customers in the region use mobile bank-
ing, a figure expected to rise to 25 percent by 2010. This
development could also result in damages and losses for a
growing number of users. For 2007 in Germany alone, the
German Association for Information Technology, Telecom-
munications, and New Media (Bitkom) recorded a 25-per-
cent increase in unauthorized use of PIN numbers com-
pared to 2006, and monetary damages of €19 million.
Another important factor in online banking is “phishing.”
Criminals who engage in phishing send an e-mail contain-
ing “malware” (malicious software) that installs itself on a
user’s computer, where it works undetected, gathering PIN
numbers and passing them on to unauthorized users. mal-
ware can also direct an online banking user to a counter-
feit web site designed to appear legitimate, thus tricking
related to video surveillance systems used in subways (Pic-
tures of the Future, Fall 2006, p. 93). What’s more, the in-
creasing digitalization of everyday life and stronger meas-
ures for protecting sensitive corporate data have
generated an enormous demand for solutions that can
prevent identity theft. Security technologies are used with
authentication and transaction processes for online and
telephone banking, and to provide protection against
counterfeit medications.
Given this broad spectrum of security- and safety-re-
lated concerns in today’s information society, analysts of
the Hamburg Institute of International Economics and the
Berenberg Bank collaborated on a study titled “Security In-
dustry — Strategy 2030.” The study forecasts that the
worldwide market for security services will reach $231 bil-
lion by 2015, doubling its 2005 level. IDC, a U.S.-based
market research institute, is also predicting high rates of
growth in the security products field in coming years, a
prediction that has been adjusted downward only slightly
since the emergence of the financial crisis. In a market
analysis titled “Worldwide Security Products 2008 — 2012:
2005 2010 2015
Global Market for Security Services Billions of U.S. dollars
Source: Calculations by Berenberg Bank on the basis of current market data
Digital Watchmen
58 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
To make arrivals and departures more com-
fortable for those who use the parking lots fre-
quently, Siemens incorporated a Hughes Iden-
tification Device (HID) — a contactless
permanent parking pass system. Unlike normal
parking lot users, airport employees and se-
lected customers do not receive the usual pa-
per ticket, but instead a credit-card-size perma-
nent parking pass equipped with a transponder
containing a ten- to 12-digit code number. On
the basis of this ID, the airport assigns parking
rights for particular spaces. Contactless reading
devices for permanent parking passes have
been set up at all parking lot entrances and ex-
its. If a driver shows a pass in the vicinity of one
of these devices, the data — for example, the
number of the parking pass and the car’s li-
cense plate number — are read and evaluated.
If all of the data matches, the driver is allowed
to proceed.
Secure Payments. By requiring the input of a
PIN code, the solution for processing a credit
card at an automatic payment machine also in-
creases security. Here, the data is coded twice
and sent from the airport to an associated
bank. Third party interference is thus virtually
impossible. Unlike the offline processes used
by other providers, this system does not put
the data into intermediate storage during pay-
ment, but instead processes the information,
which it records with the help of fiscal printers.
Incorporated into the payment machines,
these printers contain a roll of paper for print-
ing out receipts as well as a memory chip for
recording all transactions. Such printers are
needed so that the Russian internal revenue
service can check all of the payment processes.
“In the future, transactions will increasingly be
handled in such online cash flows,” says Svet-
lana Sabirova from the Siemens sales organiza-
tion in Moscow.
Siemens’ know-how and expertise will con-
tinue to be in demand at Domodedovo Airport.
“It’s very likely that Siemens’ next order from
Domodedovo will be for the parking lot for the
buses and vans used in local public transport,”
says Andreas Schneider of Siemens Mobility in
Berlin, who manages the project from Ger-
many. “And the way things are looking at the
moment, it probably won’t be the last order ei-
ther.” That’s because news of the parking lot
system’s success has spread throughout
Moscow and beyond. In addition to two addi-
tional airports near Moscow, the city of Sochi,
the venue of the 2014 Winter Olympics, has
also expressed interest in high-tech access so-
lutions from Siemens, which could also meet
increased demands for security and help to
fight crime. Julia Wetjen
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 6160 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Digital Watchmen | IT Security
t’s seven o’clock on a Wednesday morning,
and things are still quiet at the Siemens Up-
time Service Center (USC) in Erlangen, Ger-
many. But that can change in a second. All of
the fault reports and queries from customers
throughout Germany who have Siemens med-
ical equipment are processed and collated
here, and there are around 41,000 such sys-
tems. Worldwide, Siemens monitors roughly
200,000 medical systems ranging from CT
scanners to MR and PET diagnostic systems.
With its remote maintenance centers and software updates,
Siemens can eliminate up to 50 percent of the
faults in large-scale medical equipment worldwide via data networks.
Indefatigable Guardians
When it comes to medical technology, equipment reliability and availabil-
ity are indispensable. To guarantee uninterrupted service, Siemens offers
an innovative remote-maintenance concept that makes it possible to detect and eliminate faults — often before they cause any problems.
providing prompt processing of customer
queries, preventive maintenance, and rapid
resolution of fault reports. If a customer experiences problems or sim-
ply has a query, he or she can contact the Up-
time Service Center around the clock. An ex-
pert at the center will go online (frequently
even during the same telephone call), log into
the customer’s network, and initiate a diagnos-
tic process. This functionality requires the sys-
tem to be connected to the Siemens Remote
24/7 Solution. In up to 50 percent of the
faults reported worldwide, the problem can be
fixed by the USC and therefore eliminated re-
motely. If this is not possible, Siemens experts
have access to a spare parts catalogue and can
order any part that may be required without
delay. In 97 percent of all cases, the customer
has the part on the very next day — world-
wide. In particularly urgent situations, for ex-
ample in the event of a total failure, the re-
quired components can be sent immediately by
Today, the diagnosis and ordering of spare
parts by the remote service team takes place
within about 30 minutes. Should on-site serv-
ice be required, most of the engineering call-
outs for the next day can be planned online,
and in around three quarters of all cases the
fault can be eliminated during an engineer’s
first visit.
The platform for this online access and re-
mote maintenance service is provided by SRS
(Pictures of the Future, Spring 2005). Siemens
specialists from the USC use a reliable IT infra-
structure based on a securely-encrypted VPN
(Virtual Private Network) connection to con-
nect directly to the system and the customer.
“It is like a central forum where service engi-
neers and customers exchange information
with each other,” says Head of Product Support
Dr. Stefan Henkel.
Certified Data Protection. At Siemens Re-
mote Service, data security is considered to be
of supreme importance — as it should be,
given the fact that “we are dealing with highly
services, including virus protection — a partic-
ularly important feature since more and more
clinical equipment is integrated into network
systems. This integration has considerable ad-
vantages. For instance, using a panel at the pa-
tient’s bedside, the attending physician can call
up patient-related data stored in a central data-
base (Pictures of the Future, Spring 2008, p.
70) or transmit images from a computer tomo-
graph to a digital patient file at the press of a
button, immediately after they have been
taken. Virus Hunt. Damage inflicted by viruses can
severely compromise a hospital’s operations —
for instance by causing a system crash with sig-
nificant associated delays, by putting emer-
gency patients at risk, or by losing vital data.
This is why the radiology department at
Switzerland’s University Hospital Basel chose a
comprehensive VP solution in 2007. The hospital records more than 10,000 digi-
tal patient images a day, a figure that requires
some 18 gigabytes and is nevertheless steadily
increasing. What’s more, the facility’s imaging
systems operate at full capacity, which is why
all systems must be available for use at all
times in order for workflows to proceed
To ensure the highest level of data security,
as well as seamless operation, the Siemens Ser-
vice Center not only monitors hospital systems,
but works closely with the customer. Every
hospital employee is required to report any ir-
regularities. Siemens uses an extensively tested
and proven virus scanner from Trend Micro.
The product can continuously monitor elec-
tronic systems without interfering with the
hospital’s processes. The product is also pre-
These functions certainly boost the effec-
tiveness of a hospital’s workflows in terms of
time and labor requirements. But they also
bring with them a spectrum of risks that every
computer user is familiar with — risks that
range from USB sticks containing data down-
loaded from the Internet, and growing num-
bers of viruses, worms and Trojans that can
penetrate and damage systems. To combat this problem, Siemens has devel-
oped Virus Protection (VP), a scanning program
that prevents hostile attacks by detecting bit
sequences that are typical of viruses and block-
ing them before they can be activated. sensitive patient information,” says Michael
Püschel, head of the System Management Cen-
ter for Siemens’ Healthcare Sector, which pro-
vides the infrastructure. “It is precisely at this
critical point where sensitive data and net-
worked systems come together that Siemens
offers maximum security,” he adds. This is con-
firmed by TÜV Süd, a certification organization,
which has certified that the center’s informa-
tion security management system is in compli-
ance with the ISO 27001 international stan-
The possibilities that SRS offers have en-
abled Siemens to develop further innovative
taxi — and in areas that are difficult to access,
for instance the mountains of Canada, even
helicopters can be chartered. At the same time,
the USC will inform a local engineer and simul-
taneously dispatch him with the spare part to
the customer. Things weren’t always this easy. Only a few
years ago, around two hours after a report was
received, an engineer would arrive at the cus-
tomer site and it would take another hour for
the diagnosis to be completed. Only then were
spare parts ordered. Yet another visit was re-
quired for the actual repair. As a result, exten-
sive down time were often experienced. Service (SRS). After entering the customer’s
system ID, the Siemens expert will be looking
at the same screen content that a service engi-
neer would see.
Without interrupting the operation of the
device, the Siemens expert first looks at the log
files and the entries that provide any informa-
tion about the location of the fault. In the case
of a magnetic resonance scanner, for example,
he may look for problems that occur when slid-
ing the table in, or coils that may have been in-
correctly connected by the customer that
would cause signal interference and thus im-
age degradation. As is so often the case, there are peak hours
with particularly intense bursts of activity. “In
Germany alone, we processed more than
100,000 reports in 2008,” recalls Arne West-
phal, who heads the USC. In most countries where it is represented,
Siemens has established Uptime Service Cen-
ters to support international customers in their
own national languages. Together with its Regional Support Center
and Headquarters Support Center, which spe-
cializes in unusual and complex problems, the
Uptime Service Centers form the Siemens cus-
tomer support network that is responsible for
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 63
hen Alexander Fleming discovered peni-
cillin in 1928, he achieved a medical
milestone. The antibiotic gave mankind its first
effective weapon for combating bacterial
pathogens. Unfortunately, this success did not
last. By 1961, the first bacteria resistant to all
active ingredients of the penicillin group ap-
peared: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (S. aureus), or MRSA for short.
Since then, MRSA has spread rapidly, partic-
ularly in hospitals. According to the U.S. Cen-
ters for Disease Control and Prevention, MRSA’s
share of total infections at intensive care units
in the U.S. rose from two percent in 1974 to 64
percent in 2004. Of the estimated 292,000 in-
fections caused yearly in hospitals by S. aureus,
around 126,000 are due to MRSA, and 19,000
of these are fatal.
primary isolates and determining their antimi-
crobial susceptibility are so popular.
Siemens’ MicroScan Systems combine such
methodologies for isolate identification and
antimicrobial susceptibility testing on one test
panel. The MicroScan Systems use direct
growth-based susceptibility testing that allows
for the true expression of resistance. The test
panels contain multiple “wells” for holding cul-
ture media, biochemicals, and antibiotics in
various concentrations. Once the panels have
been prepared with a previously isolated cul-
ture of the organism at a determined concen-
tration, they are placed inside a MicroScan
WalkAway instrument for processing. There,
the bacterial isolate is incubated with identifi-
cation substrates and other materials. The sys-
tem’s software interprets the measured bacter-
ial concentrations and analyzes the test to
detect any atypical or unknown reactions.
The results are then transferred to the physi-
cian to verify if the patient’s current therapy is
appropriate and, if not, to immediately admin-
ister effective antibiotics as determined by the
test. “We offer a range of different microtiter
plates, including several for use in the rapid
identification of the isolate with key antimicro-
bial results in as little as four and one-half
hours,” reports Laura Jackson, Global Product
Manager at MicroScan. “The susceptibility incu-
bation period can be automatically extended to
16 hours when absolutely accurate resistance
information is needed. In this case, the system
offers the same degree of precision as manual
tests. This degree of accuracy has been proved
by direct comparisons of clinical isolates such
as S. aureus.”
Until 1997, doctors faced with cases of
MRSA infection were able to fall back on van-
comycin. However, in that year, the first strain
of S. aureus with reduced susceptibility to this
powerful antibiotic appeared in Tokyo. The Mi-
croScan system is the first fully automatic sys-
tem to be approved by the FDA that can iden-
tify this vancomycin-resistant S. aureus (VRSA).
Breaking Bacterial Resistance. To ensure
that mutated pathogens like these can be
quickly and reliably recognized and diagnosed,
scientists at Siemens Corporate Research (SCR)
in Princeton, New Jersey, are now focusing
their research on new identification methods
that target the bacteria’s genetic material and
Gayle Wittenberg and her colleagues at SCR
are working together with the Power and Sen-
sor Systems department of Siemens Corporate
Technology (CT) in Erlangen, Germany, to de-
velop such a process. Unlike the MicroScan
system, which directly uses a sample to deter-
mine what antibiotic concentrations are effec-
tive, the SCR approach relies on a rapid method
for analyzing the genetic material. Once this
has been done, researchers look for an effec-
tive antibiotic, using the genetic data stored in
a computer. “The advantage of our approach is
that we can not only develop rapid tests, pro-
viding results in one hour, but we have also de-
veloped a framework that will allow us to de-
velop new diagnostic tests rapidly based on the
genetic sequence of the pathogen,” Wittenberg
explains. The system is still in the development
Wittenberg wants to conduct the rapid tests
with lab-on-a-chip technology (Pictures of the
Future, Fall 2004, p. 74). With this technology,
a drop of saliva or blood, for example, is placed
on a mobile examination plate equipped with a
microscopic diagnostics lab. Here, the bacteria
are automatically opened, and the genetic ma-
terial is deciphered using the polymerase chain
reaction (PCR) method. This method multiplies
the DNA in vitro (outside of a living organism).
Finally, the individual DNA building blocks are
detected using a special biochip. To this end,
the individual building blocks are marked with
special molecules and measured on the basis
of a voltage change. It will take at least another
year until the first prototype becomes avail-
able. Because its design will make it so easy to
handle and operate, the lab-on-a-chip system is
not intended for use in laboratories, but in
treatment rooms themselves. The technology
will allow doctors and nursing staff to take
blood from a patient, analyze it, and receive a
result from an associated computer within a
few minutes — no external labs required.Be-
sides being suitable for hospitals, the system is
also a solution for applications in the food in-
dustry, where products have to be tested for
microbial contamination. Thanks to the speed
of the analysis and the mobile nature of the
lab-on-a-chip, the system could also be used to
regularly check sterile areas such as operating
rooms — or even to provide early warning of
epidemics, and defend against bio-terrorism.
Wittenberg and her team are already plan-
ning the next step, which will include identify-
ing bacteria not on the basis of their genetic
material alone, but also on their proteins. How-
ever, they still have to develop the marker mol-
ecules that will be needed for this process. Suc-
cess here would allow faster and simpler
identification of bacteria. “Focusing on proteins
in addition to genes will help us identify bio-
markers linked directly to the mechanisms of
drug resistance. These should be less sensitive
to the organism’s ongoing evolution,” explains
Wittenberg. Michael Lang
Because these bacteria multiply exponen-
tially, effective antibiotics have to be adminis-
tered as quickly as possible. If it is suspected
that a patient is suffering from an infection, for
example due to a deterioration of his or her
overall condition, hospital staff take a sample,
which is then analyzed in a diagnostics lab to
determine which antibiotics would be most ef-
fective in combatting it, and in what concen-
tration. Traditionally, microbiology labs run a
series of biochemical identification procedures
along with disk diffusion tests to determine a
bacteria’s antimicrobic susceptibility profile.
These procedures are extremely personnel-in-
tensive, however, which is why new, some-
times fully automatic, processes for identifying
| Bacteria Detection
Siemens’ Microscan systems (below) identify bacte-
ria and their susceptibility to antibiotics. Research is
moving forward rapidly in developing lab-on-a-chip
technology (right) that will accelerate diagnostics. Closing in on Deadly Enemies
More and more bacteria are developing resistance to
antibiotics — a deadly trend for weakened patients in
hospitals. Siemens offers processes that can be used to
quickly identify highly resistant bacteria — and provide
fast results regarding the effectiveness of antibiotics.
Researchers are also developing and testing promising
new methods based on genetic and protein targets.
62 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Digital Watchmen | IT Security
ventively and constantly updated with informa-
tion regarding the latest virus signatures,
which are tested in advance for relevance and
compatibility with the imaging system in ques-
tion. “This makes it possible to minimize risks
with little effort on the part of the hospital,”
says Christian Kluth, head of Medicine and Op-
erational Technology at University Hospital
Built-in Brains. For particularly important
equipment that requires the highest possible
level of system availability — for instance in the
context of interventional cardiology or emer-
gency computer tomography — Siemens offers
an additional level of proactive service: the
Guardian Program. Around the clock and in real time, this sys-
tem monitors key device parameters including
the functionality of X-ray tubes in angiography
systems, the temperature and flow speed of
coolant in magnetic resonance tomographs,
and the rotation speed and vibration of com-
puter tomographs. The number of parameters to be monitored
varies tremendously depending on the system
being monitored. It is not unusual for 100 or
even 200 threshold values to be monitored in-
dividually or in correlation with one another.
Such values are pre-defined by Siemens device
engineers during the device’s pilot phase, and
are constantly checked. As soon as one of these values exceeds or
falls short of its set limits, this is registered on-
line. “The systems have their own intelligence,”
explains Püschel, who is an expert in machine
pattern analysis. “They automatically tell us if
there are indications of a possible fault.” Employees at the Siemens Service Center
can then respond promptly and, under ideal
circumstances, eliminate the fault directly in
the system — before device users have noticed
any sign of a problem.
In a recent development, this has also be-
come possible for X-ray tubes in computed to-
mography scanners from the Somatom Defini-
tion family. TubeGuard, an additional option to
the Guardian Program, provides problem-free
patient images around the clock. More than
ten sensors monitor tube functions, ensuring
that deviations can be spotted and reported via
data transfer through SRS before problems ac-
tually occur.
And TubeGuard is just one of many recent
service innovations from Siemens. According
to SRS Product Support head Henkel, further in-
novative services are already in the pipeline,
because, as he says, “the service development
process never stops.”
Stephanie Lackerschmid
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 6564 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Digital Watchmen | Smoke Detectors Regardless of whether the source of danger is weld-
ing, a smoldering fire, or an open blaze (below) —
Siemens detectors know when to sound an alarm.
Markus Späni monitors signals at the Fire Lab (right).
Where there’s
Smoke there’s…
Smoke detectors that automatically distinguish between false alarms and dangerous blazes, cameras
that transmit real-time images from the scene of a fire,
and extinguishers that smother flames in seconds —
Siemens Building Technologies’ Fire Lab in Zug, Switzerland is the place where the company’s hottest fire-fighting innovations are demonstrated.
completely absorbed. If, however, the light rays
encounter smoke particles, the light will be
scattered and some of the rays will hit photo-
electric cells integrated into the unit. Smoldering fires produce light-colored
smoke containing large particles that can be
better detected through a forward scatter than
a back scatter system. The exact opposite is
he pieces of wood on the hot metal plate
are beginning to smoke, first in thin
plumes, which become thicker and thicker. Af-
ter three or four minutes, a column of white
smoke has formed directly above the glowing
wood chips. The air in the rest of the room is clear, how-
ever — and this is how dangerous smoldering
fires generally begin. The moment of truth is
therefore at hand for a test involving eight dif-
ferent kinds of smoke detectors installed on the
ceiling of the room. When will each sound an
alarm? “Most major blazes begin as smoldering
fires,” says Markus Späni, head of Siemens
Building Technologies’ (BT) Fire Lab, which is
located in Zug, Switzerland. “Such fires initially
produce little smoke. What’s more, tempera-
tures don’t rise much either.” The Fire Lab is
where the fire detection systems developed
and tested by BT researchers and engineers are
actually demonstrated. While the wood chips continue to smoke
away on the 500-degree Celsius hot plate,
curves depicted on a monitor reveal which of
the detectors have recognized the danger. Sev-
eral of the optical detectors from Siemens have
already sounded an alarm. But an ionization
smoke detector — for many years the detector
of choice — has yet to notice anything. Ionization detectors use a weak radiation
source to ionize the air, thus making it conduc-
On the other hand, the signals produced by
the optical detectors that appear on the moni-
tor clearly indicate the danger posed by the
thin smoke at a very early stage. Detectors uti-
lized in Siemens’ new Sinteso S-Line fire protec-
tion system are particularly fast and reliable, as
they are equipped with two optical sensors —
rather than one, as was previously the case —
and because they have two temperature sen-
sors. “There are no other detectors like these at
the moment,” says Späni. The units operate ac-
cording to the principle of optical forward and
back scatter. Inside each unit’s housing is a kind
of labyrinth with many plastic walls. The
labyrinth steers the scattered light onto precise
pathways. If no smoke is present, the light will
hit the walls of the labyrinth, where it will be
smoke is made possible by advanced signal
analysis (ASA) technology developed by
Siemens. ASA software enables the processor
in the detector to convert the signals recorded
by the photoelectric cell and temperature sen-
sors into mathematical values. Specially-developed algorithms then com-
pare the signal values with predefined value
levels, and the resulting analysis allows the sys-
tem to differentiate between a real fire for
which an alarm needs to be triggered, and
harmless steam from cooking or even smoke
from welding. “Every detector equipped with ASA technol-
ogy can be precisely calibrated for the environ-
ment in which it is to be used,” Späni explains.
