Premier League

Who is Kepa Arrizabalaga, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper?

Arrizabalaga was the number one for Julen Lopetegui’s side that won the Under-19 European Championships in Estonia in 2012.

Kepa Arrizabalaga became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when Chelsea paid Athletic Bilbao €80 million to break the buy-out clause in the 23-year-old Spaniard’s contract.

The man from Ondorroa was courted by many suitors including European champions Real Madrid and also went to the World Cup in Russia as back-up to David de Gea. Arrizabalaga started his career at Basconia at 17, a feeder club to Bilbao in the fourth division.

Two years later, Bilbao Athletic, the Basque County club’s B team came calling and the then Spain Under-19 international made 50 appearances for the side in four years, besides also moving to Ponferradina and Valladolid on loan. An injury to Bilbao Athletic’s first-choice keeper Jon Ander Serantes in 2013 first opened the doors for Arrizabalaga at Los Leones’ second team.

Incidentally, the man who picked him for Spain’s 2018 World Cup squad was also the coach under whom Arrizabalaga won his first major Championship. Julen Lopetegui’s Spanish team, which won the Under-19 Euros in Estonia in 2012 featured the likes of Suso, Paco Alcacer, Jese, Gerard Delofeu, Denis Suarez and Juan Bernat, also saw Arrizabalaga save two penalties from Samuel Umtiti and Geoffrey Kondogbia as Spain toppled France in the semis.

An injury would however, rule Lopetegui’s number one out of the Under-20 World Cup in 2013, where France, containing a chunk of the senior team that emerged victorious in Russia, would triumph.

As his loan spell at Valladolid came to a conclusion in 2016, Ernesto Valverde included him in the first team for the season which began post the completion of the Euros. Initially selected as third-choice behind Gorka Iraizoz and Iago Herrerin, Arrizabalaga made his competitive debut in the top flight, helping his side earn a clean sheet in a 1-0 away win against Deportiva La Coruna.

After Valverde’s final season in charge of Bilbao which saw the Basque county club qualify for Europea and the manager depart for Barcelona, Kepa was praised for his ‘mature performances’ in goal.

For the 22-year-old, the biggest rewards of a consistent season would be a call-up to the senior national side ahead of a World Cup qualifier, replacing the injured Pepe Reina. His solitary cap till date would come against Malaga later that year, starting and playing the full 90 in a 5-0 friendly win over Costa Rica.

Zidane and Real came calling in the winter transfer window of 2018 but Arrizabalaga rejected the approach of the capital club, instead extending his contract to seven and a half years, with a €80 million buy-out clause.

With the amount that Chelsea have shelled out for the shot-stopper, there is no doubt that Arrizabalaga will come under heavy scrutiny. The Spaniard will be expected to start as the Blues’ number one in anticipation of Thibaut Courtois’ impending departure. In terms of signing keepers who were of the highest pedigree and readily available on the market, there could have been few better options for the Blues.

Sarriball just became a lot more interesting.

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The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes

Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.

The manufacturing industry across the world is seeing major changes, driven by globalization and increasing consumer demand. As per a report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on the future of manufacturing, the ability to innovate at a quicker pace will be the major differentiating factor in the success of companies and countries.

This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.

Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.

The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.

Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.

Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry

The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.

There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.

The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.

The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.

The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.

The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.

Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.

Case studies for technology-led changes

An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.

Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.

In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.

In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.

The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.

Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.


The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the marketing team and not by the editorial staff.