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Online game simulates a factory manager`s challenges

24 March, 2011

Siemens Industry has launched an online game that simulates the experience of being a factory manager. Players face the challenge of operating a plant while trying to improve its productivity, efficiency, sustainability and overall health.

Siemens sees the game, called Plantville, as a fun, educational way to engage customers and other players, while making them aware of its brand and technologies. The game allows players to improve the health of their plants using Siemens industrial and infrastructure products. Gamers are scored on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as safety, on-time delivery, quality, energy management and employee satisfaction.

“Siemens is capitalising on the tremendous growth of online engagement to demonstrate how our expertise can make industry and infrastructure more competitive by increasing sustainability, energy efficiency and productivity in a fun and educational environment,” says Daryl Dulaney, president and CEO of Siemens Industry in the US. “We also hope Plantville will generate excitement in the areas of math, science and technology, while inspiring a new generation of plant managers and engineers.”

During a game, players interact with Pete, the plant manager, who shares best practices to help them boost the performance of their plants. They can choose which of three virtual plants they want to manage: a bottling plant; a vitamin plant; or a plant that builds trains. Each type of plant faces different challenges which players must identify and solve to improve KPIs. Gamers can compete with each other on several levels, including inter-plant rivalry and specific KPIs. A leaderboard keeps track of which players are performing best.

A series of brain-teasers called Pete`s Puzzlers test a player`s problem-solving capabilities and provide tips to enhance their gameplay. Solving a problem gives a player new insights to enhance their plant`s performance.

Another aspect of the game is the Plantville Café, where players can have online chat sessions with Pete on topics such as energy efficiency and industrial networking. These chat sessions are stored in a library as a resource for other players. The sessions help gamers to collect tips that help them to manage their plants more effectively, while learning more about these topics.

Siemens says it will continue to develop and enhance Plantville to reflect advances in its technologies and other factors that could affect factory operations.

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