A good example of the importance of such a
feature is offered by industrial applications,
Unlike ionization detectors, optical devices can detect
smoldering fires at a very early stage.
tive. Air conductivity decreases if the ions col-
lide with smoke particles, causing the detector
to sound an alarm if it measures the lower cur-
rent. “This system works great when there’s a
blazing fire — but when a substance is simply
smoldering, the number of smoke particles is
so low that the detector won’t notice them un-
til some time after an optical unit does,” Späni
explains. true of open fires, which generate smaller dark
particles. Here, back scatter produces a
stronger signal than forward scatter. A proces-
sor in the detector analyzes all this data, calcu-
lates what type of fire is most likely occurring,
and then sounds an applicable alarm. Recognizing Harmless Smoke. The detec-
tor’s ability to distinguish between types of
Siemens’ Sinteso detectors distinguish between light and fire and measure CO concentrations.
66 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Digital Watchmen | Smoke Detectors
Sinteso can be adapted to location-specific needs.Historical books stayed dry after Sinorix put out a fire.
where harmless smoke or steam is frequently
formed, and generally causes conventional de-
tectors to trigger an alarm. “That’s not the case
with multi-sensor detectors equipped with ASA
software,” says Späni. “They recognize that
smoke from welding can not be a blaze be-
cause the typical intervals of the welding
process mean that the resulting smoke doesn’t
form continually.” To ensure such functionality, the parameter
sets in the detector must be precisely aligned
with the types of fires expected at a given facil-
tels, skyscrapers, and shopping malls. In fact,
such facilities can no longer be safely operated
without such state-of-the-art technology. As a
consequence, new smoke detectors have to be
integrated into high-performance safety sys-
tems. To this end, Siemens developed its Sin-
teso fire detection center systems, which are
modularly designed and equipped with stan-
dard interfaces. These systems can be ex-
panded at any time to accommodate new
building wings or the modernization of older
equipment. another. Put simply, this has meant that cam-
eras have not been programmed to automati-
cally record images from the area where an
alarm has been sounded. With this in mind,
Siemens has developed a combined system
that automatically transmits live images from
the areas affected by a fire, so that such images
can be analyzed both immediately and later.
Such images can provide valuable information
on the causes of a fire as well as the real-time
situation that firemen and rescue services per-
sonnel will confront at the scene. flash point for objects in the room. Both extin-
guishing agents flow through the same pipe
network and nozzles, whereby the nitrogen
propels the water in a manner that ensures a
consistent and moderate flow. It takes only a
small amount of water to substantially cool
down overheated devices or surfaces, thereby
offering further protection in addition to the
gas’ flame-retardant effect. In addition, the
mist reduces the danger of re-ignition.
If the greatest possible extinguishing effec-
tiveness is to be achieved, the nitrogen-water
mixture must be precisely aligned with the spe-
cific properties of, and the expected fire risks
in, the area in question. Siemens has therefore
developed a program that precisely calculates
the dimensions required for the pipes and
spray nozzles for diverse application areas, as
well as the distances involved and the time it
will take to spray specific rooms. Both the ex-
tinguishing device and the calculation program
have been evaluated by the German Property
Insurance Association (VdS). The result: Sinorix
O Gas is the only combined gas-water indoor
extinguishing system to be approved to date.
Sinorix H
O Gas was also presented with the
Security Innovation Award at the 2008 Security
trade fair in Essen, Germany. Such outstanding references played a key
role in convincing safety officials at the Danish
Royal Library in Copenhagen to choose Sinorix
for its fire protection needs — and the protec-
tion of its valuable books and documents.
“They brought some valuable historical books
with them and we demonstrated how a Sinorix
extinguishing procedure causes no permanent
damage to them,” Mann reports. In fact, the
dampness of the books was so minimal that
they didn’t even have to be dried off. Katrin Nikolaus
Nitrogen-Water Mixture. Fires are usually
extinguished by sprinkler systems. The idea is
to cool flammable objects and prevent a blaze
from spreading quickly. “This technique is not,
however, suitable for facilities such as archives,
museums, and libraries because water dam-
ages or destroys their valuable papers, books,
and paintings,” says Dr. Thomas Mann, head of
the Extinguisher Competence Center at
Siemens BT in Zug. In order to avoid such consequences, an al-
ternative method is to smother a blaze by fill-
ing the area in question with a non-flammable
gas, which displaces the oxygen in the room.
When the oxygen component in the air falls be-
low a certain level, the flames automatically
die out. A number of fire extinguishing systems
based on natural gases function along these
Siemens has come up with a solution that
combines gas and water while keeping each at
a minimum. And thanks to its natural con-
stituents, the system is environmentally
friendly and safe for humans. Known as the
Sinorix H
O Gas extinguishing system, it uses
nitrogen to lower oxygen concentrations,
while at the same time emitting a mist that re-
duces the ambient temperature to below the
The systems independently monitor all de-
tection devices and evaluate their data. Several
systems can be networked and operated either
locally or via a control center. The systems also
have a unique emergency backup feature,
which, even in the event of a complete failure
of the main processor, enable them to register
and trigger any alarms initiated by a detector,
notify the fire department, and take measures
to ensure the evacuation of a building. This
ity, as well as with data on the activities that
could trigger a false alarm. A unique feature
here is the device’s ability to issue alarms in
stages. If the measured sensor signals do not
allow for a definitive conclusion, the system
nevertheless reports to the control center that
a dangerous situation may be in the process of
developing. “In the case of a full-fledged alarm,
the system automatically contacts the fire de-
partment,” says Späni. Electrochemical cells enable detectors to register even
odorless, toxic carbon monoxide. Safer Skyscrapers. Multi-sensor detectors
can do even more, however, as they are
equipped with an electrochemical cell that en-
ables them to register the presence of carbon
monoxide (CO), which is invisible and odorless,
and therefore especially dangerous. Just a few
lung fulls of CO can kill, and carbon monoxide
poisoning is the number one cause of death in
fires. Thanks to CO multi-sensor detectors and
other technical features, Siemens is moving
into a new dimension in fire protection for ho-
makes it possible to utilize Sinteso even in large
areas such as airports and shopping centers.
Europe’s largest shopping mall — Westfield
London — is monitored by a Sinteso system,
for example. Sinteso’s modular design enables control
centers to be continually updated with the lat-
est technology, including a combination of
video and fire detection systems. Video images
can be very helpful in a fire — but up until re-
cently video surveillance and smoke detection
system functions were not aligned with one
Two infrared light sources (forward and back scatter)
In the absence of smoke, light will be completely absorbed by
the walls. Smoke particles, on the other hand, scatter light
rays, which then hit a photoelectric cell.
The positioning of light sources and the forward or back scat-
tering of light helps the system distinguish between light and
dark smoke particles. A precise, sophisticated, and patented labyrinth steers light
onto special pathways in order to prevent false alarms being
sounded due to coincidental reflections. Two temperature measurement sensors
CO sensor for measuring carbon monoxide concentrations.
In Brief In the age of globalization and IT technol-
ogy, criminality has taken on a completely
new face. Counterfeit products cause up to
€300 billion of damage each year, while on-
line scammers score large sums of money
with a single mouse click. However, help is
now on the way in the form of a novel Inter-
net ID card and a copy-protected RFID chip
from Siemens. (p. 42, 45, 48)
Internet users can take some simple meas-
ures to make life more difficult for online
scammers, such as using encryption. Siemens
and its partners in an EU project recently
demonstrated that unbreakable quantum
cryptography is now ready for a market
launch. (p. 50, 51)
Quantum physics can be used to forge
high-tech solutions. For example, Siemens
has developed a prototype of a neural
quantum computer that in the future
could perform several billion calculations
simultaneously. In addition, it will be
capable of working together with other
neural networks in order to ward off cyber
attacks. (p. 54)
Siemens has also specialized in security
solutions that have nothing to do with the
Internet. Examples include smoke detectors
that automatically detect a false alarm and
even odorless, toxic carbon monoxide. The
company has also developed parking lot solu-
tions that use intelligent camera technology
and only permit a vehicle to leave the lot if
the previously photographed license plate
matches the number on the parking ticket. (p. 56, 64)
In the field of medical technology, reliabil-
ity and availability are two of the most impor-
tant factors — for example, when it comes to
systems for rapidly identifying highly
resistant bacteria. Such systems can provide
important information about the effective-
ness of anti- biotics. Siemens also offers a
remote-maintenance concept that makes it
possible to detect and eliminate faults in
medical devices long before they can cause
any problems. (p. 60, 62)
RFID Against Counterfeits:
Dr. Michael Braun, CT
RFID for Abdominal Pads:
Thomas Jell, SIS
RFID for Blood Bags:
Harald Speletz, Industry
Secure Banking Transactions:
Olaf Badstübner, SIS
Quantum Cryptography:
Robert Jonas, PSE
Quantum Computers:
Dr. Rudolf Sollacher, CT
Parking Lot Monitoring:
Andreas Schneider, Industry
Siemens Uptime Service:
Arne Westphal, Germany Region
Siemens Remote Services:
Dr. Stefan Henkel, Healthcare
Bacteria Detection:
Laura Jackson, Healthcare
Gayle Wittenberg, SCR
Smoke Detectors:
Markus Späni, Industry
Dr. Thomas Mann, Industry
Prof. Anton Zeilinger
Prof. Steffen Glaser
German Federal Office for Information Security:
Austrian Research Centers:
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 67
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 6968 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Pictures of the Future | Economic Crisis and Opportunities
hese are difficult times for the climate. The
economic crisis is dominating the political
agenda and crowding out discussion of green-
house gases and energy efficiency. In Ger-
many, newspapers are running headlines like
“Climate Protection on Hold” and “Climate Pro-
tection at Risk.” Some politicians share this
view and would like to suspend those climate-
protection programs that are already agreed
on, at least until the economy rebounds.
Is climate protection a luxury for better
times? “No,” says Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer, chief
economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate
Impact Research (PIK) in an interview with Pic-
tures of the Future
. “Anyone who claims it is
doesn’t understand the fundamentals of eco-
nomics,” he says. The global recession de-
mands government intervention, and this can
be directed in part toward climate protection.
Investments in clean technologies — from efficient
and renewable power generation and transmission
to green buildings and CO
capture and sequestra-
tion — can help overcome the economic crisis.
Engines of Tomorrow’s Growth
As times get tougher, temptation is mounting to cut costs and relax standards in the fight against global warming. Yet investments in greater sustainability benefit not only environmental protection but also the health of economies.
“In the short term, climate protection programs
stimulate the economy. In the long term, they
promote the spread of new technologies,” he
says. That view is shared by Nobuo Tanaka, who
heads the International Energy Agency (IEA) in
Paris, France. “If governments are spending
money on economic stimulus packages, why
not promote renewable energies?” he asked at
the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzer-
land. Such investments support the economy
in the short term and are also sustainable,
Tanaka pointed out. At the moment, however, the falling prices
of raw materials and emissions rights are re-
ducing the pressure on nations and companies
to find sustainable alternatives for their supply
of energy. “Low prices are encouraging waste,”
says environmental expert Prof. Ernst Ulrich
von Weizsäcker in an interview with Pictures of
the Future
. He believes that some countries are
now approaching the matter with reduced ur-
gency. “However,” he adds, “the Chinese are on
their toes, and they’ve made energy efficiency
a national objective.” In the U.S., too, the new Administration is
rethinking environmental issues. President
Barack Obama wants to become a global leader
in the reduction of greenhouse gases. His “New
Energy for America” plan intends to put a mil-
lion hybrid cars on American roads by 2015
and ensure that the United States gets one
fourth of its electricity from renewable sources
by 2025. A good ten percent of the U.S. gov-
ernment’s stimulus package — in other words,
around $83 billion — will be invested in the ex-
pansion and modernization of the country’s
energy infrastructure. In addition, a national
emissions trading system will help cut the
U.S.’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent
by 2050 (for more, see page 102). In terms of private investment, in the first
three quarters of 2008 alone, American ven-
ture capital firms invested $4.3 billion in clean
technology companies. And with investments
in the fields of renewable energy and energy
efficiency expected to reach $150 billion over
the next ten years, at least five million green
collar jobs are expected to be created in these
and other areas.
All of this makes a great deal of economic
sense because these measures will reduce de-
pendence on energy imports and cut associ-
ated costs by several billion dollars per year —
steps that will pay ever-increasing dividends as
the world economy regains momentum and oil
prices resume their ascent.Christian Buck
| Interview
Professor Ottmar Eden-
hofer, 47, studied eco-
nomics and philosophy
and is deputy director and
chief economist of the
Potsdam Institute for Cli-
mate Impact Research. He
is also professor for the
Economics of Climate
Change at Berlin Technical
University. Since Septem-
ber 2008, he has been one
of the chairmen of the In-
tergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC). For
the next seven years, he
will lead Working Group III
of the IPCC, which deals
with measures to stem cli-
mate change. Professor
Edenhofer is particularly
interested in the influence
of technological change
on the costs and strategies
of climate protection, and
on the political instru-
ments that are used to
shape climate-protection
and energy policy. Why Climate Protection Isn’t Optional
We’re currently struggling with two crises
at once ——
the economic crisis and the climate crisis. Is that just a coincidence, or do you see parallels?
Edenhofer:There definitely is a parallel. Both
are crises of sustainability. Sustainability can
be formulated as an imperative: Act in such a
way that you don’t destroy the foundations
that enable you to act in the long run! In the financial crisis, the banking sector destroyed
the foundation of its own business.
Were people too greedy?
Edenhofer:Maybe, but a more important fac-
tor was that the banking sector worldwide was
improperly regulated, so that it wasn’t possible
to stop the greed. The emphasis on share-
holder value made investors focus on short-
term results. For the U.S., in particular, there
was the added problem that the Federal Re-
serve Bank — through its cheap-money policy
— essentially transferred the dot-com bubble
to the mortgage bubble. All of that destroyed
the foundations of the economy. And in the
climate crisis, we’re in the midst of destroying
the foundations of our existence. Is human short-sightedness the source of
both crises?
Edenhofer:I think it would be more correct to
call it institutional short-sightedness. The sys-
tem doesn’t permit any longer-term horizons
— that’s the crucial point. Every manager has
to satisfy the demands of the capital market
and his or her shareholders. I think it’s naive to
believe the problem can be cured just by ap-
pealing to people’s sense of ethics.
Policy-makers want a new regulatory
framework for the global financial mar-
ket. What regulations would they have to
establish to ensure better treatment of
the climate?
Edenhofer:More than anything else, we need
a global emissions cap and trade system with
two basic prerequisites. First, an agreement
among nations that emissions of greenhouse
gases must be cut by 50 percent below 1990
levels by 2050. That way, there’s an 80 percent
probability that global warming will be limited
to two degrees Celsius. Emissions trading lim-
its CO
where prevention is most cost-effec-
70 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 71
Pictures of the Future | Economic Crisis and Opportunities
Siemens believes that investing in climate
protection could promote growth. Others
disagree. Is this something we can afford
only when the economy is strong?
Weizsäcker:That’s the impression being given
now by some. This thinking has its roots in the
regulation of pollutant emissions, where only
the rich countries could afford environmental
protection. But in the case of climate protec-
tion, the problems are mostly caused by the
rich. They use more energy, eat more meat and
fly more. The economic crisis offers a great op-
portunity to reverse this course and create jobs
at the same time. In Europe and Japan, that’s
already understood. Now it seems that this idea
is being accepted in the U.S. as well. Professor Ernst Ulrich
von Weizsäcker, 69, is a
physicist and biologist. He
has served as a professor
at German universities, as
director of the UN Center
for Science and Technol-
ogy in New York, as president of the Wuppertal
Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy,
and as a member of the
German Bundestag for the
SPD. Most recently, Profes-
sor von Weizsäcker was
dean of the Donald Bren
School for Environmental
Science and Management
at the University of California in Santa Barbara. He is considered
a leading force behind the
concept of sustainable development.
Why Increased Efficiency Will Lead to a
More Advanced Civilization
tive. Second, we also need a concept of fair-
ness. We have to distribute emissions rights
among countries in an evenhanded way. In my
view, a fair proposal has been made in this re-
gard. By 2050, the rights should be redistrib-
uted in such a way that every person on earth
has the same right to emissions — for exam-
ple, two tons per person per year.
Will developing countries accept that? After all, up to this point, pollution has
been caused mostly by the rich countries
— at the rate of 19 tons per person per
year in the U.S. and eight tons in the EU.
China is at two to three tons already, and
India is at 1.5 tons per person.
Edenhofer:There will continue to be consid-
erable conflict and disagreement about the al-
location, because the developing countries
also want to take historical emissions into ac-
count. What is more important, though, is that
we agree that we have only a limited amount
of capacity in the atmosphere for more CO
and it has to be allocated reasonably fairly. Af-
ter that, we have to achieve a carbon-free
global economy. If we develop the innovations
needed for that, we can also resolve the alloca-
tion conflict much more easily. Does that mean that we will have to start
living more modestly?
Edenhofer:Only if economic growth cannot
be decoupled from emissions. For decoupling
to occur, however, pricing mechanisms will
have to set the right incentives — which is
what emissions trading is designed to do. No new moderation, in other words?
Edenhofer:No one should be prevented from
exercising more moderation. But I think that
the global economy can continue to grow at a
rate of two to three percent per year, because
there is no reason why economies should be
dependent on increased energy use to grow. In
the last 150 years, labor productivity has risen
faster than energy productivity. Now we have
to reverse that relationship. What sort of technological progress do we
need to achieve a CO
-free economy?
Edenhofer:More energy efficiency, the cap-
ture and storage of CO
, the promotion of re-
newable energies, a moderate expansion of
nuclear energy, and the development of more
advanced nuclear power plants.
That sounds like a huge economic stimu-
lus plan. Do you think we can extricate
ourselves from the economic crisis
through climate protection investments?
Edenhofer:We could indeed, yes. What is im-
portant is that we now boost the economy
with investments that also make sense for the
long term. That’s why we need an emissions
trading system that sends a clear price signal
for CO
— a signal for every sector that pro-
duces greenhouse gases; not just the electric-
ity sector and energy-intensive industries, but
above all buildings and cars. There are many
options here that don’t cost anything and actu-
ally generate revenue through energy savings.
Is emissions trading working in the areas
where it is already established?
Edenhofer:We’re not in bad shape in that re-
gard. Emissions will surely fall in the electrical
power sector. But there is a sustainability prob-
lem here too. Investors need a signal that
emissions have to continue to fall after 2020.
That, in my view, is the responsibility of the cli-
mate conference in Copenhagen (Denmark) in
December 2009. The climate protection discussion involves concepts similar to those in the
financial sector, such as certificates, for
example. Are these systems similar in
Edenhofer:Yes. At some point, we will also
need a central bank for climate protection.
Such an institution would regulate the market
for CO
certificates and prevent speculative
bubbles. That’s similar to what a central bank
does in the financial sector. In terms of global
emissions trading, the U.S., together with Europe, could take the lead in creating a trans-
Atlantic carbon market of the kind proposed by the EU in January 2009. The prospects for
this are good. This would be a signal to India,
China, and others. We need to involve these
large emerging economies because they can
limit CO
emissions much more cost-effectively
than the West can, where most power plants
already meet a high standard of efficiency.
