Things are shaping up for Siemens’ exiderdome tour

The first thing that you notice about exiderdome, Siemens Energy & Automation's traveling hands-on automation laboratory, is that it is not, in fact, shaped like a dome. The cube-shaped, two-story traveling shows heads off for its United States tour this summer by land and sea, and Siemens hopes its big investment shapes the future for its customers.
By Bob Vavra May 15, 2008


The first thing that you notice about exiderdome, Siemens Energy & Automation’s traveling hands-on automation laboratory, is that it is not, in fact, shaped like a dome. The cube-shaped, two-story traveling shows heads off for its United States tour this summer by land and sea, and Siemens hopes its big investment shapes the future for its customers.

“Siemens is a global technology leader, but the United States is our biggest market. Our customers want to know how they can improve their bottom line, in ways that make sense in this country,” said Thomas Varney, vice president of communications for Siemens Energy & Automation. “We are pulling out the stops to make sure exiderdome delivers on that expectation.”

The tour starts in Chicago on July 21-25, when the 55 specially designed semi-trailer units are assembled on a barge in Lake Michigan. From there, the tour navigates through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway to Detroit (Aug. 8-15); three stops in Canada, and then Boston (Oct. 18-23) and New York (Nov. 1-7) before being disassembled and put on trucks for the remainder of the tour. The pieces will be put back together at each stop of the overland trip, starting in Charlotte (Dec. 8-12) and continuing to Orlando (Feb. 2-6, 2009); Los Angeles (March 5-11, 2009); Denver (April 6-10, 2009); and Houston (May 4-8, 2009).

The exiderdome tour already has been to Asia, where it met with rave reviews. While the basic concept of bringing Siemens products to its customers through a series of interactive stations remains the same, the displays have modular displays to reflect regional needs (an emphasis on oil and gas near Houston, for example) and to change products, as well as to localize the audio and video show that greets exiderdome visitors.

There have been more than 135,000 visitors to exiderdome so far (it just finished a tour of Mexico) and Siemens expects large crowds of customers and future customers at the tour stops. Siemens officials said it is an effort to get technology closer to the end user.

“Technology today has changed dramatically from technology of even two years ago,” Varney said. “Engineers should know what’s out there and how up-to-date technology can improve a company’s overall performance and productivity, making it more competitive and successful in the marketplace, which results in a stronger relationship with Siemens.”

It’s also a major effort to build a stronger visibility for Siemens in the U.S. market, an effort underscored by its $40 million, 5-year commitment to exiderdome around the world and the full-time efforts of staff and managers to keep the project on target and fresh. “I think Siemens is the only company that could have done this,” Varney told a press gathering in April.

As for the shape, Varney noted, “In Germany, a ‘dome’ is defined as a place where people come to meet.”

For more information about exiderdome, visit: www.exiderdome.com/us .