Digital company – The holistic approach to creating digital twins – Metrology and quality news



The holistic digital business approach to creating digital twins, as in the automotive industry, offers tangible benefits by drastically reducing the number of prototypes needed when developing new vehicles. It also becomes possible to predict the performance of the production unit and the products themselves. In addition, it ensures that manufacturers produce what customers expect in terms of individualization and drive concepts.

The digital twin in the automotive industry is the precise virtual model of a vehicle or production plant. It displays their development throughout the lifecycle and allows operators to predict behavior, optimize performance, and implement information from previous design and production experiences.

The concept of digital twin consists of three forms: the digital twin of the product, the digital twin of the production and the digital twin of the performance of both the product and the production. Siemens offers comprehensive domain expertise and optimized tools and claims to be the only company to offer this holistic approach. Running “what if” scenarios and predicting future performance with the digital twin is of enormous value. The ultimate goal of the digital twin is the closed loop connection between the virtual world of product development and production planning with the physical world of the production system and product performance. Through this connection, actionable information is obtained from the physical world for informed decisions throughout the lifecycle of products and production operations.

Digital Twin Product

Today, the development of new cars mainly takes place in a virtual environment. Many vehicles of today and tomorrow are designed with Siemens NX CAD, which helps turn automotive dreams into successful products. Automotive designers always start with a clay model to capture emotions, but automotive engineers then use NX to turn those emotions into real products. The Digital Enterprise solutions portfolio also creates the digital twin of the product which then enables realistic simulations to optimize the car before it is built.

Digital production twin

Ensuring that production achieves the required yield is the primary objective of production planning. The production planner should plan the production line and select the necessary production equipment such as robots and conveyor belts. Digital twin production includes everything from programming to automation hardware and enables production to be optimized before it begins by virtually commissioning the new cell or production line and with the Digital Enterprise portfolio of solutions.

With the Digital Enterprise portfolio and the digital twin of production, it is possible to plan the entire manufacturing process in a fully virtual environment. From layout design to visualizing material flows and possible bottlenecks to simulating API code for automation hardware, this ultimately leads to virtual commissioning that allows for testing and optimize new production lines to reduce time, effort and risk for actual commissioning.

Powerful digital twin

In the execution phase of production where products are actually manufactured, state-of-the-art automation equipment and the concept of Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) enable efficient, smooth and safe production. It also initiates a continuous optimization loop to further increase efficiency and use data analytics for innovative services like predictive maintenance. This is made possible with the Digital Enterprise solutions portfolio.

The digital performance twin includes both production and product performance. It is constantly fed with data from the product and production facilities, which leads to new knowledge. Through the connection with integrated automation components, the workshop provides all relevant data which is then analyzed in the cloud to enable continuous optimizations throughout the value chain using the Digital Enterprise portfolio.

With its Digital Enterprise portfolio, Siemens is leading the digital transformation of industry – the seamless integration of automation, software and advanced technologies will take the industry to the next level of efficiency.

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