How can the BRIC nations be persuaded
to take part in this? After all, they still
have a lot of catching up to do economi-
Edenhofer:China and India are well aware
that, in the future, they will not only be the
largest sources of emissions, but will also be
the ones who suffer most from climate
change. Many of their largest cities are located
on the coasts, where a rise in sea levels could
be very dangerous. In addition, these countries
need new technologies to cope with their
heavy dependence on coal. In this connection,
we’re right in the midst of a global renaissance
of coal. In light of that, it should be possible to
put together a good package — with power
plants that capture CO
, which is then stored,
for example.
As a member of the IPCC, you have first
hand experience with global climate protection politics. Is it realistic to think
that the community of nations will agree
on an effective plan? Edenhofer:We cannot afford a catastrophe. If it becomes possible to see and feel climate
change, it will be too late. In the next ten
years, we must create an agreement that com-
prises at least the six countries that produce
the most greenhouse gas emissions. Maybe
the chances of developing a sensible response
aren’t very high. But when we are confronted
by historic challenges, we should ask not
about probabilities, but about necessities. In short, climate protection isn’t optional...
Edenhofer:Exactly. Anyone who claims it is
doesn’t understand the fundamentals of eco-
nomics. That would be like saying we want to
have a market economy, but prices will be al-
lowed to express the scarcity of goods only
when it’s convenient. That kind of thinking led
to the collapse of the Soviet economy, where
there was always a reason to continue with
subsidies. Because of the long-term distortion
of prices, the system was doomed to fail. The
ability of our atmosphere to store CO
is also a
limited asset. Environmental protection is
therefore not optional; it’s about implementing
price systems that express a very real scarcity.
Interview by Christian Buck.
times more energy efficient with simple meas-
ures. But as long as energy is cheap, that does-
n’t happen. We could make energy more ex-
pensive in small steps through taxes or
emissions certificates, in parallel with increas-
ing energy efficiency. That’s fair in social terms
and makes efficiency more profitable. Investors
could make long-term plans. Habits will
change, possibly even our relationship to the
automobile. There might be more car-sharing
instead of ownership, for example.
Raw materials’ prices are falling because
of the crisis. Couldn’t that cause countries
such as China to become less concerned
with energy efficiency?
Do you expect the U.S. to take a leading
role in climate protection?
Weizsäcker:Obama can’t change the U.S.
overnight. But the country is more receptive to
climate protection than commonly thought.
Some states have been involved for years, and
many companies are far ahead of the politi-
cians, too. Now the federal government is fol-
lowing suit. Obama’s rescue plan for the auto
industry puts a lot of emphasis on the environ-
ment. That’s a big step in the right direction.
Why does Europe have an edge here?
Weizsäcker:In Europe, people earn a good liv-
ing from environmental protection and energy
efficiency. That’s where the future lies, in my
view; that’s becoming the rhythm of technolog-
ical progress. Energy and water are scarce. We
should learn to use both three times, five
times, ten times more efficiently, and especially
the end user. Then it’s fine if energy and water
get more expensive. Japan showed how to do
this in the ‘80s, when electricity and gasoline
were very expensive. After its modernization
programs, the country was twice as efficient as
Australia or the U.S. at the time of the Kyoto
Conference in 1997, providing twice as much
prosperity per kilowatt-hour.
Is higher energy efficiency the key in the
fight against climate change?
Weizsäcker: Yes. Today, we can conjure up ten
times more light from a kilowatt-hour than just
a few years ago. Buildings can be kept warm
with a tenth of the heating energy used back
then. The whole country could become five
Weizsäcker:Yes, low prices are encouraging
waste again. But the Chinese are on their toes,
and they’ve made energy efficiency a national
objective in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan. How do you rate the economic stimulus
programs as they relate to climate protec-
Weizsäcker:The German government and the
U.S. are acting pretty sensibly. The focus is on
rescuing the credit institutions. At the same
time, Obama is pushing the auto industry to-
ward more efficiency, and he wants to spend
billions on renewable energies. Environmental
considerations can help overcome the disorien-
tation of the economy.
Are you optimistic about the future?
Weizsäcker:We’ll manage, assuming that key
countries, such as the U.S. and China, have the
courage to adopt a climate-friendly course. I
believe that we’re moving toward a new, long-
term Kondratiev wave — with a paradigm shift
toward more energy efficiency and the associ-
ated innovations and investments. I like to
compare our current infrastructure and prod-
ucts with the dinosaurs. Our cars, houses and
appliances are wasteful and outdated. The
coming society will be more efficient and more
elegant than today’s. In that society, for exam-
ple, people will use computers that don’t
waste energy and are as efficient as the hu-
man brain. That won’t entail a drop in the
quality of life. On the contrary, I see us enter-
ing a new epoch of advanced civilization.
Interview by Christian Buck.
| Interview
China’s Yuhuan power plant has achieved
record efficiency using Siemens turbines.
78 Innovations Tailored for China
Siemens is developing
innovations in China that are
simple, affordable, reliable and
tailored to local needs. They
range from traffic monitoring via
mobile radio to combinations of
traditional Chinese and Western
83 Affordable Vision
Intelligent vision systems from
Siemens provide economical,
automated quality control in the
production and processing of
cookies, cigarettes, grains of rice
and auto parts. They are also
helping to reduce the cost of
medical imaging systems.
84 Reflecting on Simple Things
An interview with Rajendra K.
Pachauri, holder of the 2007
Nobel Peace Prize and Chairman
of the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change, on India’s
path to environmental protection.
88 Sweet Savings
Millions of cars in Brazil run on al-
cohol from sugar cane. Intelligent
innovations from Siemens help to
save energy during its production.
92 Light for Lake Victoria
Osram is offering fishermen
energy-saving lamps as an
alternative to dirty and dangerous
kerosene lamps. The new lamps
can be recharged cheaply at
solar-powered Energy Hubs. Highlights
Within a decade, many of today’s poorest villages will be on the road to a higher standard of living. The reason: Affordable,
carbon-neutral technologies for local energy
generation, water purification, lighting and
communications. Such services will extend
productive hours and improve health. Here,
a group of students use new software to
simulate ways of making their village more
energy efficient.
72 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 73
2025. In a small, energy-independent village in rural southern India, high school
students get a chance to test a new interactive program that allows them to discover how even minor changes affect
their village’s energy economy — thus helping it to earn carbon credits.
Goddess of
Innovations for New Markets | Scenario 2025
guess I got bitten by the energy efficiency
bug when I was just a little girl of seven. I
still remember the day. It was November and
the rain had finally stopped. A big truck rolled
down the dirt road to our village. It backed into
a small clearing in our palm forest and un-
loaded a huge, box-like machine. Before he drove away, the driver shouted
playfully at all the kids that the machine would
turn coconut shells into electricity and make us
rich. It sounded like magic. I couldn’t wait to
find out how it could do that. Until then, we
had quite literally lived in the dark — at least
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 75
In India, Siemens subsidiary Osram and the Energy
and Resources Institute provide battery-powered
lamps for less than the cost of kerosene. The lamps are recharged at solar charging stations. trary, our research shows that between now
and 2025, the annual purchasing power of the
650 million poorest people in India will triple to
over one trillion dollars.” Lanterns that Change Lives. “It is a tragic sit-
uation that in this day and age people are living
literally in darkness,” says Dr. Rajendra K.
Pachauri (page 84), Chairman of the U.N. inter-
governmental Panel on Climate Change and Di-
rector-General of The Energy and Resources In-
stitute in New Delhi. “In view of this, my
institute has launched a program called Light-
ing a Billion Lives in which Siemens is involved
through its Osram subsidiary. Here, we are ad-
dressing the problem of the 1.6 billion people
around the world who have no access to grid
electricity.” The program, he explains, has de-
veloped a solar lantern and solar-powered vil-
lage charging station where people can drop
off their lamps for charging during the day and
rent them for a few pennies per night. “The
lanterns offer enormous benefits because they
allow people to work or study after dark, thus
contributing to the economic welfare of their
villages,” says Pachauri.
Not only is light coming to many of the
world’s off-grid villages. Power is on the way as
well. Engineers at Siemens Corporate Technol-
ogy’s (CT) Renewable Energy Innovation Center
in Bangalore, India are developing what
amounts to a portable power plant. Already op-
erating so efficiently that it meets U.S. emis-
sion requirements, the plant needs about 35 kg
of coconut shells per hour to generate enough
electricity for a typical Indian village of 50 to
100 families. “Our partial oxidation combustion
process produces a hydrogen and carbon
monoxide gas that is fed into a reciprocating
internal combustion engine that generates 25
phones in Kenya (page 92), and from software
developed in China that can analyze an entire
city’s traffic status (page 78) to a turbine de-
signed specifically for the combustion of gas
produced by a Brazilian sugarcane biomass fa-
cility (page 88).
What’s more, by providing technologies that
help developing economies and low-income
people around the world to bootstrap them-
selves into a more productive future, Siemens
is tapping what groundbreaking author C. K.
Prahalad called ‘The Fortune at the Bottom of
the Pyramid.’ “Every major company is develop-
ing strategies for satisfying the needs of those
at the bottom of the pyramid,” says Dr. B.
Bowonder, Dean of the Tata Management
Training Center in Pune, India and a world-
renowned expert on technology and innova-
tion management. “These people are not to be
dismissed because they are poor. On the con-
Siemens is testing new
technologies that will help
developing economies and
their poorest citizens boot-
strap themselves into a
more productive future. On
tap are generators that will
turn coconut shells into
electricity, self-powered
sewage treatment plants
that will turn effluent into
fresh water, and a vision of
tomorrow that will turn reliable and affordable
products into stepping
stones to a better life.
74 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
| Trends
an you hear the heartbeat of an unborn
child in a village that has no electricity?
Can a family light a room even if the cost of
diesel fuel for a lamp becomes unaffordable?
Or filter its water to ensure that it is free of ar-
senic? Is it possible to develop cameras so so-
phisticated and inexpensive that even small
companies in developing countries can afford
to automate quality control? Or to develop
medical diagnostic equipment that almost any
hospital can afford? Absolutely.
These, and dozens of other solutions that
broadly fit Siemens’ “simple, maintenance-
friendly, affordable, reliable, and timely-to-
market” (SMART) definition, are now in the
company’s innovation pipeline. They range
from an image processing module for an X-ray
system that will be 75 percent cheaper than its
predecessor (page 87) to solar-powered “en-
ergy hubs” for charging lanterns and cell
Tapping New Sources of Hope
74 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
after the sun went down. My father was one of
the men who volunteered to be trained to op-
erate and maintain the machine, which, as I
quickly learned, did indeed turn coconut shells
into electricity, but by very unmagically inciner-
ating them into a gas that could be burned by
an engine. Often, after school, I would think about
what my teachers were saying about the ma-
chine — that thanks to the power it generated
for lights and tools, people were using the
evening hours to study or to make things. That
fewer babies would be born. That fewer people
would move away to the cities. That… well,
that was 10 years ago. Today, everything is different. In fact, to
give you an idea of just how much things have
changed, a few weeks ago our village got an-
other kind of generator. But instead of arriving
on the back of a truck, this one came in as a
free download; and instead of producing elec-
tricity, the new one may generate ideas that
help us to save electricity and manage our re-
sources more efficiently. Yes! Imagine, it allows
us to see how a change in one part of our en-
ergy and resources ecosystem might affect
other parts of the system. Our village leader,
Dr. Advani, calls it our Saraswathi — the Hindu
Goddess of wisdom and learning. He says the
new software will probably help make our vil-
lage more successful in terms of selling carbon
The software takes a high-definition 3D
satellite image of our village and augments it
with real-time, geographically-registered infor-
mation from hundreds of tiny, inexpensive SIM
card-equipped power consumption sensors
that all machines are equipped with — some-
thing the government mandated years ago to
help everyone track and reduce the amount of
energy they use. This morning, Dr. Advani joined our class to
find out what people my age — I’m 17 —
would do to make our village more efficient.
We have a large display pulpit in our classroom
and for a while everyone squinted at the little
red bubbles showing energy inputs and out-
puts next to different systems. We watched
with fascination as the stream of dried waste
represented in grams per minute on the display
— actually clean-burning coconut shells from
our warehouse — was fed into the generator
by an electrically-powered conveyor belt. The generator produces a maximum of 500
kW — more than enough for the couple of
hundred households in our village. In fact, Dr.
Advani says that a lot of our power is sold to
the smart grid and that thousands of villages
like ours, each contributing what it can, have
replaced several coal-power plants. As we watched the big display, we could see
the power levels and locations of several small
robotic collector vehicles as they scoured the
floor of our palm forest for coconuts, as well as
the locations of a dozen Bonnet macaque mon-
keys equipped with GPS neck collars. The mon-
keys are trained to shake the big nuts out of the
trees, break them open, and separate the shells
for processing. As the vehicles’ batteries
reached given levels, we could see them re-
turning toward the warehouse where they
would unload and recharge. The big display also showed the status and
output of dozens of other efficiency-enhancing
systems in our small village — everything from
the power demand of an electric pump that
supplies fresh, charcoal-filtered water from our
rainwater-collection cistern to the flow in our
water pressure-powered sewage treatment
plant that uses specially-engineered bacteria to
eliminate 99 percent of organic substances. I guess I must have looked pretty impressed
by all of this, because after a few moments Dr.
Advani turned his deep black eyes on me like a
spotlight and said, “Well, Ms Agamya, you
seem to be taking this very seriously. Do you
have any thoughts on how we might improve
our energy efficiency?”
“Sir, our street lights burn all night even
though most of us are asleep,” I said as I
touched the representation of a solar-powered
street lamp on the screen, causing a red bubble
to appear beside it showing ‘100 W.’ “But in the
mornings, when the street lights would be very
helpful, they are out of power. As a result, peo-
ple charge batteries for flashlights several
times per week.” I touched a few houses on the
screen, and in each case a short list of “Appli-
ances in use” appeared. Most included “Electric
Torch Charging” with an indication of the
power being drawn. “If most of these could be
switched off,” I continued as I marked the
menu item and opened a navigation command
that said ‘Switch off All’ “then our generator
would save something in the neighborhood
of,” I looked up at the image of the generator,
where a red bubble had appeared and pointed
to the number, “2.5 kilowatt-hours, which of
course could be sold to the grid.”
“Very elegant, Ms. Agamya,” answered Ad-
vani, “but what would get people to turn off
most of those chargers?” “Simple,” I said, “just
add movement sensors to the streetlights. That
way they would be off most of the time and
would still have plenty of power on dark morn-
ings. And by the way,” I added, “if we can store
three hours of unused energy from each of our
60 or so street lights, that should save even
more — 18 kWh per night to be exact.” Arthur F. Pease
Innovations for New Markets | Scenario 2025
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 77
world’s poorest people are now taking shape.
But there’s more. In India, where almost 85
percent of the population has no access to
medical care, the government is about to more
than double its healthcare budget to almost
two percent ($20 billion) of GDP. And technolo-
gies designed to improve basic healthcare serv-
ices are in the pipeline. For instance, with a
view to ensuring a safe delivery for the 30 mil-
lion babies born each year in India, thirty per-
cent of whom — about 27,000 per day — are
at risk, Siemens is developing a Fetal Heart
Rate Monitor (FHRM) that vastly simplifies the
diagnosis — and potentially accelerates the
treatment — of problem pregnancies. “This will
be an exciting product because there is nothing
else like it on the market,” comments D. Raga-
van, head of Siemens’ Healthcare Sector for In-
dia, which grew by 25 percent in 2008. that’s when the device will trigger an alarm to
call a doctor to the mother’s bedside,”
Power Lines that Cut Carbon Emissions.
Whether its consumers, manufacturers, or the
public and private organizations that build and
manage infrastructures, demand is growing
throughout the developing world for solutions
that are robust and provide long-term opera-
tional savings. And across this entire spectrum,
Siemens is providing solutions that meet these
needs. “There is tremendous demand for sys-
tems that can improve energy efficiency,” says
V. V. Paranjape, who heads Siemens’ Industry
Sector for India. He points out, for instance,
that his organization, which employs nearly
3,500 people, is supplying the complete elec-
trical systems for the new trains ordered by
Mumbai’s public transit network. “Thanks to
Something like a digital stethoscope, the
monitor — now a functional prototype — is
outfitted with sophisticated electronics and al-
gorithms developed by CT India that result in
an inexpensive device capable of distinguish-
ing the sound of the fetal heart from the sound
of the mother’s heart. Combined with a waist belt, a wireless mod-
ule, an acoustic sensor and an accelerometer-
based muscle-contraction sensor that is now
under development, the device will offer the
potential of continuous monitoring in mater-
nity wards. “As a contraction comes to an end,
the fetal heart rate needs to return to normal,”
explains Senior Research Engineer Archana
Kalyansundar, who is responsible for Siemens
rural healthcare technologies for India. “If it
fails to do so, that is a sign of trouble. And
our regenerative breaking technology and the
efficiency of our motors and control system,
trains not only use as little power as possible,
but can run closer to each other, thereby maxi-
mizing passenger-carrying capacity,” he says. Similarly, in the electrical distribution sector,
Siemens technology has made it possible to in-
crease the transmission capacity of existing
power lines by up to 25 percent, thus cutting
transmission losses and associated CO
sions. “Thanks to R&D in control systems and
the intelligent devices that continuously moni-
tor power lines, we now hold a 100 percent
share of the Indian market for so-called flexible
alternating current transmission systems,” says
Ajay Kumar Dixit, Vice President for Siemens’
Energy Sector for South Asia and Head of Prod-
uct Innovation for India. From basic services to major infrastructures,
demand for improved quality and reduced
prices will continue to grow. But how can even
greater efficiencies be realized? One possibility
is called ‘The City of the Future,’ a scenario gen-
erator developed by Siemens and Singapore
University. “This is the first solution anywhere
in which Siemens is interactively showcasing
its answers for cities,” says Klaus Heidinger, Se-
nior Vice President for City Management at
Siemens IT Solutions and Services in Singa-
pore. “The system lets users see how services
such as transportation and energy generation
are linked. It’s a great way of understanding
complexity — and it could be the next step in
discovering the synergies that can further im-
prove services while cutting costs.” Arthur F. Pease
A power plant small enough to fit on the back of
a truck produces enough electricity from coconut
shells to power an entire village. The resulting
ash can be used for water purification.
76 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
to 300 kW of electricity,” explains Peeush Ku-
mar, who is responsible for energy systems de-
velopment at CT India. “What is unique about
our solution is that, thanks to new electrostatic
precipitator technology now being developed
in Munich, it will require very little cooling wa-
ter. What’s more, it produces carbon ash that
can be converted into activated charcoal for lo-
cal water purification and can even become a
significant source of revenue if sold externally.” A Corkscrew that Purifies Waste Water. If
there’s one thing that is even more essential
than light and power, it is clean, safe water.
Here too, Siemens is developing solutions that
will transform the lives of people rich and poor.
In Singapore, for instance, where the company
established its global headquarters for water
technology R&D in 2007 and is a key player in
1000 liters for less than half a cent,” he says.
Once captured, the arsenic can be precipitated
from the filter and bound to cement, thus per-
manently removing it from the environment.
The technology will be tested in the U.S. in
early 2009.
Meanwhile, back in Bangalore, CT re-
searchers are developing a sewage treatment
system that can already remove 95% of organic
substances and up to 99% of nutrients such as
nitrogen and phosphates from effluent without
any outside power source. “Most sewage treat-
ment facilities have very high energy require-
ments because they rely on powerful aerators
to support the bacteria that metabolize organic
matter,” explains Senior Research Engineer Dr.
Anal Chavan. “But with our unique system, spe-
cially-adapted microorganisms produce the
oxygen themselves.” A new filter system can purify up to 1,000 liters of
water for less than half a cent.
the city state’s “Water Hub,” a center dedicated
to developing affordable water treatment solu-
tions (Pictures of the Future Fall 2008, p.39),
Siemens Water Technologies (WT) is working
with CT to develop new materials that can se-
lectively adsorb (bind) dangerous contami-
nants such as arsenic. Arsenic occurs naturally
in toxic concentrations in wide areas of north-
ern India, eastern Bangladesh and the south-
western United States. “In view of the danger
of arsenic poisoning in many parts of the
world, we have developed and tested an ar-
senic adsorbing particle as well as a filtration
system that can capture it,” says Richard
Woodling, PhD, who is in charge of technology
development at WT’s global R&D center in Sin-
gapore. “The system can be downsized to the
needs of an individual farmer and can process
Shaped something like a corkscrew, the
treatment system can be powered by the force
of effluent as it cascades downward, thus turn-
ing the corkscrew and exposing the water to its
surface area, which is colonized with bacteria.
lot facility. “This is a perfect example of a
SMART technology,” says Varghese. “It can be
scaled up to any desired size, trucked into a vil-
lage, and can, with only minimal additional
treatment — possibly based on the activated
Siemens researchers in Bangalore have developed an algae-based sewage treatment system that can remove up to 99% of nutrients
from effluent without any outside power source.
