Exploring Digital Twin (part 2)

Exploring digital twin

The following blog on Digital Twin is a continuation of an earlier article: Digital Twin: What is it, and What is it useful for?

Smart Factory covers the following aspects of the Digital Twin concept:

  • Digital Twin Product with Product Manufacturing.
  • Digital Twin Production with Integrated Manufacturing System
  • Digital Twin Performance with Industrial IoT System

Digital Twin Product

Every Product Starts with Design

Today, most companies are settling for nothing less than the best computer-aided design (CAD) product for their mechanical design, also incorporating effective computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools to achieve the best possible results. As far as Design is concerned, we are now able to look even beyond this stage – we’re presented with the opportunity to deliver continual innovation at a higher quality and at the same time, at a lowered cost, with the help of a comprehensive 3D product design.

Here’s where the concept of system design comes into play: Mechatronics has completely transformed the way we think about design, enabling an integrated and intuitive solution suite of broad and deep capabilities to empower design teams towards creating the right product, and at the right time.

Applying the right CAE tools

Simulation and Test solutions organize and combine system simulation, 3D CAE, and Test, to predict performance across critical attributes and throughout the product lifecycle. An integration of physics-based simulations with insights gained from data analytics helps optimize Design. Furthermore, it enables the faster delivery of innovative solutions, including reliability-prediction and simulation during the development process, leading to robust and failure-resistant products right down to their design.

Moving Beyond Applying Tools

When developing a new product, one has to constantly bear in mind the need for innovation. Market opportunities need to be assessed and the right opportunities identified. Moreover, it is imperative that you deliver a quality product and the timing is right, while at the same time, ensuring that it is economical; you cannot compromise on profitability.

By leveraging an integrated product cost management solution that can combine the power of a PLM platform with sophisticated product cost management tools, you achieve target costs, improved cost-based purchase prices, and profitable sales prices.

Deciding How Things Work

Virtual and Augmented Reality Lifecycle visualization and mock-up capabilities enable design teams to create high-level digital prototypes consisting of thousands of components. 2D and 3D visualization and investigation tools, including measurement and comparison capabilities, enables manufacturers to perform analyses on multi-CAD assemblies. Sophisticated digital mock-up is used to assemble a complete digital prototype and perform advanced analyses, including static and dynamic clearance analyses on the complete product – enabling you to detect issues at an early stage.

Mechanical, Electrical, Software –> Mechatronics – System Design –> Analysis –> Simulation –> Digital Mockup –> Virtual Commissioning –> BoM for Mfg

However, it doesn’t end there-

Digital Twin Production

Leveraging a Smart Factory loop

A feedback loop starts with Smart Factory – a fully-digitalized model in the form of a production system connected via sensors, SCADA systems, PLCs, or other automation devices, to the main PLM data repository. In the Smart Factory system, all events on a physical shop floor during production are recorded, and subsequently pushed back to the PLM system directly or through a cloud system. Artificial intelligence technology assimilates and analyzes this information, sending the main findings back to either Product Development of the Manufacturing planning process, or to the facility planning.

Now, why is this important? One week after the beginning of production, the production facility and the manufacturing will most likely change. New ideas will be implemented, while fresh working methods will be deployed and new suppliers selected. All of these require changes to the production system or process. Considering the fact that these modifications will have a significant impact on the future, updating them in the system at an early stage is an absolute must.

Production systems ultimately outlive the product lifecycle – most manufacturers rely on their production systems for manufacturing multiple products. There is a growing need to regularly capture changes in the Product Lifecycle Management system, with the aim of distributing the information to relevant parties when required. This information collected during the production process is also foundational for steady maintenance of manufacturing resources across various stages.

Digital Twin enables flexibility in manufacturing, enabling a reduction in time needed for product design, manufacturing processes and system planning, and production facility design. The Digital Twin will help all companies become more flexible, reduce time-to-market, improve time-to-value, reduce cost, improve quality, and ultimately boost productivity across all levels of an organization.

Digital Twin Performance

Smart Factory is an essential component in the digitization of supply chain through Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things.

  • Industry 4.0 brings together manufacturing, automation, and data management leading to intelligent collaboration, monitoring, and process management in real-time.
  • The Internet of Things breaks down the barrier between the physical and digital world. IoT builds up a network of physical devices that have electronics, software, sensors, and which enables the collection of data from these devices, analyzes the data, and drives, monitors, controls, and corrects processes.
  • Industry 4.0 and IoT are rapidly being adopted across industry to smoothen supply chain, increase traceability, safety, and productivity.

MTC’S SMART Factory integrated manufacturing is applicable to various branches of engineering. It incorporates Information & Communication Technology in manufacturing, which is the essence of the digitalization of manufacturing in most industries today, starting from food, chemical, consumer goods, automotive, construction to general engineering. In an academic set-up, this technology is relevant to various branches of engineering as it teaches the student to apply the concept of manufacturing related to the branch of engineering.

At MTC, we are dedicated to industry-relevant training for enterprises and institutions, offering users access to over 30 courses with rich digital content on Robotics, AMT, CNCs, Mechatronics, and Smart Factory Automation.

As experts in modern factory technologies, we bring you essential course material that will help empower you, your employees or your students to deal with today’s dynamic technological environment.

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