Siemens signed an investment agreement with west China\'s Chengdu High-Tech Development Zone on Monday to set up a world-leading manufacturing and R&D base for industrial automation products in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province. According to Mei-Wei Cheng, CEO of Siemens Northeast Asia and president and CEO of Siemens Ltd., China, the facility will become Siemens\' largest digital factory in China and the third R&D center for Siemens industry automation products worldwide, following Germany and the United States. \"Sichuan is becoming more strategically important in Siemens\' global layout. Leveraging our comprehensive, innovative and environmental concept and technologies, Siemens will continue to actively participate in Sichuan\'s economic and social development. Today\'s announcement of building the most advanced automated factory here is a solid step forward,\" said Cheng. Scheduled to go into operation by the first half of 2013, the planned Electronics Works Chengdu (EWC) facility will produce high-end PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) serial products for the industrial market in China and other countries. The most remarkable thing about the plant is the fact that it will automate and control the entire product lifecycle, covering design, production, logistics, marketing and sales, by integrating the use of IT systems throughout the value chain, according to Marc Wucherer, president of the industry sector of Siemens North East Asia. \"We are building the most modern digital factory in China by setting global standards in manufacturing efficiency and productivity, and providing individualized products to customers,\" Wucherer said. Wang Haibin, senior vice president of Siemens Ltd., China and general manager of its industry sector said the construction of the facility is part of the company\'s global strategy of attracting investment using the company\'s advantages in the electronics industry. According to Siemens, the company has been increasing investment to expand its manufacturing and R&D facilities across China in recent years.