“What’s more,” adds Dr. Zubin Varghese, de-
partment head for smart innovations at CT In-
dia, “the same technology — but with different
organisms — can be adapted to treating water
contaminated with chemical or petroleum
wastes.” CT India is now working with Siemens
Water Technologies to identify a village for a pi-
charcoal from our coconut gasification system
— turn sewage water into potable water.”
A Stethoscope that Recognizes Hearts.
Light, energy, clean water — the technological
building blocks for affordably offering these in-
dispensables to hundreds of millions of the
Innovations for New Markets | Trends
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 79
China is increasingly becoming a center of research and development.
As it does so, it is coming
up with entirely new solutions that reflect its
specific needs. Siemens is
systematically harvesting
this tremendous potential
for innovation. 78 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Innovations for New Markets | China
Siemens’ Chinese research team concentrates on low-maintenance technologies that are optimally conceived for the Chinese market. Remote condition diagnostics for wind power systems (photos) is an example. pensive mix of manpower and sophisticated
technology. To monitor the turbines, critical
components are equipped with motion sensors,
e.g. vibration sensors, that register irregularities
and immediately notify a control center should
they occur. In addition to accounting for several
percentage points of the total cost of building a
wind turbine, such technology requires that a
team of highly skilled engineers evaluate oper-
ating data. On top of that, the sensors them-
selves need to be maintained.
“Turbine manufacturers are very concerned
about this problem,” says Xing. “Wind park op-
erators are not only demanding very reliable
systems with long warranty periods; they also
want their wind parks to cost less in terms of
maintenance, and they expect to be able to
manage with personnel who have far less train-
ing than their Western counterparts.” As Xing
hen Xing Jianhui recently read that
China plans to increase its wind energy
capacity ten-fold to 100 gigawatts by 2020, his
thoughts turned not only to the many thou-
sands of wind turbines that would soon be
spinning on the North China steppe, but also to
the extensive maintenance efforts the ma-
chines would one day require. “Thinking like that is part of my job,” says
Xing, who has a PhD in engineering and works
as a developer for the Automation and Switch-
ing Division at Siemens Corporate Technology
China in Beijing. “After all, even the best sys-
tems eventually suffer from wear and tear.”
And in the case of wind turbines, which are
continuously exposed to the elements, strain
on materials and the resulting need for mainte-
nance work is particularly great. “If a turbine
suddenly breaks down, the cost of deploying a
ently from the way in which they are supposed
to, the currents will show different patterns,”
explains Xing. “The measurements are so pre-
cise that we can create algorithms that target
the wear and tear of individual components and
make it recognizable.” Doing so has made ex-
pensive motion sensors superfluous while at
the same time improving functionality.
That’s because changes in currents allow
wear and tear to be detected earlier than was
previously the case, and the software provides
operators with specific information regarding
which part has to be replaced, and when. As a
result, maintenance and personnel costs can be
substantially reduced, while capacity utilization
and profitability can be markedly increased.
“The manufacturers were surprised to see how
simple the solution is,” says Xing. Siemens
signed a letter of intent with Goldwind, a major
repair crane alone can easily amount to
€10,000,” explains Xing. That’s why the tur-
bines must be continuously monitored. But
how is that possible, given the size of Chinese
wind parks, which consist of hundreds or even
thousands of turbines at remote locations in
the countryside?
Minimizing Maintenance. The Chinese aren’t
the first people in the world to have tackled this
problem, of course. Since the early days of wind
turbines, maintenance has always been among
the biggest challenges faced by operators.
That’s because it is essential to ensuring that
wind energy can be used cost-effectively. Until
recently, however, maintenance involved an ex-
and his colleagues became aware of this situa-
tion, they began to look for a technology that
would be better adapted to China’s needs. They
eventually found the solution right next to the
parts that are subject to wear and tear — in the
motor of the pitch system, which controls the
angle of the rotor blades.
Siemens wind turbines do not use conven-
tional motion sensors to monitor these critical
components. Instead, highly sensitive sensors
from the Simotion series are used. The electric
voltages that these measure as a matter of
course actually contain all of the information
that the engineers require. “The system meas-
ures the electric currents flowing into the mo-
tors. If parts of the pitch system move differ-
Chinese turbine manufacturer, for a trial use
project in the Xinjiang province, where the first
wind turbines to be equipped with the new
technology will be put into operation this year.
In view of the pace of development in China, it
won’t take long before the system is employed
on a large scale.
SMART Researchers. Achieving this feat will
not only be a breakthrough for the wind energy
sector, but also for Siemens, because the new
condition monitoring technology is one of the
first innovations the company has developed in
China for China. This did not happen by chance,
however. Instead, it is part of Siemens’ new de-
velopment strategy, which is summarized by
Innovations Tailored to China’s Needs Innovations for New Markets | China
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 8180 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Traditional Chinese Medicine Meets Western Technology
Doctors intend to combine the advantages of
traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with those
of Western science. To do so, new approaches
to medical technology are needed. A special
research team assembled by Siemens in Bei-
jing is taking on the challenge.
“Doctors have indecipherable handwriting,” says Han
Bin. And he knows what he’s talking about. As a pro-
fessor at the Beijing Academy for Chinese Medicine
and one of the city’s leading acupuncture specialists,
Han’s expertise is constantly in demand not only at
the university hospital, but at other health centers as
well. But no matter where he goes, Han encounters
patient files that are impossible to understand. “Chi-
nese medicine is thousands of years old and requires
doctors to make very detailed examinations of clini-
cal pictures and use complex recipes and formulas,”
he explains. “The work involved in documenting all
of this is immense.” The fact that many of his col-
leagues hardly take the time to do so not only makes
us the opportunity to determine if this is the case
and to combine the best features of both traditions.”
Wu and her colleagues have enhanced the features
of Siemens’ magnetic resonance scanners, for exam-
ple, so that they can be used to visualize acupotomy
procedures in a targeted manner. A treatment devel-
oped recently from acupuncture, acupotomy is used
to treat illnesses of the locomotory system, for ex-
ample, including chronic pain, slipped discs, and
arthrosis. The technique involves the use of needle
scalpels to make small incisions in muscles and ten-
dons in order to restore a patient’s bio-mechanical
balance. In Western medicine such cases are gener-
ally treated with painkillers and surgical procedures,
some of which call for removing parts of a disc.
Acupotomy, on the other hand, is only a minor, mi-
cro-surgical procedure — with clinically proven ef-
fectiveness. Until now, doctors practicing this tech-
nique have relied on their experience and their “feel”
for the treatment at hand. In some cases this has un-
our medicine on a more sound scientific footing; it
will also allow us to precisely study how Chinese and
Western treatment methods interact.”
It is exactly in this interaction that many medical ex-
perts see great potential for gaining new insights.
Even though TCM and Western medicine have little
common ground, scientists from all over the world
are increasingly coming to the conclusion that both
approaches can benefit considerably from each
other. As a result, the development of the TCM hos-
pital software is only one of many projects Siemens
is using to help promote progress in this area. “Doc-
tors can only create links between the two ap-
proaches if medical technology does the same,” says
Xu Xiaodong, who heads a six-person team at
Siemens Corporate Technology in Beijing that coor-
dinates projects for merging Western and Chinese
medicine. The team consists of engineers, computer
scientists, and medical practitioners. “You often hear
claims that Chinese medicine is unscientific,” says
Wu Changsheng, a doctor who earned her M.D. at
the Beijing Academy for Chinese Medicine and now
works on Xu’s team. “Modern technology is giving
fortunately resulted in severed or damaged blood
vessels and nerves. But using an MR scanner in such
instances can provide doctors with valuable naviga-
tional assistance. State-of-the-art imaging systems
like these are thus making traditional Chinese medi-
cine safer, and also increasing the likelihood that
such techniques can be successful in Western coun-
tries. “High-resolution MR images will enable us to
better investigate and improve acupotomy,” says Wu.
“It will also have a big impact on how doctors are
A number of other developments are already in the
pipeline. “China’s government has declared the link-
ing of Western and traditional medicine to be one of
the country’s key areas of research,” says Xu. “This
gives us an opportunity to collaborate with leading
Chinese research institutes.” Such institutes have
high expectations when it comes to working with
Siemens. “We are now in the midst of one of the
most exciting periods in medical history,” says Pro-
fessor Han Bin. “So it is only natural for leading or-
ganizations in this field to pool their resources.”
Bernhard Bartsch
treatment more difficult; it also obstructs research.
“Many valuable insights are lost as a result,” says
Han. Help may soon be on the way, however. For a year
now, Han has been testing the first fully-integrated
hospital information system (HIS) for TCM. The pro-
gram, which was developed by Siemens in Beijing,
provides TCM doctors with the same kind of com-
puter-based support for their work that has long
been enjoyed by doctors practicing Western medi-
cine. The system comes with a database that en-
ables a quick description of symptoms. At the click of
a mouse, users can enter acupuncture points on a
three-dimensional depiction of the human body or
put together herb mixtures. The system automati-
cally produces an alarm if the doctor’s choices could
lead to unwanted interactions. “This is a big advance
for TCM,” says Han. “Although many Chinese doctors
are not yet used to working with computers, the pro-
gram is very easy to use.” The TCM module will soon
be integrated into the Chinese version of Siemens’
hospital information system. “I expect it to be a big
help for researchers,” says Han. “Not only will it put
the acronym “SMART,” which stands for simple,
maintenance-friendly, affordable, reliable, and
timely to market.
Although this development maxim does not
apply exclusively to China, there aren’t many
other countries where high-tech companies like
Siemens have a better opportunity to rethink
tried-and-tested solutions. “Necessity is the
mother of invention — and in China this neces-
sity is enormous,” says Dr. Arding Hsu, Head of
Siemens Corporate Technology in China. “As a
result, China’s potential is no longer extraordi-
regions are still deeply mired in the pre-indus-
trial age. “You only need to take your car and
drive for one hour out of Beijing to see how dif-
ferent the needs are within this country,” says
Hsu. “Our company wants to help China’s devel-
opment, so we have to adapt ourselves as best
as possible to the country’s wide range of
nary just as a sales market, but also as a devel-
opment location.”
The modernization project currently under
way in China — where approximately 40,000
employees of the Siemens business units gener-
ated sales of approximately €5 billion in 2008
— is probably the biggest in history. Every-
where you look, from the energy sector to the
transport infrastructure and the healthcare sys-
tem, the country is trying to create the basis for
catching up with the industrialized nations of
the West. And even though its successes have
long been visible, the challenges are just as ob-
vious. While China’s major cities have long since ar-
rived in the 21st century, most of the country’s
same path as elsewhere; instead they can move
in completely new directions.” This is good,
given that real progress can’t be achieved by
just copying known approaches. Although Hsu
estimates that distinctly Chinese products and
solutions make up barely more than 20 percent
of the total market, he believes, unlike repre-
sentatives of many Western companies, that
niches for locally-developed solutions have
great potential. After all, many innovations
have been born because developers looked for
solutions beyond mainstream areas. “In the 1970s, hardly anyone in the com-
puter industry thought computers would one
day be found in every household. Back then,
you had to study for years at a university to
day use by customers, because the market pro-
vides you with the best sense of where develop-
ments are headed.” Counting Cars with Cell Phones. An example
of a product designed to fit a distinctively Chi-
nese situation is being pursued by Qiu Wei,
manager of a SMART project in the southern
Chinese province of Guangdong. The project’s
title, “Recording Traffic Information for Megaci-
ties,” may sound mundane — and it is — until
you find out how the project achieves its goal,
which is anything but mundane. “China has dozens of cities with a million or
more inhabitants, and handling the huge vol-
ume of traffic is one of the biggest challenges in
China has embarked on what might be the largest
modernization project in human history.
Instead of using expensive roadside tracking systems to measure traffic in China’s megacities, Qiu Wei (left) intends to use millions of cell phone signals. Despite being so obvious, this approach is
still completely new to most multinational cor-
porations, which until now have primarily fo-
cused on supplying China with products that
have been successful in other markets and are
much better than anything new competitors in-
side China can produce. “Such a strategy works
very well in many cases,” says Hsu. “But devel-
opments in China do not always follow the
learn how to navigate through programs by key-
board,” says Hsu, who has a PhD in computer
science and was among the industry’s pioneers
in Silicon Valley. “But Steve Jobs had an idea,
and the rest is history.”
Because it is very likely that some of the
chapters in the history of technology will be
written in China in the future, Siemens Corpo-
rate Technology has assembled a team of
around 200 developers in Beijing and Shanghai.
But instead of searching for the “next big thing”
in laboratories, the researchers are taking a
more down-to-earth route and are focusing on
how to accelerate progress in areas where it is
already under way. “For instance,” says Hsu, “we
are working closely with Siemens’ business
units to develop customized products for every-
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 83
With roughly 1.1 billion people and an average hourly wage — including benefits — of
only $1, India is not only one of the world’s biggest markets, but also one of the most
price-sensitive locations to do business. Microprocessor-equipped cameras that are sim-
ple, maintenance free, affordable, reliable, and timely to market (SMART) have a good
chance of breaking into the Indian subcontinent’s rapidly-expanding industrial markets.
Smart Cameras
Affordable Vision
In India, Siemens is developing low-cost vision systems and associated software that can be customized for applications ranging from medical diagnostics to quality control in production. T
hroughout India, rows of cookies are
marching from baking ovens at ever-in-
creasing speeds. Cigarettes are zipping by at a
rate of 150 per second, and production lines
originally designed to stamp, squeeze or ex-
trude 500 widgets per minute are routinely be-
ing upgraded to achieve new throughput
records. Whether its grains of rice, bakery prod-
ucts, or engine parts, nearly everything Indians
buy or export starts out on a production or pro-
cessing line. And to an ever-increasing extent,
82 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Innovations for New Markets | China
Making Imaging More Affordable
Offering a complete spectrum of diagnostics for a small budget — that’s exactly the approach Siemens
researcher Wang Jianmin adopted together with colleagues in Germany, England and China in order to
help achieve a breakthrough for one of today’s key diagnostic technologies, magnetic resonance imag-
ing (MRI).
In a field where innovation mostly consists of developing ever more sophisticated diagnostic features,
Wang and his colleagues chose an alternative approach: simplifying existing technology without com-
promising Siemens’ key qualities and standards, in order to make MR affordable for institutions with
very limited budgets. “Today, progress in medical technology not only means steadily improving the
devices, but also making them available to more and more patients,” says Wang. “That is not only
correct from an ethical point of view, but also from an economic one.” Wang’s words are based on his own experience. In his native country China, few hospitals can afford
state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging equipment. And it is not only developing countries and
emerging markets where the cost pressure on the medical sector is high. That’s why Wang, who stud-
ied in Germany and lived there for 17 years before returning to China in 2002, was happy to join a
team with an ambitious objective: to dramatically cut MR production costs. One of his goals was to
make Siemens’ cutting-edge MR technology, the so called Total imaging matrix (Tim), also available
for customers with budget constraints. Tim makes it possible to flexibly combine up to four different coils, which enables the user to image
almost any part of the body without the need to move the patient to a different bed, or to enter new
settings on the machine. Tim also makes parallel imaging possible, which leads to greatly reduced ac-
quisition times. All of these benefits translate into workflow improvements as well as increased patient
throughput, not to mention associated savings. As an example, a complete examination of the central
nervous system using Tim technology can be performed in less than ten minutes. To achieve a significant reduction in production costs, it was necessary to find new ways of integrating
components into the system. One of the most complex components in MR systems is the control sys-
tem for the matrix coils. “The control of these coils is a very complicated procedure, which results in
high manufacturing costs,” says Wang. “That motivated me to try to see if it might be possible to de-
velop a simpler switching system for Tim systems.” With this in mind, he worked with multiple teams
in Oxford, England, Shenzhen, China, and Erlangen, Germany, to develop a streamlined version of the
switching system for the Tim coils. For this achievement, he received Siemens’ “Inventor of the Year
2007” Award.
Other innovations that have contributed to the success of Siemens’ MR scanner, the MAGNETOM
ESSENZA, help cut installation space, power requirements and associated construction costs. In part,
this is due to its light weight, 3.5 ton magnet, which makes it possible for the system to be installed
above the basement and first floor. What’s more, if an ESSENZA replaces an existing MR system, it can
reduce energy consumption by up to 50 percent thanks to its high-performance electronics. And
since the system’s state-of-the-art magnet has zero helium boil-off, there is no need to regularly refill
the unit with this expensive substance, meaning that the system is always ready for operation. The
ESSENZA is now in service in a number of clinical settings worldwide ranging from small hospitals to
large academic institutions. Bernhard Bartsch
terms of making those cities truly livable,” says
Qiu. Techniques for measuring the volume of
traffic were introduced a long time ago to en-
sure, for example, that traffic light times could
be optimally set. To make such measurements,
researchers insert sensors into road surfaces or
install cameras to record traffic flow. While such
techniques are effective, the infrastructure they
require makes them very expensive.
In the future it will be much easier to chart
traffic volume using small auxiliary devices that
hadn’t even been thought of when the sensor
plates and camera systems were initially devel-
oped. Those devices are cell phones. “Today al-
most every car has a cell phone that is continu-
ously in contact with transmission masts,”
explains Qiu. “The positioning information pro-
vided by all those phones gives us all the data
we need to make traffic measurements dynami-
cally. And of course, the cell phone owners re-
main anonymous in this process.”
Undreamed of Possibilities. The principle is
very simple, but it takes sophisticated software
to turn the location data from hundreds of
thousands of cell phones into usable informa-
tion that can be employed for a practical appli-
cation in real time. To conduct the project, Qiu
has teamed up with a Siemens business unit to
work together with cell phone service provider
China Mobile. “The telephone companies are
very interested in this information because it
would allow them to offer new types of serv-
ices,” Qiu says.
For example, it may prove possible to opti-
mize directions given by automotive navigation
systems through mobile phone networks or to
allow cell phones to serve as GPS devices. Such
developments are also of interest to the adver-
tising industry, which could use them in the fu-
ture to transmit location-specific shopping or
restaurant tips. Due to the rapidly-growing number of vehi-
cles on Chinese streets, the project was put on a
fast track and has developed rapidly since its in-
ception in 2007. Indeed, the first marketable
version of the application is scheduled to be
completed this year. But that is expected to be just the beginning
of a far-reaching series of innovations. “Devel-
opment is a process that never ends,” says Hsu.
“A product is good if it has the potential to be
continuously improved.” Siemens’ develop-
ments in China are not makeshift solutions for
an emerging market. They are technological in-
novations that will eventually be used in the
most highly developed countries as well. That’s
true of wind turbines and traffic measurement
systems alike. If that’s not SMART, nothing is!
Bernhard Bartsch
major training complex, uses no power from
the grid at all. A network of tunnels beneath
the building ensures a constant temperature,
and a solar chimney allows hot air from the
south-side rooms to escape. We need a shift in
direction in this country that has to translate
into incentives and disincentives and, most im-
portant, much greater public awareness. For
instance, it should be clear to people that
there is an economic benefit to them when
they build an energy-efficient building. So I
think we need to reorient our fiscal instru-
ments such that they carry us to a state of en-
vironmental sustainability.
What’s the role of the Internet in this?
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 85
What can individuals do to help the environment?
Pachauri:One area where I think many con-
sumers can make a difference is by simply eat-
ing less meat. The meat cycle is very intensive
in terms of energy consumption. The Food &
Agriculture Organization did a study on this.
They found that the entire livestock cycle ac-
counts for 18% of all greenhouse gases pro-
duced on this planet. So I’ve been telling peo-
ple to eat less meat. This goes hand in hand
with other lifestyle changes. We need to start
reflecting on the simple things — things like
using lights at home. When I step out of my of-
fice, as a matter of habit, I switch off the
lights, even if it’s for five minutes. We should
Pachauri:Fortunately, the government is
working to make the Internet accessible to
more and more people in India. But there are
many associated problems. For instance, in ru-
ral areas with no electricity, how can you run a
computer? So we need a package of solutions
that provide electricity, which is a precondition
for the Internet. And this is again an area
where a company like Siemens can get in-
volved to come up with renewable energy
technologies that can be used on a decentral-
ized, distributed basis, thus making it possible
to access the benefits of the Internet. those lines run faster than any human eye can
see. Nevertheless, even as processing revs into
a high-speed blur, quality levels continue to
climb and prices remain steady or actually de-
cline. How? Welcome to the world of the af-
fordable “thinking” camera.
