Saildrone develops next generation ocean data products with Siemens Xcelerator as a Service

Siemens Digital Industries Software announced today that Saildrone, a California-based company that designs, manufactures, and operates a fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), has adopted Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio, including cloud-enabled Xcelerator as a Service solution, enabling it to innovate faster and more collaboratively across the entire organization without the burden of a traditional IT infrastructure.

Saildrone has adopted the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio for product design, engineering and manufacturing, including NX™ software for 3D product engineering and Teamcenter® X for product lifecycle management (PLM). The interoperability offered by Siemens Xcelerator enables Saildrone to easily integrate mechanical and electronic design information. In addition to helping manage product engineering complexity, Saildrone has used Teamcenter X to improve data and collaboration between disciplines. Teamcenter X is part of Siemens’ Xcelerator as a Service solutions that leverage the cloud to provide accessible, flexible and scalable access to the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio to help make digital transformation happen faster.

“Our products have become more complex and managing that has necessitated having better 3D CAD and PLM. Our primary focus is engineering — building new products, making our drones and our mission services better — not having to manage and update an on-premise server,” said Andrew Schultz, Chief Technology Officer, Saildrone. “We decided to adopt Siemens’ Xcelerator as a Service solutions because we’re a cloud first company. With a lightweight IT and DevOps team, Siemens’ expertise and its Teamcenter X infrastructure scales well with our company. It’s been great having the bulk of the Teamcenter X configuration just set up out of the box.”

Saildrone provides comprehensive turnkey data solutions for maritime security, ocean mapping, and ocean data. Its fleet of wind and solar-powered autonomous surface vehicles make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. Operating as a mission or data as a service business, Saildrone asks its customers what data they need, from where and the time frame for the collection process. Data is delivered in real time to government and private customers around the globe.

Most impressively, Saildrone USVs do all of this work with a minimal environmental impact, both in terms of how they are powered and their interaction with the environment (using passive acoustics for mapping, for example). The Saildrone wing technology enables a mission duration of up to 12 months, without the need to return to land for maintenance or refueling. Saildrone USVs travel at an average speed between two to six knots under wind power and can reach most ocean locations within 30 days from the closest shore and cover large survey areas. Whether it is collecting map data of the seabed for a new offshore windfarm, avoiding an unmapped canyon or a coral field or security and maritime domain awareness or looking for illegal fishing or drug running, Saildrone puts more eyes and ears in the ocean.

“We chose Teamcenter X because it’s very important to have a single source of truth for engineering, especially being a small startup, we really wanted to have an industry respected solution that large companies and small companies rely on,” Schultz continued. “We have had great success getting adoption and use throughout the company. Manufacturing uses it for purchasing and building of our components in our drones, then our finance and G&A teams also use to track inventory. Having Teamcenter X integrate with our other back-end systems has been really important.”

“Saildrone’s adoption of Xcelerator as a Service demonstrates how Siemens is bringing the benefits of the world’s most comprehensive digital twin to a much wider audience than has historically been possible,” said Brenda Discher, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Marketing, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “Pioneers need an industrial grade, leading-edge platform to achieve their goals and to explore the boundaries of innovation, autonomy and sustainability and we are delivering in an accessible, open and flexible manner.”

To learn more about Saildrone and its use of Siemens Xcelerator, watch our Youtube video.

Siemens Digital Industries Software is driving transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing and electronics design meet tomorrow. The Xcelerator portfolio helps companies of all sizes create and leverage digital twins that provide organizations with new insights, opportunities and levels of automation to drive innovation. For more information on Siemens Digital Industries Software products and services, visit siemens.com/software for more information.