Thanks to faster, cheaper, more powerful
processors and ever-improving, locally-pro-
duced, tailor-made algorithms, cameras used
on an increasing number of Indian production
lines to catch product imperfections are be-
coming affordable and increasingly reliable. Dr.
Mukul Saxena, who heads Siemens Corporate
Technology (CT) in India, explains: “It is impor-
tant that such products be built here in India in
order to be price-competitive with products
from local companies. For example, we are
working with Siemens’ Industry Automation Di-
vision and a local academic institute to develop
a low-cost camera application that will look at
the size and polish of each grain of rice as it
cascades in a processing center to automati-
cally quantify the quality of the product.”
Adds Dr. Zubin Varghese, department head
for SMART innovations at CT India, “The algo-
rithms that allow camera capabilities to be tai-
lored to a customer’s unique needs are also the
key to keeping the price of service and up-
grades as low as possible. For instance,” he ex-
plains, “with regard to a major Indian cigarette
manufacturer that needed to improve product
quality, all that was needed was a minor modi-
fication in the camera’s firmware, along with a
new image processing algorithm. We per-
formed these adaptations, which immediately
eliminated the quality problems — and sal-
vaged our relationship with the customer.”
Smart Cookies. Camera technology can also
help to save energy. For instance, a major In-
dian biscuit manufacturer recently switched a
range of its automation activities to Siemens
thanks to a new algorithm from Corporate
Technology that “allows a camera to see each
biscuit in terms of color and thickness — two
key indicators of baking process accuracy,” says
Sameer Prakash, who is in charge of marketing
for Siemens Automation and Drives’ Food and
Beverage business in India. “Not only have
quality and production throughput increased
substantially as a result of this, but the camera
information is fed back to the baking oven to
optimize its operations — the first solution of
its kind anywhere. This has resulted in a five
percent cut in energy use.” In addition, he points out that “by being
able to customize our intelligent camera’s ca-
pabilities to the customer’s needs, we were
able to differentiate our offer from those of
competitors. This opened up the rest of the
| Smart Cameras
also encourage people to walk and use bicy-
cles more. What recommendations would you give
the Obama Administration?
Pachauri:All I would ask President Obama to
do is to live up to the promises he has made. It
is not going to be easy. But if he just does what
he has stated, I think the U.S. will be pretty
much on its way to bringing about improve-
ments at the global level and certainly for its
own citizens. Interview conducted by Arthur F. Pease
Researcher Swaminathan with a new medical vision system that draws on experience in surveillance systems.
Mit enormen Investitionen baut Chongqing eine konkurrenzfähige Industrie auf.
84 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri,
68, is the Chairman of the
United Nations Intergov-
ernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Represented by Dr. Pachauri
and former U.S. Vice Presi-
dent Al Gore, the IPCC was
awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize for the year 2007.
Since 1981, Dr. Pachauri
has been Director-General
of The Energy & Resources
Institute (TERI), a global organization focused on
environmental sustainabil-
ity. Pachauri holds PhDs in
Industrial Engineering and
Economics. He has been a
member of the Economic
Advisory Council to the
Prime Minister of India, the
Advisory Board on Energy,
which reported directly to
the Prime Minister, and a
Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the United
Nations Development Program.
Reflecting on the Simple Things
What are the most significant environmen-
tal threats faced by India?
Pachauri:We are confronted by a range of en-
vironmental threats, from soil degradation and
water and air pollution to deforestation and
loss of biodiversity. All of these are being af-
fected by climate change on an increasing
scale. This set of impacts will affect every seg-
ment of our economy and of our population.
What is India doing about these threats?
Pachauri:We have very strong legislation, a
strong NGO movement, and a very active
press. So it is not easy to pollute without at-
tracting a lot of attention. But unfortunately,
when coordinated action is required, we have
in such a way that they can be applied on a
large scale. The corporate sector should also
work with our government on a set of policies
that contribute to energy-efficient solutions.
What technologies should be empha-
Pachauri:Renewable energy technologies
have enormous potential in this country. In
Delhi, my institute is working with a group of
investors to develop a large-scale solar-thermal
generation facility. We are talking about 3,000
to 5,000 MW. This is the kind of thing where
Siemens can do a great deal. My institute has
also launched a program called “Lighting a Bil-
lion Lives” — in which Siemens is involved
not been very successful. And to be quite hon-
est, some of our enforcement mechanisms are
weak, and not as effective as they should be.
Many countries want to cut their CO
emissions below 1990 levels. Should India be working along these lines as
Pachauri:As far as CO
is concerned, India
does not have any goals. And legitimately,
there can’t be any at this point because our per
capita emissions are about 1.1 tons per person
per year, compared to over 20 for the U.S. De-
veloped countries are the big polluters and the
ones who have caused the problem. If they
don’t move, I don’t think there is any basis at
all for a developing country like India, where
400 million people do not have access to elec-
tricity, to reduce its emissions. It would be un-
ethical and totally inequitable. It is up to the
developed countries to make the first move.
The emphasis in India is on reducing local pol-
Nevertheless, energy efficiency is in India’s best interest…
Pachauri:Certainly. We have a serious prob-
lem of energy shortages. And if we can use en-
ergy more efficiently, then more of it becomes
available for others to use.
Are there ways in which a company like
Siemens can help?
Pachauri:Being a technology leader, Siemens
can certainly make a major difference. One of
the most important things such companies can
do is to work with partners to ensure that tech-
nologies are customized for Indian conditions
through its Osram subsidiary. Here, we are try-
ing to address the problem of the 1.6 billion
people worldwide who have no access to elec-
tricity. To help them we have developed a solar
lantern and solar-powered village charging sta-
tion where people can drop off their lamps for
charging during the day.
Where will India be in 20 years? What is
your vision?
Pachauri:I would like to see much greater use
of renewable energy in this country because
we have wind, solar, and biomass in abun-
dance. I would also like to see much more R&D
with a view to using agricultural residues on a
large scale, perhaps converting these to liquid
fuels. For instance, my institute is engaged in a
large-scale project for growing jatropha for
biodiesel. This plant grows under degraded
land conditions, requires little moisture, and
does not in any way affect food prices or dis-
place food production. So my vision is to see
India move rapidly toward large-scale exploita-
tion of renewable energy sources, while ensur-
ing that these resources are accessible to the
poorest of the poor.
What policies are needed to accomplish
Pachauri:We will need fiscal incentives and
disincentives. For instance, we have done a
study for the Ministry of Finance on taxation of
automobiles, and to an extent the government
has implemented its recommendations. We
now have differential taxes on small cars as
opposed to big cars. In the area of energy-effi-
cient buildings, my institute has been in the
lead. In fact, one of our buildings, which is a
Innovations for New Markets | Interview
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 87
now. Our new campuses are now under con-
struction, and they will all be green. Can you make money with such a vision?
Nilekani:Oh you can make tons of money
with it! You may want to sell an energy man-
agement system to a city. You could manage a
network of IP-enabled streetlights. Today, cities
are paying to light their streets all night long at
full intensity, regardless of whether anyone is
around. Tomorrow, they could dim their lights
selectively, ensuring substantial savings.
Your book suggests that a large population can be an advantage.
Nilekani:My point is that India’s strength
comes from its people. And to that extent, we
now think of people as human capital. But the
other factor is that India is now enjoying a de-
mographic dividend. It is the only country that
has more people in its working-age population
than in either its very young- or very old-age
segments. The bulk of our population is between 15
and 65, which means that the ratio of those
working to those who need to be supported is
very positive. For us, the next 30 years should
be a demographic golden era, and we will be
the only major country to have that — the only
young country in an aging world. So I am not
saying that it is good to have a huge popula-
tion per se. I am just saying that the current
demographic contours of India are strategically
good. A demographic golden era? You sound
bullish on India.
Nilekani:Bullish may be too strong a term.
But I am cautiously optimistic. Global factors
are to our advantage. One such factor, as I
mentioned, is demographics. Second, India
has a very strongly entrepreneurial culture and
one of the highest populations of entrepre-
neurs anywhere. Third, it has technologies that
are now seen as empowering. It has the Eng-
lish language, which is the language of global
business. And finally, because India is a demo-
cratic society, it has no obstacles to informa-
tion flow. Therefore it’s easier for us to get
things right. No other country has all these
things. Interview conducted by Arthur F. Pease
| Smart Cameras
customer’s business for us, including ovens,
sensors, oxygen analyzers, controllers and hu-
man-machine interfaces.” Siemens’ investments in microprocessor-
based SMART camera technologies are paying
some surprising dividends in the context of the
world economic downturn. “Keeping in mind
the new financial realities, one possible out-
come is that businesses may not want to invest
in new plants,” observes J. K. Verma, Vice Presi-
dent for Business Development and Sales at
Siemens’ Industry Automation & Drive Tech-
The new cameras can even look at the size and polish
of an individual grain of rice.
Here, a thorough analysis of ways to improve
the C-arm’s camera and image processing mod-
ule has not only led to improving the system’s
resolution, but also to a dramatic reduction in
price. “We expect to soon transition from an
OEM-produced platform that costs around
$2,000 to a superior device developed by CT In-
dia that we will produce locally for around
$500,” says Siemens India Healthcare Sector
Executive Vice President D. Ragavan. Adds Dr. Vishnu Swaminathan, head of CT
India’s Embedded Hardware Systems Program,
nologies Division near Mumbai. “But they are
likely to invest in technologies that will improve
the efficiency of their existing plants. Our inno-
vative smart camera project in the biscuit busi-
ness is an example of that. We can help our
customers gain competitive advantage
through improved productivity and also create
pull for our other products.”
Sharper Medical Images. Another area in
which Siemens is on the road to delivering sig-
nificant technological innovation through im-
age processing is its C-arm interventional fluo-
roscopic X-ray system, which is produced in
Goa, India to meet the extremely tight price de-
mands and basic needs of developing markets.
which is developing the C-arm camera, “The
new camera is not a cheap copy of a Western
model. We redesigned everything from scratch
with a view to cutting costs while meeting the
specific needs of local doctors.”
Drawing on experience in India’s extremely-
price sensitive market for surveillance cameras,
Swaminathan’s team came up with a hard-
ware-software co-design. This included outfit-
ting the new camera with the same inexpen-
sive light conversion technology used in most
digital cameras, but bolstering it with addi-
tional image processing technology. Meanwhile, to achieve improved resolution,
the researchers opted for a digital video inter-
face instead of an analog one. “The result is
Split-second inspection: In India, a camera system from Siemens monitors the production of engines for the Tata Nano, whose price of $2,500 makes it the world's most affordable car.
But it has to be high-quality too.
Mit enormen Investitionen baut Chongqing eine konkurrenzfähige Industrie auf.
86 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
As co-chairman and co-
founder of Infosys Tech-
nologies Limited, which
had $4 billion in informa-
tion technology sales and
over 100,000 employees
in 2008, Dr. Nandan
Nilekani, 54, has been a
key player in India’s eco-
nomic rebirth. Named by
Time magazine in 2006 as
one of the 100 most influ-
ential people in the world
and by Forbes Asia in 2006
as “Businessman of the
Year,” Dr. Nilekani, is a
member of the World Eco-
nomic Forum Foundation
Board, a member of the
Board of Directors of the
Peterson Institute for Inter-
national Economics, and
a member of the Board of
Governors of the Indian
Institute of Technology (IIT).
He is also the author of a
new book, Imagining India,
Ideas for the New Century
Imagining India’s Future
How have information technologies
changed India?
Nilekani:Thirty to 40 years back, IT was seen
as a job killer. Today it is seen as empowering
and transformational. Mobile phones are an
example. Ninety percent of them in India are
prepaid, and most are used by people who
earn less than $2000 per year. Information
technology has transformed many key parts of
our economy. For example, our stock markets
are today among the most modern because
we have used technology effectively. And India
is the only large country in which all votes —
over 400 million in a general election — are
cast electronically. Nilekani:Yes. But we will need a new ecosys-
tem — batteries that can be replaced at a mo-
ment’s notice, charging stations, electric cars,
and a de-carbonized electricity grid, which
means getting the grid to be smart, and then
creating thousands of renewable generators.
Once your electricity is de-carbonized, you can
start introducing electric or hybrid vehicles;
and added power can be generated from sec-
ond-generation biofuels based on non-food,
agricultural wastes. If you build a smart grid and de-carbonize
energy production, you are solving multiple
problems. You reduce carbon dioxide emis-
sions, you create a whole new economy where
What are the major areas in which information technology will play a role in
India’s future?
Nilekani:Healthcare and energy distribution
— two areas in which Siemens is in a strategic
position to provide solutions. In healthcare, I
believe there will be a new paradigm charac-
terized by a hub-and-spoke configuration.
Through advanced information technology we
can bring excellent diagnostics out to the tip of
the spoke — the point of care. Non-specialized
workers can deliver much better service by be-
ing able to access an information hub — a sys-
tem, for instance, such as ReMeDe or Remote
Medical Diagnostics now being piloted in parts
of India. The system combines low-bandwidth
video/audio conferencing with a network of
clinics and pharmacies and could be combined
with portable medical records.
In the energy generation and distribution
sector, the paradigm will be just the opposite.
For instance, instead of building, say, one 500
MW coal plant, it might be better to invest in
500 one-MW solar, biomass, biogas, or wind
plants. But the moment the grid starts to de-
pend on generators whose energy production
is based on natural phenomena, it has to be
smart enough to cope with uncertainty. Infor-
mation technology is the key to this. What is
happening today in power generation is just
like what happened in computing when we
evolved from the mainframe to the PC. I think
that paradigm sums up our energy future.
Do you also see IT playing a role in the re-
lationship between mobility and smart
every village has its own micro grid with its
own biofuels plant, its own solar plant, and its
own turbines. And all of this creates jobs and
spreads economic wealth.
What is your company doing for the environment?
Nilekani:Here at Infosys, we are in the
process of making our new buildings as green
and sustainable as possible. We are looking at
dramatically reducing energy consumption.
We are working on passive buildings, systems
for piping lighting through buildings, and us-
ing more natural lighting. We are also investing in biodiversity. We are
planting a wide range of species on our cam-
puses — essentially giving a new meaning to
the term ‘business park’! And we are investing
in rain water harvesting, and water reuse and
recycling with a view to deriving much of our
water from rain rather than having to tap into
water systems. Another energy-saving concept that we are
now implementing at one of our campuses is
to network the street lights by giving each light
its own IP address. This allows them to respond
appropriately to local lighting needs, yet in a
coordinated fashion. Imagine, for instance, that the lights would
brighten and then dim as you drive or walk
down a street. That’s the idea. There is no rea-
son to have all the lights go on or off at a spe-
cific time, regardless of ambient lighting condi-
tions. That’s dumb. The point I’m making is that the smarter we
get, the more we can fine tune the granularity
of our efficiency. And the time frame for this is
Innovations for New Markets | Interview
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 89
fuel is made from sugar cane — and the
amount of CO
released when it is burned is
equivalent to the amount absorbed through
photosynthesis before harvesting.
“Ethanol already accounts for 50 percent of
the fuel burned in motor vehicles in Brazil,”
says Costa, “and this proportion is about to in-
crease further.” One factor that makes the fuel
attractive is the fact that the energy stored in
ethanol ultimately comes from the sun. Still,
people sometimes forget that the production
of ethanol also requires energy, but that much
of this energy can eventually be gained from
the sugar cane as well. Use of more efficient
processes can minimize the amount of energy
needed here, however, and technology from
Siemens is helping to do just that.
“When Brazil launched its ethanol program
in 1975, the sugar mills that produced the alco-
hol would just burn the fibrous residue of the
crushed sugar cane stalks behind their plants,”
Costa recalls. “But this material — the bagasse
— also contains a lot of energy.” That’s why
biomass power plants with outputs ranging be-
tween 25 and 70 MW now use bagasse to gen-
ciency — a key consideration because competi-
tion in the industry has become much more in-
tense over the last few years.
What’s more, the precipitous drop in crude
oil prices in recent months has made it all the
more difficult to produce competitively-priced
ethanol made from sugar cane. “But,” says
Electricity and steam for the refining processes are provided by sugar cane-fired biomass power plants.
around 30 percent lower than the original
model, making it more affordable for sugar
mills throughout Brazil. For example, the de-
sign of the extraction valve was modified in or-
der to reach higher pressures of up to 32 bar.
And the unit’s compact size substantially re-
duces costs. Sugar cane is converted into ethanol in Brazil’s distilleries. To increase the energy efficiency of the
process, the residues of crushed stalks are used to
generate power using Siemens turbines (above).
Such benefits appeal to Marcos Monaco, in-
dustrial director of the Usina Santa Cruz sugar
mill. “Our decision to buy the turbines from
Siemens was based on the performance and
availability of the equipment, which met our
project specifications and conditions to the ex-
tent that we ordered three units,” he says.
Usina Santa Cruz is one of 25 major sugar mills
that operate in Brazil. Usina’s high production
volume (some four million tons of sugar cane
are processed after each harvest) ensures a
considerable competitive edge in terms of effi-
Costa, “by improving our efficiency, Siemens’
turbines are helping us survive in this challeng-
ing environment.” Word has gotten around about the advan-
tages offered by the turbines, which is why
they are now being installed in other Latin
American countries, including Peru, Argentina,
Colombia, and Mexico. This new development
ensures that even more energy from the sun
will now find its way into automobile fuel
Andreas Kleinschmidt
Around 40 percent of motor
vehicles in Brazil now run
on alcohol made from sugar
cane. And this figure could
rise to 60 percent over the
next five years, which
would reduce oil depend-
ence and the burden on the
environment. Siemens is
doing its part by providing technology that
saves energy when converting sugar into fuel.
88 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Innovations for New Markets | Brazil
ost people in the southern Brazilian me-
tropolis of São Paulo hardly even notice
the smog that covers their city every day. The
haze seems to belong to São Paulo the way
samba belongs to Brazil. But Paulo Costa, who
works in Jundiai, some 60 km north of São
Paulo, as a sales and marketing manager for
Siemens Industrial Steam Turbines, isn’t willing
to get used to the pollution. When Costa travels
to the city, he helps to ensure that the smog
doesn’t increase — by driving a flex-fuel vehi-
cle, which he switched to several years ago.
Numerous studies suggest that such cars emit
fewer pollutants than conventional gasoline-
powered vehicles.
“If the millions of cars creeping along the
city’s highways every day were all burning gaso-
line,the air quality in São Paulo would likely be
far worse,” says Costa. More and more Brazilians
are now switching to highly efficient flex-fuel
vehicles that run on a mixture of alcohol and
gasoline. Some of these cars can even be driven
on pure ethanol, which costs less than gaso-
line. The CO
balance of flexible engines is es-
pecially favorable in Brazil, where ethanol bio-
that the image you capture and the image that
appears on the monitor are identical and that
there is no loss of resolution. No competing de-
vice in India has this,” says Swaminathan. The
researchers also plan to outfit the image pro-
cessing module with DICOM (a standard for
digital communication in medicine) and other
software that will allow radiologists to flip im-
ages or invert colors to get improved contrast
or perspective. A prototype of the new C-arm
device is expected late in 2009.
Nano Vision. SPM India Ltd in Bangalore, a
machine manufacturer that specializes in con-
veyer systems, is developing the assembly line
for the Tata Nano’s two cylinder, fuel injection
engine. With an expected price tag of about
$2,500, the Nano, which will hit the market
this year, will be the world’s least expensive
four-wheel private vehicle. Yet the Nano is not
only designed to tap a huge new consumer
market, but to deliver outstanding quality. With
this in mind, SPM has asked Siemens to de-
velop an extremely affordable camera-based
engine inspection, quality control and docu-
mentation system. “The system is designed to
inspect the automated insertion of the split
(snap-in) rings used to hold the engine valves
in place,” explains CT Senior Research Engineer
Thirumalai Kumar.
With algorithms designed to catch inaccura-
cies in ring placement, and the presence of dirt
and other anomalies, the camera is crucial to
Tata’s goal of accelerating conveyor belt speed
from 3 to 4 meters per minute to 6 to 12 in the
near future. Although still in its pilot stage, the camera already offers a number of advan-
tages. “We chose it because it’s programmable, accu-
rate and supports documentation,” says SPM
co-owner and director Dr. G.D.R. Krishna. He
explains that the camera, which uses optical
character recognition to read each motor’s se-
rial number and then combines it with an im-
age documenting correct placement of the
rings, transmits its images via a wireless local
area network to a storage system. “This sup-
ports the warranty for as long as the customer
requires,” he adds.
Having proven the viability of its prototype,
Siemens Corporate Technology in India is using
its detailed knowledge of the customer’s needs
to develop a lighting system designed to accel-
erate the camera’s processing time from
around 300 milliseconds per image to 200.
“This will help meet the customer’s conveyor
belt automation requirements,” says Kumar.
“We are working out how to accomplish this
while bringing the price down even further.” Arthur F. Pease
erate electricity and steam for other industrial
processes. As a result, the absolute energy
yield per sugar mill has risen about tenfold over
the last ten years. Brazilian companies are very specific about
what they want from the turbines they use in
their biomass plants. “Our customers are gen-
erally price-sensitive, Costa explains. “That
means that the trade-off between the cost of
the initial investment and efficiency gains over
the lifetime of the equipment is slightly differ-
ent in this particular market.” In response, Siemens has adapted one of its
successful European turbine models to the re-
quirements of the Brazilian market, creating a
new version of the SST300 steam pressure tur-
bine. “A team of Siemens engineers working in
Germany and Brazil spent months altering the
model to ensure that the specific demands of
Brazilian customers could be met more effec-
tively, and that the unit could be manufactured
using materials and facilities available in
Brazil,” Costa explains. No compromises were
made in terms of quality and safety, of course.
But the price tag for the modified turbine is
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 91
Objective: Affordable Products
| Facts and Forecasts
n emerging economies such as those of India and
China, product requirements are different from those in
highly-industrialized nations. What is needed are so-called
S.M.A.R.T innovations (p. 74). The price of such robust,
easy-to-use, and easy-to-maintain products must be ori-
ented according to local consumers’ purchasing power.
The objective is the development of high-tech, low-cost
products that may cost as little as one-tenth of what they
cost in North America. Although McKinsey estimates that the per capita in-
come of Indian consumers will triple by 2025, it is cur-
rently still at only US $793 per year. Some 28 percent of
the population of India still lives below the poverty line of
$1 per person per day, and more than 50 percent of the
population lives on less than $2 per day. India is, however, on the way to becoming the world’s
fifth-largest consumer market. According to analyses by
McKinsey Global Institutes, more than 291 million Indians
will liberate themselves from poverty in the next 20 years.
During the same period, the middle class will grow more
than tenfold, from 50 to 583 million people. And by 2025
more than 23 million Indians will belong to the nation’s
wealthy upper class. According to the trade journal Electronics For You, the
Indian market for automation technology — which was
valued at nearly $2 billion in 2007 — is expected to grow
by approximately 7 percent per year through 2012. How-
ever, the high capital costs for such technology are forcing
small and medium-sized businesses to choose low-cost
automation solutions that can be amortized within one
year. In most cases, existing manufacturing facilities are
retrofitted. Maintenance costs can also be reduced through the
use of condition monitoring systems, which enable ex-
perts at remote locations to identify impending damage
by analyzing machine data. Market research company Frost & Sullivan estimates
that the global market volume for such condition monitor-
ing systems will grow by approximately 60 percent to $2.3
billion by 2014.
Intelligent cameras with digital signal processors and
sensors (p. 83) are one cost-effective solution for auto-
matic product inspection. Their components cost up to 80
percent less than previous systems. According to the Auto-
mated Imaging Association, a U.S. trade association, the
world market volume for image processing systems and
their components totaled roughly €7.4 billion in 2005 and
is expected to grow to €16 billion by 2015.
Demand for healthcare and medical systems is also in-
creasing sharply in fast-growing and populous countries
such as China and India. According to the Federation of In-
dian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the market vol-
ume for medical technology systems in India totaled ap-
proximately $2.4 billion in 2007, and this amount is
expected to double to nearly $5 billion by 2012. In addition to hospital equipment, there is a particu-
larly high demand in rural areas for medical technology
products that allow rapid diagnosis, independent data col-
lection, and communication with the closest hospital. Devices will soon be available in which complex and
costly ultrasound technology is replaced with tiny micro-
phones (p. 74), which make the devices significantly
smaller, more compact, and more robust. While imports
are still generally used to meet the demand for complex
products such as ultrasound machines or even LED and
xenon lamps for operating rooms, local products are also
making inroads here.Sylvia Trage
Worldwide Distribution of Per Capita Income* Source: World Resources Institute
Source: “Medical Buyer” 2008, figures for 2007
0.5 billion
more than
$3,260 to
< $3,260
2 billion
4 billion people
* 2005 annual income, adjusted for purchasing power
Source: World Resources Institute
Average Per Capita Income Levels
US$ per capita and per year
Although real per capita income in India roughly doubled between 1985 and 2000,
it is still 10 percent of the worldwide level. 0
2005 2007
Worldwide average income
Asia (not including Middle East)
Indian Medical Technology Market
Device type Sales Annual growth rate (in millions of euros) (2008–2012, in %)
Ultrasound machines 79.5 15
Magnetic resonance imaging machines 70.1 15 to 20
Computed tomography machines 54.8 12 to 15
Cardiac catheter labs 35.3 -
Dialysis machines 34.4 25
Patient monitoring systems 24.7 10 to 15
Positron emission tomography machines 23.0 25 to 30
Mit enormen Investitionen baut Chongqing eine konkurrenzfähige Industrie auf.
90 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Brazil launched its ethanol
program in 1975. Since
then, alcohol has increas-
ingly served as a substitute
for costly imported oil.
Three years after the country’s ethanol program
was launched, physicist Prof. José Goldemberg,
80, began calculating its economic and ecological
value added. His findings attracted a great deal of interest worldwide and
helped to achieve a break-
through for ethanol fuel in
Brazil and other countries.
Goldemberg, who has also
worked with U.S. Energy
Secretary Steven Chu, was
recently named one of Time
magazine’s “Heroes of the
Environment” and in 2008
he received the Blue Planet
Prize from the Asahi Glass
Foundation of Japan.
How did you come up with the idea of
studying ethanol fuel in the 1970s, when
it was still an obscure topic?
Goldemberg:I was working as a professor at
the Institute of Physics of the University of São
Paulo at the time, and a colleague from the
agricultural economics department who was
studying alcohol fuels asked me to help him.
Even back then everyone knew replacing gaso-
line with ethanol was technically feasible. The
problem was that until that point no one had
calculated the precise energy balance. The fact
is that it takes energy to produce ethanol, be-
cause you need energy for seeds, fertilizer, har-
vesting, transport, and distillation. The key
question therefore was whether or not it made
How big is the Brazilian ethanol fuel mar-
ket today?
Goldemberg:We produce around 22 billion
liters of ethanol a year over a total area of ap-
proximately 9.9 million acres. Around a quarter
of all cars in Brazil, including all new ones, can
run on ethanol. The Brazilian market for
ethanol could triple in volume by 2020. Other
countries, such as India, South Africa, Colombia,
and many Caribbean nations, also have the con-
ditions needed to achieve similarly good results.
Will ethanol one day be able to completely
replace gasoline made from crude oil?
Goldemberg:Ethanol can help to make our
oil reserves last longer, and also to slow down
sense to produce ethanol at all. My studies
clearly showed that every unit of fossil fuel en-
ergy used to produce ethanol from sugar cane
ultimately yields ten times the energy originally
expended. The reason for this is simple: sugar
cane captures and stores solar energy and con-
verts it into the sugar from which ethanol can
be obtained. So in a way, Brazilian fuel made
from alcohol is a type of solar energy.
So people who fill up with Brazilian
ethanol instead of gasoline don’t produce
any additional CO
Goldemberg:Yes, that’s almost the case. Pro-
ducing ethanol from sugar cane needs a certain
amount of energy, which in turn leads to extra
emissions. However, using ethanol instead
of fossil fuels can result in an overall emission re-
duction of up to 90 percent per unit of energy.
Does this also apply to ethanol produced
elsewhere, or from different plants?
Goldemberg:Unfortunately it only applies to
a limited extent. Most of the ethanol produced
in the U.S., for example, comes from corn. The
overall energy balance here is much less posi-
tive. That’s because the plants themselves con-
tain less energy than sugar cane — but it also
has to do with the fact that more machines are
used in the U.S. for farming and harvesting,
and you need energy from fossil fuels to oper-
ate all that equipment. This affects the CO
balance, of course. It also costs twice as much
to produce ethanol in the U.S. as it does in
Brazil, and production costs in Europe are actu-
ally four times as high. Here in Brazil, we have
the benefit of a climate with enough rainfall
and a lot of sunshine.
climate change. According to my calculations,
ethanol could replace 10 percent of global
gasoline consumption by 2020.
Doesn’t producing ethanol from sugar
lead to sugar cane monoculture and deforestation?
Goldemberg:Sugar cane in Brazil is grown far
from the Amazonian rain forest, so the idea that
sugar cane cultivation destroys a great number
of trees is a myth. The monoculture aspect does
pose some concerns, however. Having served
as environmental minister, I am aware of these
problems. Nevertheless, our active environmen-
tal protection policy is producing very good re-
sults today. Among other things, monoculture
has been banned in certain corridors, which has
led to increased biodiversity — and not just lo-
cally. The authorities know very well that envi-
ronmentally-friendly ethanol must not be al-
lowed to negatively impact biodiversity.
Sugar cane yields other liquids, such as
cachaça, the Brazilian sugar cane spirit
used to make caipirinhas. Be honest with
us: as a connoisseur, doesn’t it seem a ter-
rible waste to burn ethanol made of sugar
cane in cars?
Goldemberg:Let me just say that one tenth
of a liter of cachaça a day is more than enough
for most people. Cars, on the other hand, are
really “heavy drinkers.” My car consumes an av-
erage of ten liters of pure alcohol daily. Still,
until now demand for fuel hasn’t been putting
distilleries producing “cachaça” out of business.
That’s not going to happen either, because we
Brazilians love our national drink too much.
Interview by Andreas Kleinschmidt.
Brazilian Ethanol: Liquid Solar Energy
Innovations for New Markets | Interview
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 93
Inexhaustible Light
for Lake Victoria
On the shores of Lake Victoria, people have been using kerosene lamps to catch fish and light their
homes for generations. But this dirty fuel poses a serious threat to health and the environment. That’s
why Siemens subsidiary Osram is conducting a pilot
project that offers local residents energy-saving lamps
that provide a clean, safe lighting source far from
power grids — without straining household budgets. 92 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Innovations for Developing Markets | Energy Hubs in Africa
For generations, fishermen on Lake Victoria have been attracting omena sardines with
lanterns — but these days they’re using energy-saving lamps from Osram. W
hen night falls on Lake Victoria and the
waters grow dark, that’s when the work-
ing day begins for Pottas Aboy and his three co-
workers. The four Kenyan fishermen paddle
their boat out onto Africa’s largest lake — and
keep going until the shore is visible as only a
thin sliver in the distance. The men then care-
fully place a small raft into the water. The raft
contains a blue battery; above it an Osram en-
ergy-saving lamp dangles from a support made
of branches. The water shimmers dark green in
Equipped with their new electric lamps,
Aboy and his three colleagues are pioneers
among the approximately 175,000 fishermen
who fish in the waters of Lake Victoria. While
it’s true that native fishermen have been using
light as bait for generations, the light source
has been kerosene lamps. According to the
Global Nature Fund (GNF), a development aid
organization, this tradition has had fatal conse-
quences: The highly flammable kerosene has
resulted in many fishermen being seriously
burned. The kerosene also leaks, further pollut-
ing what is already not the cleanest water.
Greenhouse gases are an issue as well. The
kerosene burned in lamps used around the lake
produces around 50,000 tons of CO
per year,
reports the GNF. Nevertheless, it has been very difficult for
people in the region to break with their tradi-
tion, especially in view of the fact that most of
the approximately 30 million people who live
around Lake Victoria have no access to electric-
ity. So they are left with no choice but to use
the toxic kerosene fuel — not just for fishing,
but also to light their homes. Things changed
in April 2008, though, when Osram and the
GNF began to offer an alternative to provide
clean and safe lighting sources to the people in
the region, within the framework of a project
known as “Umeme Kwa Wote” (Energy for
Everyone). Self-Sufficient Charging Stations. This al-
ternative is made possible by “Energy Hubs” —
small electrical charging stations powered by
roof-mounted solar cells that make the hubs
completely independent of power grids. “The
people in the region can lease our energy-sav-
ing lamps from an Energy Hub, as well as bat-
teries that they can recharge at the same loca-
tion,” explains Jochen Berner, Osram’s
manager for the project. “Along with the
lamps, we also provide purified drinking water
and a mobile phone recharging service.” Osram
has already built four Energy Hubs — three in
Kenya and one in neighboring Uganda. The hubs, which are operated by partner
company Thames Electrical of Kenya, and by
Dembe Trading in Uganda, have a bright fu-
ture. Says Osram’s Chief Sustainability Officer,
Wolfgang Gregor, “At the moment, we’re nego-
tiating with the World Bank and industrial part-
ners on expanding the project, whereby our
goal is to build a further 100 or so Energy Hubs
in Africa, and 20 in Asia.”
One Energy Hub is located in the town of
Mbita (population 15,000) on the eastern
shore of Lake Victoria. The orange-white brick
building that houses the hub is surrounded by
corrugated iron shacks. Between the structures
the light of the lamp. “The light mainly attracts
omena, a type of sardine,” Aboy explains, and
then gives his home-made raft a gentle shove
and watches it slowly disappear in the darkness
on the lake. “Now we wait until enough fish
have gathered around the light of the raft,”
says Aboy. “After that, we’ll toss a net around
the raft and pull it back in quickly.” Aboy stares
into the night, where the only thing still visible
is a small shimmering light — bobbing on a
lake as big as Ireland.
liable Osram lamps as backups. “The grid fails
for a couple of hours every day,” he points out. For Pottas Aboy and his three fellow fisher-
men, it’s time to go into action on the lake
again. They row to the small light they see
dancing on the waves in the distance. Mosqui-
toes appear as they reach the raft, but the men
pay no attention as they toss out their net and
begin to pull it back. The water under the net
begins to bubble as the light of the lamp illumi-
nates a dense school of fish, making them look
like pieces of silver treasure. Aboy’s working
day has begun. Florian Martini
Innovations for Developing Markets | Energy Hubs in Africa
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 9594 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
a few chickens peck at the dust. Here, the
world seems to be taking a siesta in the oppres-
sive midday heat. But there’s plenty of activity
taking place behind the walls of the local hub,
with its 42 solar panels constantly pumping the
energy from tropical sunlight into batteries for
energy-saving lamps, at outputs of up to ten
kilowatts. It takes approximately three hours to charge
the batteries, each of which weighs five kilos.
When completely recharged, the batteries can
light up the 11-watt energy-saving lamps from
Osram for up to 12 hours. “That’s more than
enough for a night of fishing,” says Berner. “But
the main benefit offered by our lamps is their
low price.” He explains that those who would
like to rent a lamp must leave a deposit of
around 2,000 Kenyan shillings, or approxi-
mately €20. That’s a lot of money for people
whose average monthly income is only €35.
On the other hand, battery recharging or ex-
change at the hub costs only 100 shillings, or
about €1. “We work with local institutions that
specialize in micro loans to help ensure that
people who need the lamps can afford to use
them,” Berner says. “You have to keep in mind
that the deposit costs about as much as a new
kerosene lantern, with the difference being
that our customers get their money back when
they no longer need the lamp.” Berner also
points out that the recharging fee at the Energy
Hub is relatively inexpensive when you consid-
er that a fisherman uses around 1.5 liters of
kerosene each night, which costs approximate-
ly 150 shillings. “With us, the customer only
pays 100 shillings a night, so they save 30 per-
cent.” In addition, customers can use the bat-
teries to power other devices such as mobile
phones and radios.
from the store’s ceiling. “I used to have to close
the store at sundown,” says Mama Austin.
“Now I just turn on the lamp and keep the store
open until nine — and business is better as a
result.” The bright light appeals not only to cus-
tomers but to children. “They can come in the
evening to study without ruining their eyes or
having to breathe in smoke from kerosene
lamps,” she adds.
The kerosene lamps are responsible for lung
disease and most of the fires that the village
has suffered, says Ben Otieno, who manages
the Energy Hub in Nyandiwa. “Three houses
problem,” says Otieno. “Osram water, on the
other hand, is completely safe — and word of
that has spread throughout the village.” The water is safe thanks to a sophisticated
treatment unit that transforms rainwater col-
lected in a tank next to the hub into very pure
drinking water. The unit, which is powered by
rooftop solar cells, filters out large particles,
then passes the water through an activated
carbon filter that binds all chemical substances
and neutralizes odors. The water is then chan-
neled through a micro filter to remove the tini-
est substances. While this economic model may sound con-
vincing, in the beginning it didn’t generate
much interest, as is true of many development
projects. “People here tend to cling very strong-
ly to their traditions, and the social and deci-
sion-making structures are completely different
from those in industrialized countries,” Berner
explains. “For example, if a man is interested in
one of our lamps, it’s possible that his wife
might veto the decision because women are of-
ten responsible for the family budget in Africa.”
The Osram team therefore had to do a lot of
persuading and patiently establish new rela-
tionships. Nevertheless, as Berner reports, they
succeeded. “We now have about 600 cus-
tomers using the lamps from our three Kenyan
hubs, and 150 of them are fishermen,” he says. Light at Mama Austin’s. Although the clean,
bright lamps were originally developed for use
by fishermen, they are now increasingly being
used in local households. In the village of
Nyandiwa, around 50 kilometers south of Mbi-
ta, for example, the lamps can be found in a
store operated by Mama Austin. Her corrugat-
ed shack is packed with all kinds of merchan-
dise, and one wall is adorned with a poster of
U.S. President Barack Obama, whose grand-
mother lives nearby. A lone Osram lamp hangs
once burned down in just one month,” he re-
calls. “When that happens, the people are left
with literally nothing.” This is why Otieno be-
lieves the success of the project hinges on mak-
ing people aware of the health benefits offered
by the Osram lamps. Extremely Pure Drinking Water. The Energy
Hubs also provide drinking water — thanks in
part to the efforts of Otieno and his two col-
leagues, who have succeeded in convincing lo-
After that, the unit’s attention turns to any
remaining bacteria or viruses, which are ex-
posed to an 11-watt ultraviolet sterilization
lamp that disinfects the water. “Rain permit-
ting, we can process up to 3,000 liters of water
per day with the unit,” reports Otieno, “and the
quality of the water is superior to that offered
by our public wells.” Otieno is convinced that the self-sufficient
Energy Hubs with their integrated water purifi-
cation service have a bright future in Kenya,
One recharging at a solar hub is good for 12 hours of
light — and costs 30 percent less than kerosene.
cal people of the health benefits of pure water.
More and more people are now coming to the
small faucet at the front of the hub to fill their
canisters with water, paying two shillings per
liter. That’s an investment in good health,
Otieno believes, because many of the villagers
draw their water from Lake Victoria and drink it
without boiling it — although they wash their
clothes in the lake and use it as a toilet. “That’s why we are hit with a cholera epi-
demic here every year, and the lack of ade-
quate medical care makes that an enormous
and that they can successfully compete against
kerosene use. However, a new competitor will
soon be trying to lure away Energy Hub cus-
tomers: High-voltage power lines have now
reached some villages, posing a potential
threat to the energy pioneers’ prospects. Bern-
er doesn’t seem concerned, though. “The elec-
trical connection alone costs 32,000 shillings,
and then you have to pay the bills for the pow-
er you use,” he says. Hardly anyone can afford
that, Berner believes, adding that even people
who have electrical connections will use the re-
People who do not have access to grid electricity can lease energy-saving lamps at Osram Energy
Hubs — and obtain clean drinking water. Electricity
is provided by roof-mounted solar cells.
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 97
A vision of mobility is
emerging in which vehicles
not only deliver clean trans-
portation, but also store excess energy from renew-
able sources. New drive systems, battery, billing,
and smart grid technologies
are setting the stage for tomorrow’s energy and
transportation ecosystem.
96 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Innovations for New Markets | Mobility
Technicians convert a Porsche into an electric car with the help of Siemens technology.
Styrofoam fills the space that will later be occupied
by the engine and battery block (right). I
magine millions of electric vehicles in park-
ing lots and garages, each drawing power
from the grid. Now take the thought one step
further and imagine each vehicle returning
some of its stored energy to the grid during pe-
riods of peak power demand. That’s the vision
that is set to transform the automotive industry
over the next few years. It’s a vision that is not
possible with the internal combustion engine.
However, it can be achieved with a bidirec-
tional battery that can be charged up or used
as an energy source. This vision of electric mobility has come
about as the result of the convergence of a
number of factors.An increasing number of
people want to be mobile, while energy con-
sumption is rising dramatically, especially in
emerging markets such as India and China. In
the past, these demands were met mainly by
using fossil fuels. And indeed, for over 100
years cars have been powered by combustion
engines while electrical power has essentially
been produced by burning coal or natural gas. Time is running out, however, because fos-
sil resources are being depleted, and the CO
emissions they produce are accelerating cli-
mate change. More and more energy suppliers
are therefore utilizing renewable and CO
energy sources, such as wind and solar power.
The problem here, however, is that their yield
depends on the weather. As the share of elec-
tricity from such sources increases, so too does
the need to develop interim storage facilities
whose energy can be tapped at a moment’s
notice. One idea is to use batteries in electric
cars, which, depending on demand for electric-
ity and price, can either be recharged from any
Electric Ecosystem
power outlet or return electricity to the grid. If,
for example, a surplus of electricity is available,
as is often the case at night or during periods
of windy weather, prices could be lowered,
making it attractive to “fill up” at such times.
Conversely, if winds were calm, or a lot of elec-
tricity was being used during the day, the price
might rise accordingly, which would lead many
vehicle owners to sell their electricity back to
the grid at a profit. In fact, an intelligent management system
installed in each car could even make the deci-
sion itself, provided it knew how far its driver
planned to travel that day, and how much elec-
in electric cars. Achieving a range of 100 kilo-
meters for a mid-sized vehicle today requires a
battery with approximately 15 kilowatt-hours
of energy content. Such a battery currently
costs more than €10,000. However, there are
other options for such mobile power plants be-
sides having them financed through income
from electricity. For one thing, vehicle owners
wouldn’t necessarily have to buy the battery.
Instead, it could be leased from an energy sup-
plier. In other words, an energy company
would decentralize its energy storage capacity
and finance the battery through the latter’s
“secondary use.”
various research institutes. “My goal is to utilize
electric mobility to help achieve a break-
through for a new culture of mobility and a
new system of urban planning,” said German
Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee at the
conference. Environmental Minister Sigmar
Gabriel added that electric cars acting as buffer
storage units would establish an important link
to renewable energy sources. Such a development will become important
in Germany, Gabriel said, because the country
plans to increase the share of renewable en-
ergy sources in its electricity mix from around
15 percent today to as much as 40 percent by
tricity the battery would require for that dis-
tance. In any case, most cars sit idly for most of
the day, which means they could be continu-
ally connected to the grid from their office
parking spaces, parking lots or home garages.
Flexibly determining electricity prices in accor-
dance with supply and demand would also
eliminate any problem associated with many
vehicles trying to recharge at once, which of
course would cause prices to skyrocket. Cars that Generate Income. The rule of
thumb is that there should be some 300 elec-
tric vehicles as potential energy storage units
for every wind turbine with a peak output of
three megawatts. The existence of cars as mo-
bile storage units would kill two birds with one
stone. Assuming vehicle batteries could handle
numerous charging and discharging cycles, en-
ergy supply companies would be provided with
a buffer against surplus energy from renewable
sources, while vehicle owners would have a
source of income to help them finance their
relatively expensive batteries. In the foreseeable future, batteries will re-
main one of the most expensive components
Regardless of what form electric cars may
take, and what role they will play in the elec-
tricity mix, any future concept will need to in-
corporate the most important stakeholders:
electricity producers, automakers, suppliers,
and governments, whose policies should pave
the way for the necessary paradigm change. In Germany, a first step was taken in No-
vember 2008, when the Ministry of Economics
2020. Secretary for Economics and Technology
Dagmar Wöhrl added that it is essential for util-
ities to work closely with automakers, as exten-
sive R&D investment will be required — partic-
ularly in the fields of energy storage, vehicle
engineering, and power-grid integration. In fact, such alliances are already in place.
For instance, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen
are working with major German power suppli-
By storing energy that can be returned to the grid, electric cars can act as buffers for wind and solar power. and Technology (BMWi); the Ministry of Trans-
port, Building, and Urban Affairs (BMVBS); the
Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conser-
vation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU); and the Min-
istry of Education and Research (BMBF) held a
National Strategy Conference on Electric Mobil-
ity. The conference brought together energy
suppliers such as E.ON, RWE, and Evonik; au-
tomakers and suppliers such as Volkswagen,
Daimler, Continental, and Bosch; electrical and
electronics companies such as Siemens; and
ers such as Vattenfall, RWE, and Evonik. VW
also recently began working with Toshiba on
the development of battery technology. Power-
ful batteries are indeed the key to the entire vi-
sion, which is why their development has to be
supported, said Thomas Rachel from the BMBF. A total of €500 million could be spent on
mobility research over the next three years
within the framework of the German govern-
ment’s stimulus programs. Activities here could
include the development of an appropriate in-
Innovations for New Markets | Mobility
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 9998 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
frastructure and all aspects of electric vehicle
technology. Regardless of how the details turn
out, conference participants emphasized that
the overall goal is to make Germany the lead-
ing market for electric mobility.
Battery Alliance. Germany is already leading
the way when it comes to electric mobility
components for supplying energy or manufac-
turing electric automobiles. The country de-
signs the most efficient power plants, whether
conventional, wind powered, or solar-thermal
— and has also developed systems for low-loss
power transmission over great distances. As far as automobiles are concerned, Ger-
many remains a leader in electric motors and
vehicle electronic systems. However, the situa-
tion is different with regard to battery technol-
ogy. Here, most new developments are taking
place in China and Korea; only around one per-
cent of all lithium-ion batteries are manufac-
tured in Germany. Still, Germany has produced
some new developments, as evidenced by the
fact that a team of three scientists from
Evonik’s LiTec subsidiary was nominated for the
German Future Prize two years ago. The team
developed a separator for lithium-ion batteries
that prevents short circuits, thereby making the
high-performance units much more reliable.
This is important because lithium-ion cells are
regarded as being the only batteries capable of
powering electric cars. Basically, they are the
only batteries that can deliver the power den-
sity required for automotive transportation.
The BMBF has thus established a “Lithium-ion
Battery” alliance that will allow Germany to
catch up in this field. At the same time, the BMWi has launched a
“Mobility and Transport Technology” research
program to develop state-of-the-art drive sys-
tems. Here, in addition to hybrids, the focus is
on new power electronics systems for automo-
biles. A good electric vehicle requires a battery
with an energy content of 42 kilowatt-hours to
achieve a range of around 300 kilometers —in
other words an energy consumption level of 15
By 2020 there could easily be 4.5 million electric vehicles in Germany alone. kilowatt-hours per 100 kilometers. Assuming a
normal voltage of 230 volts and a current of 16
amps, it would take around 12 hours to com-
pletely charge such a battery. “But at 400 volts
and 25 amps, a driver could recharge in just
two hours,” says Professor Gernot Spiegelberg,
who heads an electric mobility team at
Siemens Corporate Technology. Every German
household has 400-volt potential because
that’s the voltage used by a normal three-
phase current connection. “The only thing
missing up until now has been a suitable inter-
face between vehicles and the grid,” he adds. Spiegelberg’s team, which works closely
with Siemens’ Energy and Industry Sectors, is
the hub for the company’s electric mobility re-
search and development effort. The team’s fo-
cus is on electric vehicle system requirements
and the design of a mobility power grid infra-
structure. Among other things, Siemens engi-
neers are examining power generation and dis-
tribution options, transport and energy
management systems, smart metering, power
electronics, software, sensors and, of course,
electric drives and the recovery and storage of
energy. In addition to serving as energy stor-
age units, electric drives could also become an
important part of Siemens’ Environmental Port-
folio. That’s because they utilize energy more
efficiently than combustion engines. “I believe that in Germany alone, there is po-
tential for 4.5 million electric vehicles on the
road by 2020,” says Spiegelberg. “All of these
vehicles could get their power from the exist-
ing grid. And that’s just a conservative esti-
mate, because these vehicles would only add
up to about half of the second cars owned by
families, most of which never travel over 70
kilometers a day.” As a consequence, one out
of every ten vehicles in Germany would no
longer use gasoline. Selling Miles instead of Cars. Germany is
not the only country pursuing new electric mo-
bility concepts; ideas are also being generated
and implemented in the U.S., Australia, Israel,
and Denmark, as well as in other nations. In
California, a start-up called Better Place is ad-
dressing the entire value chain for a modern
mobility system based on renewable energy
sources. Launched two years ago, Better Place
is working on the creation of a comprehensive
infrastructure for the operation of electric vehi-
cles. Following the concept used to attract mo-
bile phone customers, Better Place plans to
provide its customers with cars at discount
prices — or even for free. Customers would
then pay for the distances traveled, with their
invoices based solely on the actual number of
kilometers driven. Better Place believes it can
provide customers with a better kilometer-
based leasing deal for electric vehicles than can
be obtained for a vehicle with a combustion
engine. Here, battery stations designed like gas
automotive companies there. At the 2008
Geneva Motor Show, for example, a Chinese
plug-in hybrid electric vehicle known as the
“F3DM” was unveiled by a company called Build
Your Dream (BYD). The car is equipped with a
small-volume combustion engine (1.0 liters
displacement), a complete electric drive sys-
tem, and a battery/storage unit that can be
charged both internally via a generator and/or
The Electric Mobility Value Chain Takes Shape
1 Energy suppliers integrate all forms of energy, from fossil to renewable, which is why intelligent power grids must be flexible and resilient.
2 An infrastructure consisting of charging stations and invoicing devices is established at public buildings and major parking lots.
3 Batteries in electric cars not only store electricity but return it to the grid if necessary. Internet-enabled cell phones are used to display all the key parameters regarding smart metering.
4 Electricity is traded like stocks, with each electric vehicle driver freely choosing to buy or sell, depending on the current price.
5 The electric car makes it possible to realize new vehicle concepts that include new electronic driver assistance systems that provide added comfort, entertainment, and safety. Service providers can utilize overarching standards to put together and market electric mobility packages. In such a setup, drivers don’t purchase a car, but instead pay for the number of kilometers they travel.
A Porsche is transformed as (from left) an electric motor is bolted onto the battery blocks, after which
the resulting module is integrated into the body and
the batteries are mounted on the rear. stations would enable batteries low on energy
to be quickly exchanged for fully-charged ones. Better Place has entered a partnership with
Renault-Nissan and plans to work with local en-
ergy utilities to establish energy infrastructures
in various countries. The first electric car-based
systems are expected to be up and running by
German companies have also recognized
the market potential offered by electric vehicles
and are working hard to develop appropriate
solutions. Daimler, for example, is looking to
establish an alliance with energy provider RWE
that would standardize battery charging sta-
tions. The fact that Abu Dhabi recently decided
to become a major Daimler shareholder ap-
pears to confirm that the automaker is on the
right track. Through Daimler, Abu Dhabi is
banking on an accelerated transition from
combustion engines to alternative drive sys-
tems, thus preparing itself for the “post-oil era.”
Similarly, BMW and Volkswagen are working
with energy companies — among other things
in order to determine which types of infrastruc-
ture are necessary for different mobility re-
quirements. Their ultimate goal is to establish a
foundation for the widespread introduction of
electric vehicles. The electric automobile revolution could
end up taking place in Asia, however, as com-
pletely new players are now joining traditional
by exploiting braking energy recovery, or exter-
nally at a conventional 230-volt outlet. The ve-
hicle’s range in the pure electric mode is 110
kilometers, which is more than the average
one-day requirement of most commuters. BYD, which is headquartered in Shenzhen in
the Chinese province of Guangdong, was es-
tablished in 1995. It now has 120,000 employ-
ees and is one of the top 20 companies in
China. For six years now, its 6,000 engineers
have been intensively studying and developing
hybrid and electric vehicles. Thanks to Chinese
expertise in the field of Li-ion batteries, which
comes from decades of experience with cell
phones and PCs, BYD is one of the few au-
tomakers anywhere that can independently de-
velop and produce the battery technology re-
quired for modern electric vehicles. F3DM production for the Chinese market is
already under way, and preparations are being
made for the production of export models. BYD
has also announced that at the end of 2009, it
will launch the BYD e6, a pure electric car that
will have a range of 290 kilometers.
Outstanding Well-to-Wheel Efficiency. In
addition to energy storage technology, devel-
opers are also focusing on the drive train as a
key electric mobility technology. In principle,
drive trains for electric cars can be designed
much more simply than is the case with gaso-
Tomorrow’s Vehicle Alphabet The term “electric mobility” is generally used to refer to personal transport in vehicles that are driven
by an electric motor and/or are equipped with batteries that store a relevant amount of energy. These
vehicles are classified as follows:
HEV = Hybrid Vehicle: Combination of an electric drive and a combustion engine
PHEV = Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle: Hybrid vehicle with power-grid connectability
BEV = Battery-Electric Vehicle: Purely electric vehicle
FCV = Fuel Cell Vehicle: A vehicle that produces its own electricity through a chemical process.
Many hybrid vehicles are already available on the market, and scaled-up production of all-electric vehicles will soon be launched.
100 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 101
Back to the Future
On April 29, 1882, Werner Siemens drove the Elek-
tromote — an electrically powered carriage — along
a 540-meter test track in Halensee near Berlin.
Siemens’ invention was not only the first electric ve-
hicle, but also the world’s first trolley bus. The Elek-
tromote was followed in 1905 by the Electric Victo-
ria, which rolled through Berlin as a taxi and delivery
vehicle at a top speed of 24 kilometers per hour. Al-
though these vehicles were well ahead of their time,
their low battery capacities, speeds, and range
couldn’t compete with internal combustion engines. This state of affairs has lasted more than 100
years, and the rule of thumb even today remains that one liter of gasoline equates to nine kilowatt-
hours. A lithium-ion battery with that sort of content weighs around 100 kilograms. Still, an electric
car can travel around 60 kilometers on that energy, while a gasoline-powered vehicle will only manage
10 to 20 kilometers. This range superiority is due to the fact that electric motors are roughly four times
as efficient as combustion engines. Lithium-ion batteries are familiar as high-performance energy stor-
age devices in cell phones, PDAs, and laptops. They can store two to three times as much energy as
conventional nickel-cadmium batteries of the same weight. However, a €10,000 Li-ion battery would
be required to power a passenger car that uses 15 kilowatt-hours per 100 kilometers. Mass production
will thus be required to bring prices down to affordable levels. Innovations for New Markets | Mobility
line or diesel engines because no transmission,
differential, or drive shaft are required — a situ-
ation that is similar to that of 100 years ago
when electric automobile pioneers built wheel
hub motor vehicles. A wheel hub motor is a
machine directly installed in the wheel, which
means part of the motor turns with the wheel. But unlike the mechanical systems of the
past, the drive systems of the future will have
brains. Intelligent electronic systems will man-
age components, charging and discharging
procedures, as well as the brake energy recov-
ery processes. And all of this will be designed
to ensure that the energy efficiency, and thus
the environmental soundness, of electric cars is
much higher than the values achievable by
combustion engines. The well-to-wheel effi-
ciency (from energy source to operation) of a
good electric vehicle today is over 70 percent –
based on renewable energy sources –, whereas
the efficiency rating of most combustion
engines is only around 20 percent. prototype vehicles with electric drive trains
from Siemens. “At the Geneva Motor Show in
March 2009, we presented our drive systems in
the “iChange” concept car, which was built by
Rinspeed, and in the eRuf Greenster, a vehicle
produced by Alois Ruf,” he says. Rinspeed, a Swiss firm headed by visionary
Frank Rinderknecht, is well-known for its for-
ward-looking concept cars. Measuring around
one meter in height and 4.28 meters in length,
the “iChange” is equipped with a 150-kilowatt-
hour electric motor from Siemens Drive Tech-
nologies that allows it to accelerate from 0 to
100 kilometers per hour in only 4.2 seconds. The car’s top speed is 220 kilometers per
hour. However, when completely charged and
operating at full output, the vehicle has a
range of only 90 kilometers. The car’s lithium-
ion batteries, which are produced by Gaia, a
company located in Nordhausen, Germany, can
be recharged in about three hours at a conven-
tional electrical outlet.
manufacture a small lot of successor models
that will employ a dual-motor concept. This so-
called “eRuf” will be the first electric car in the
world with a bidirectional power connection,
which will allow it to be recharged within an
hour at a 380-volt electrical outlet — without
the extra electrical circuitry typically required
for recharging. The bidirectional system will
also permit it to feed energy back into the
power grid via the same socket. A small group
of the cars is expected to hit the road in 2010. “As wonderful and powerful as these elec-
tric cars are, we mustn’t forget that the vehicles
themselves are just one link in an electric mo-
bility chain,” says Manfried Kruska, whose work
in Siemens’ Energy Sector focuses on electric
mobility from an infrastructural perspective.
Much still needs to be done here. For instance:
➔Power grids have to be able to react cor-
rectly and quickly to fluctuations in the supply
of electricity from renewable energy sources
such as wind and solar facilities.
➔Standards must be defined regarding the
charging voltage of the power electronics, and
a decision needs to be made as to whether the
recharging processes should be controlled by a
system within the vehicle or one installed at
the charging station.
➔Components for bidirectional operations
and flexible billing for electricity still need to be
developed if passenger cars are to be used as
electricity storage media. And all these things
must be part of the smart grid of the future.
Cars Join the Grid. Siemens has years of ex-
perience and tremendous expertise in all as-
pects of the energy supply chain. The company
is thus ideally suited to help design tomorrow’s
electric mobility system — from vehicle parts
to power grid components. With this in mind, when Tobias Wittmann
from Siemens’ Energy Sector attended the Na-
tional Strategy Conference on Electric Mobility
in Berlin in 2008, he presented a software pro-
gram known as the “Vehicle-to-Grid Scenario.”
The software, which simulates the interaction
between centralized and distributed energy
systems, demonstrates the role electric cars
will play as both energy consumers and energy
sources. It illustrates how vehicles will be able
to draw and store cheap electricity at night,
and then sell the power back to the grid at a
profit during the day.
Siemens’ Energy Sector established a re-
search alliance for such a system in February
2009, when it signed an agreement to join an
international consortium in Denmark known as
the EDISON project. EDISON stands for “Electric
vehicles in a Distributed and Integrated market
using Sustainable energy and Open Networks.” “The goal of the project is to standardize
electrical energy-storage equipment and
charging and discharging technologies for elec-
tric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles,” says
Sven Holthusen, head of Siemens’ activities in
the consortium. “Our job is to study the poten-
tial for connecting electric vehicles to the pub-
lic grid.” As a partner in the EDISON project, Siemens
is responsible for coordinating and delivering
key technologies, such as those needed for
charging stations and associated control sys-
tems that ensure optimal utilization of battery
capacities. At the heart of the overall setup are
the power electronics and communication sys-
tems for managing battery charging and feed-
in to the grid.
All of this plugs in smartly with Denmark’s
plans, which call for 50 percent of its electricity
to be generated by wind by 2020. As a result,
the country sees the development of solutions
for storing excess electricity as crucial. “If you
don’t utilize a storage option with wind, you
need to install six times the normal output in
order to ensure a sufficient and constant sup-
ply of power,” explains Spiegelberg. Mobile Power Plants. Connecting electric ve-
hicles to the power grid poses a particular chal-
lenge, as large amounts of energy will need to
flow quickly and in both directions if the electri-
cal energy from batteries is to be used as so-
called “regulating energy” during peak times.
Regulating energy refers to the energy a power
network operator must provide in order to off-
set frequency fluctuations in the network,
which arise when more energy is being used
than the base-load power plants are capable of
supplying. Regulating energy then has to be
supplied at short notice from natural gas
plants, pumped storage hydropower stations,
thermal plants, or energy storage units. “This is
a challenge we are well equipped for,” says
Kruska. “We already have most of the compo-
nents, systems, and solutions needed to estab-
lish an infrastructure to connect electric vehi-
cles to the power grid. Our know-how covers
switchgear, inverters, and control technology
— but we also have network design expertise,
SIPLINK for network coupling, and local grid
As new as some of this sounds, the associ-
ated Siemens innovations go back many years.
In fact, the electric car is older than the com-
bustion engine vehicle invented by Carl Benz in
1885/86. “The pioneering determination of our
engineers to establish electric mobility has a
tradition extending back more than 100 years,”
said Siemens CEO Peter Löscher at the com-
pany’s Annual Meeting in January 2009. “After
all, it was in 1882 that Werner Siemens pre-
sented the first electric vehicle, which he called
the Elektromote. Today, electric vehicles have a
much greater chance of becoming widespread
than they did back then — at least in terms of
urban transportation. What hasn’t changed,
however, is the pioneering spirit with which
Siemens researchers and developers are work-
ing to achieve a major breakthrough for electric
vehicles.” Klaudia Kunze
Electric motors are roughly four times as efficient as combustion engines
In October 2008, Alois Ruf, a German com-
pany that specializes in modifying Porsches,
presented an electric Porsche that it now plans
to further develop with Spiegelberg. “For the
prototype in Geneva, we used an integrated
system consisting of a motor and generator,
power electronics, and an interface with a bat-
tery connection,” Spiegelberg explains. The electric Porsche presented in Geneva by
RUF Automobile GmbH contains a preliminary
version of the innovative eDrive system from
Siemens Corporate Technology. The prototype
has a central motor with an output of 270 kilo-
watt-hours and torque of 950 newton meters.
When driven in a moderate manner, it has a
range of around 200 kilometers. Ruf plans to
Specialty manufacturer Ruf unveiled its eCar and inte-
grated motor, generator, and power electronics sys-
tem from Siemens at the Geneva Motor Show. The
motor for the iChange (right) is also from Siemens.
Even if the power for electric cars isn’t gen-
erated from renewable sources such as wind
and sun, the level of CO
emissions from such
vehicles is still much lower than that of any
combustion engine. That’s because power
plants in the global electricity mix emit some
600 grams of CO
per kilowatt-hour, which cor-
responds to 90 grams for every kilometer
driven by an electric car. That’s a lot less than
the 120 to 160 grams of CO
emitted per kilo-
meter by a typical mid-range automobile with a
combustion engine.
High-Speed Electric. Spiegelberg, who is a
recognized expert in the field of electric drive
systems, was instrumental in equipping two
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 103102 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
ind power generation is a relatively new
technology. It was only 30 years ago, in
1979, that the first wind turbine — with an
output of 22 kilowatts — entered service in
Denmark. Today, these zero-emission genera-
tion units can produce well over 100 times that
output, in addition to also achieving a maxi-
mum efficiency of 45 percent. So no one
should be surprised that the wind turbine busi-
ness is booming, especially with the looming
threat of climate change and the general de-
pletion of resources that the world is experi-
encing. Energy from the wind is also rapidly be-
Bright Future for Wind Power
ness year 2008 alone, the company was
awarded contracts for the installation of 1,500
MW of output. Orders here include 130 units,
each with an output of 2.3 MW, to be delivered
to two wind parks in Washington State, and
141 units of the same size that will be set up at
Biglow Canyon Wind Farm in Oregon. The com-
bined total output of these units is enough to
provide 180,000 American households with
environmentally-friendly electricity. In September 2007, Siemens put into oper-
ation its first U.S. rotor blade factory in Fort
Madison, Iowa, in order to more effectively
Innovations for New Markets | Interview | Saving Energy in the U.S.
Eileen Claussen,63, is the
President of the Pew Center
on Global Climate Change
and Strategies for the Global
Environment (www. pewcli-, a non-profit,
non-partisan organization
that produces reports and
analyses for policy makers.
She is a former Assistant
Secretary of State for
Oceans and International
Environmental and Scien-
tific Affairs. Prior to joining
the Department of State,
Ms. Claussen served as a
Special Assistant to the Pres-
ident and Senior Director for
Global Environmental Af-
fairs at the National Security
Council. She has also served
as Chairman of the United
Nations Multilateral Mon-
treal Protocol Fund. Ms.
Claussen was Director of At-
mospheric Programs at the
U.S. Environmental Protec-
tion Agency, where she was
responsible for energy effi-
ciency programs, including
the Green Lights and Energy
Star programs.
Strategies for a More Energy-Efficient U.S.
To what extent can the U.S. realistically
reduce its greenhouse gas emissions?
Claussen:The U.S. Climate Action Partnership
— USCAP — a coalition of corporations and
NGOs that includes, among others, both the
Pew Center and Siemens, issued a blueprint in
January 2009 that includes targets for green-
house gas emissions reduction that are ambi-
tious yet realistic. It calls for achieving at least
1990 levels by 2020. This is tougher than it
sounds because the U.S. is now about 14 per-
cent above its 1990 levels, which makes it
nearly impossible for us to achieve Europe’s
goal of reducing total greenhouse gas emis-
sions by 20 percent by 2020. However, I think
that by 2030 we will probably be able to catch
to find a substitute for it for some time. So it is
imperative that we develop affordable tech-
nologies that allow us to separate and se-
quester CO
. By the same token, we must also
develop carbon-free ways of generating elec-
tricity. Then there is transportation, which ac-
counts for 30 percent of U.S. emissions. Here,
we will have to come up with a low carbon
fuel standard and move in the direction of hy-
brids and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. So
we have to find some way of decarbonizing
our transportation system. Finally, in terms of
buildings, one of the major problems in the
U.S. is our patchwork of local codes. But if
there is a price on carbon, owners will start to
pay attention. People will want more efficient
up with Europe. By then, we are talking about
a reduction of about 28 percent as compared
with 1990 levels, and a reduction of 66 per-
cent by 2050. How can the U.S. achieve these goals?
Claussen:The most important thing is to put
a price on carbon, and the best way to do so is
by implementing a cap and trade regime — a
system that caps total emissions and allows
companies that pollute less to sell credits to
those that pollute more. That, more than any-
thing else, will spur innovation. It will get us to
deal with energy efficiency issues and it will
spur us to move into new technologies and
create incentives for investing in the cleanest
forms of energy — meaning renewables. In ad-
dition, we will have to implement tough effi-
ciency standards for vehicles, appliances and
industrial machines. We are already on the
right track. Twenty-four U.S. states are in-
volved in a patchwork of cap and trade sys-
tems, and I anticipate that we will have a na-
tional policy in this area within two years. In
terms of setting stricter standards, California’s
mileage proposal is likely to be enacted on a
national basis. If approved, it would require
cars and trucks to get an average of 43 miles
per gallon by 2020 as compared with 25 today. Which technologies offer the greatest
promise of reducing CO
Claussen: I think the most important technol-
ogy issue today is the burning of coal for elec-
tricity. Coal accounts for about 50 percent of
U.S. electricity and 80 percent of China’s. It is
the largest single source of carbon dioxide
emissions and it is unlikely that we will be able
heating and cooling systems, better windows,
and much more, including passive buildings,
which are energy self sufficient. Steve Chu, the
new Secretary of Energy, will help us get there.
Can the U.S. ratify the Kyoto Protocol?
Claussen:The problem is that we are now so
far behind the emissions reduction targets that
we can’t ratify it. As a result, I believe that the
approach of the Obama Administration will be
to see how much real progress we make on do-
mestic legislation, and then see what we can
realistically agree to with regard to Kyoto.
That’s why the idea of having a ratifiable
agreement by December 2009 — the upcom-
ing Copenhagen summit — may not be practi-
cal for the U.S. Nevertheless, getting a global
agreement here is very important. This could
be a strong interim agreement that puts a full,
final and ratifiable treaty within reach. Other
countries are looking to us to make the first
move. We have to put something on the table.
On the other hand, India and China must get
on a cleaner path. So I think that everybody
has to play a part. Everybody will have to make
changes. Some — like the U.S. — will have to
make major changes. Others — like India and
China — will need more time. But no one can
afford to stand on the sidelines.
What can Siemens do to help make the
U.S. economy greener?
Claussen:I think the fact that Siemens is part
of USCAP is very important. USCAP is a combi-
nation of NGOs and industry, and because of
that, I believe that it will have a disproportion-
ate effect on what our ultimate CO
will look like. You see, the private sector has a
much better idea than does government as to
what is possible from a technological point of
view, and what will spur innovation. So it is im-
portant for Siemens to continue to make the
case for reduced CO
legislation with those
lawmakers who think this will ruin the econ-
omy. I think Siemens has a pretty good idea of
how to move forward in this area, and I think
this strategy will probably be quite effective.
Is this a win-win strategy?
Claussen:Well, obviously, there is a lot of
money to be made in terms of offering effi-
cient solutions that cut CO
emissions and pro-
tect the environment. But governments need
to hear these arguments. They don’t necessar-
ily know these things themselves. This is one
of the reasons that we formed the Pew Center
and work with 44 companies on our Business
Environmental Leadership Council.
Will the Clean Air Act eventually cover
greenhouse gas emissions as pollutants?
Claussen:I think that the Environmental Pro-
tection Agency (EPA) will have to do an “en-
dangerment finding” indicating that CO
sions are a danger to the environment. They
have actually done all the work on that al-
ready, but it was disregarded by the previous
Administration. So, yes, I think EPA will start to
move and I believe this Congress will enact cap
and trade legislation as its enforcement vehicle
for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting CO
emissions is expensive. But
what about the costs of not cutting them?
Claussen:The fundamental debate is be-
tween those who see investing in avoiding cli-
mate change as a cost, and those who view it
as a benefit. I think we also need to look at the
cost of not doing something. The Stern report
was a first step in this direction. It found that
the cost of not acting was much higher than
that of acting. Now, I don’t know if I believe all
its numbers. But I think in terms of direction, it
is correct. The cost of weather extremes,
famines, droughts, and biodiversity impacts
are enormous. They far exceed the cost of do-
ing something. So not dealing with climate
change is not an option. Furthermore, the
more we wait, the more emissions will grow
and the more we will have to reduce later on.
We have waited much too long already.
Interview by Arthur F. Pease
In the U.S., Siemens manufactures rotor blades and has installed turbines with a total output of over 2,700 MW. coming more popular in the U.S. — not least
because the country’s new administration has
set itself the goal of increasing the share of re-
newable energy sources in the U.S. electricity
mix to 25 percent by 2025. By comparison, the
share of electricity from such sources was only
2.5 percent in 2007, according to the U.S. En-
ergy Information Administration. Nevertheless,
the conditions required for this tremendous
shift are in place. The U.S. is already the world’s
largest wind energy market — and Siemens is
one of that market’s leading suppliers.
Siemens has installed wind power facilities
with a combined output of more than 2,700
megawatts (MW) in the U.S. to date; in busi-
meet the country’s growing demand for wind
power. Since then, the facility has been pro-
ducing around 600 rotor blades per year for the
U.S. market. Each of these blades is 45 meters
long and weighs 12 tons. The plant has already
reached the limits of its manufacturing capac-
ity, which it is now planned to double.
Siemens also recently commissioned the
construction of a new research and develop-
ment center in Boulder, Colorado. Work at the
center will be focused on improving the aero-
dynamics, static properties, and reliability of
Siemens’ wind turbines, thereby further con-
solidating the company’s leadership in the U.S.
wind energy sector. sw
104 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
Innovations for New Markets | Saving Energy in the U.S.
One of every three trams and light-rail systems in North America is built by Siemens. The systems help to reduce traffic jams and carbon dioxide emissions. Membrane filters: very clean water, no chemicals.
St. Elizabeth’s saves over one million dollars per year.
uildings are real energy hogs. They account
for roughly 40 percent of all energy con-
sumption worldwide, and their electricity and
heat consumption are responsible for about 21
percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
But modern technology can change that
gloomy picture, reducing building energy con-
sumption by around 30 percent — without sac-
rificing comfort. Siemens is among the world’s
leading companies specializing in this field. To
date, Siemens has used its energy-efficient, en-
vironmentally-friendly solutions to optimize
more than 6,500 buildings worldwide, realiz-
ing total energy savings of more than €2 billion
and annual CO
emission reductions of 1.2 mil-
lion tons.
The majority of these buildings are in the
U.S. At one location — St. Elizabeth Health
Center in Youngstown, Ohio — efficient venti-
lation and lighting systems have been provid-
ing an atmosphere conducive to well-being
since 2002. And the hospital also covers most
of its energy needs by means of a special
waste-incineration plant. In the first four years
alone, the hospital’s operators saved more than
Green Buildings Save Big Bucks
$5 million on energy costs and were honored
together with Siemens in 2006, receiving the
Governor’s Award for Excellence in Energy, an
honor presented by the State of Ohio.
And in Las Vegas, Nevada, Siemens is cur-
rently equipping a gigantic construction proj-
ect with environmentally-friendly technology.
Here, the MGM Mirage hotel chain is building
its CityCenter facility, a complex with about
5,500 rooms, a theater, conference center,
shopping mall, and even its own power plant.
When this “city within a city” opens, a multi-
tude of Siemens lighting systems, combined
heat and power facilities, water treatment sys-
tems, automation systems and motors — for
example compressors for the air conditioning
systems — will ensure a comfortable stay for
guests. Siemens solutions for the project will
also satisfy the demanding efficiency require-
ments of the U.S. Green Building Council, an
organization dedicated to sustainability. Using
efficient solutions like these pays off. For ex-
ample, most of the motors provided by
Siemens are so efficient that they will be amor-
tized within one to two years. T
ransportation accounts for approximately
14 percent of the world’s total annual
greenhouse gas emissions — and a consider-
able amount of vehicle emissions is caused by
traffic congestion. Traffic jams in the U.S.
alone, for example, generate approximately 25
million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions
each year. Advanced transportation solutions can pro-
vide relief — and Siemens’ Mobility Division is
one of the market leaders for such solutions in
the United States. Melding Public Transport and Traffic Guidance
ater treatment plants need to filter out a
variety of substances from dirty water,
including germs, agriculture-related toxins, and
heavy metals such as lead. One of the most ef-
fective water treatment procedures involves
the use of membrane filters that are being de-
veloped by Siemens in the United States. The
filters’ fine hairline fibers hold back viruses,
bacteria, and tiny particles when polluted wa-
ter is pressed through them at high pressure.
What’s more, this process does not require the
use of chemical additives. Clean Water for
Growing Cities
Siemens, the number one company in
North America for water and wastewater treat-
ment facilities, has installed more than 1,650
membrane systems to date in the U.S. alone.
One of the systems can be found in Waxa-
hachie, Texas. Faced with a rapidly growing
population, in the spring of 2009 the city put
into operation a new water treatment plant
containing four filter units from Siemens. The
facility processes 77.6 million liters of water
daily, and plans call for its capacity to be in-
creased to more than 300 million liters per day
over the next few decades. Another city that is preparing for projected
population growth with Siemens technology is
Scottsdale, Arizona. There, Siemens has ex-
panded the water treatment facility and
equipped it with membrane technology. The
plant now purifies 190 million liters of water a
day, compared to its previous daily capacity of
76.5 million liters. Because of their modular design, Siemens
water filters can be used on a very small scale
as well. One example is offered by the portable
water treatment solution known as SkyHy-
drant, which can purify 10,000 liters of drink-
ing water per day. The system is used mainly in
areas where people have no access to clean
drinking water — in parts of Kenya, for exam-
ple, as well as in regions of China and
Bangladesh that have been devastated by natu-
ral disasters. sw
Over the past few years, the company has
repeatedly demonstrated the benefits offered
by efficient, local public-transport networks —
and today, one out of every three trams and
light-rail systems in North America is built by
Siemens. Cities including Los Angeles, San
Diego, Houston, and Denver use light-rail sys-
tems from Siemens, which helps to get cars off
the streets while also reducing the burden on
the environment. Such systems, however, represent only one
of several options available for significantly re-
ducing road traffic. The Mobility Division’s
long-term goal in the U.S. is therefore to pool
and effectively utilize all traffic-related infor-
mation. The first step here has already been
taken, with one of every six cities in the U.S. al-
ready using a traffic guidance system from
Siemens. In the future, transport by car and
train will be more effectively aligned with one
another through the use of additional solu-
tions, such as public transportation informa-
tion systems, all of which will help to further
reduce CO
emissions. sw
Siemens is playing a key role in an equally
exciting project in Houston, Texas, where the
city government intends to modernize its pub-
lic buildings. The planning for this multi-phase
project calls for Siemens to initially analyze the
optimization potential of the 271 structures in
question and then determine which solutions
can be used to upgrade them. The project also
could deliver enormous savings. Experts are ex-
pecting not only environmental benefits, but
also annual cost reductions totaling several
million dollars. sw
In Brief Siemens develops products and technolo-
gies that are cost-effective, reliable and easy
to operate. These S.M.A.R.T. technologies
(Simple, Maintenance-friendly, Affordable,
Reliable, Timely to market) are customized
to the needs of developing and emerging nations and cost much less than conventional
solutions. (p. 74)
Siemens is developing the kinds of region-
ally customized solutions that are in particu-
larly high demand in India, including mobile
water treatment systems and small power
plants that generate environment-friendly
electricity from coconuts. The company is also
developing intelligent camera systems that
can even recognize the size and polish of a
grain of rice, yet remain affordable. (p. 83)
Siemens is developing customized innova-
tions in China. These range from a system
that autonomously monitors wind parks, and
thus substantially cuts maintenance costs, to
combinations of traditional Chinese and Western medicine. (p. 78)
In an interview, Rajendra K. Pachauri, No-
bel Peace Prize Laureate and Chairman of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
says he hopes India will make comprehensive
use of renewable energies and provide the
poorest of its citizens with access to these energy source. (p. 84) Around 40 percent of cars in Brazil run on
alcohol made from sugar cane, and this figure
is expected to rise significantly in the future.
Siemens is doing its part by providing technol-
ogy that saves energy when transforming
sugar into fuel. (p. 88)
For generations, people living around Lake Victoria in Kenya have been using
kerosene lamps to catch fish and light their
homes. However, these lamps pose a threat to both health and the environment. Osram is conducting a pilot project that offers people in the area an alternative: battery-
powered lamps that provide clean, safe light-
ing and can be recharged at solar-powered
“hubs.” (p. 92)
S.M.A.R.T. Innovations for China:
Dr. Arding Hsu, CT
Jian Hui Xing, CT
Qiu Wei, CT
S.M.A.R.T. Solutions for India:
Dr. Mukul Saxena, CT
Dr. Zubin Varghese, CT
Dr. Vishnu Swaminathan, CT
Sameer Prakash, Industry
Fuel from Sugar Cane:
Paulo Costa, Industry
Osram Energy Hubs:
Wolfgang Gregor, Osram
Jochen Berner, Osram
Electric Mobility:
Prof. Dr. Gernot Spiegelberg, CT T P
Manfried Kruska, Energy
Sven Holthusen, Energy
Dr. Richard Woodling, Siemens Water Technologies Singapore
Klaus Heidinger, “City of Tomorrow,” Singa-
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Global Nature
Energy Research Institute New Delhi:
“Lighting a Billion Lives” Initiative:
Infosys Technologies India:
Siemens Water Technologies:
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 105
| Preview Fall 2009 Preview
Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009 107
Roads to New Realities
The ability to merge different sources of information offers the potential of making
complex objects transparent. Whether a
surgeon is attempting to place a needle in
exactly the right spot, or engineers are
planning modifications to a plant while
avoiding damage to structures embedded
in floors or walls, the ability to see through
surfaces offers fundamental advantages
and enormous economic value. In medical
and industrial areas, Siemens is helping
customers to visualize and optimize
processes before they happen. Smart Grids According to the International Energy
Agency, by 2030 we will be consuming 50
percent more energy; yet, an ever-growing
proportion of of that energy will come
from renewable sources. But because renewable energy is unpredictable, smart
grids are necessary. Such grids will main-
tain a balance between energy production
from renewable sources, conventional
sources, and new storage media such as
millions of cars outfitted with electric batteries — not to mention consumers
linked through wide-ranging networks. Train to Tomorrow
Modernizing Infrastructures
Efficiency is indispensable — not only to protect the environment, but also to reduce
operating costs. That applies equally to power plants, industrial facilities, traffic net-
works, and water supply systems. But what happens when the infrastructure is out-
dated or demand has already been satisfied and large investments must be avoided if
possible? In these cases, sophisticated modernization programs can help. Even simple
measures can significantly boost the performance and service life of older facilities.
Would you like to know more
about Siemens and our latest
106 Pictures of the Future | Spring 2009
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Lang, Katrin Nikolaus, Bernd Müller, Dr. Brigitte Röthlein, Dr. Jeanne Rubner, Kirstin Schliekau, Tim Schröder, Rolf Sterbak, Dr. Sylvia Trage, Dr. Evdoxia Tsakiridou, Thomas Veser, Julia Wetjen, Nikola Wohllaib
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Photo Credits: Look (6 a.r.), Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte (12, 13 l.),
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