The holistic approach to building a digital business with digital twins – Metrology and Quality News

The digital enterprise’s holistic approach to creating digital twins, as in the automotive industry, delivers tangible benefits by dramatically 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 guarantees manufacturers to 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 a production plant. It displays their development throughout the lifecycle and enables operators to predict behavior, optimize performance, and implement insights from previous design and production experiences.

The digital twin concept has three forms: the product digital twin, the production digital twin, and the product and production performance digital twin. Siemens offers global domain expertise and optimized tools and claims to be the only company to offer this holistic approach. There is enormous value to be gained from running “what if” scenarios and predicting future performance with the digital twin. The ultimate goal of the digital twin lies in 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 insights are gained 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 then automotive engineers use NX to turn those emotions into real products. The Digital Enterprise solutions portfolio also helps create the digital twin of the product which then enables realistic simulations to optimize the car before it is built.

Production digital twin

Ensuring that the production achieves the required output is the primary objective of production planning. The production planner must 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 helps optimize production before it begins by virtually commissioning the new production cell or line and with the Digital Enterprise solutions portfolio .

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 visualization of material flows and possible bottlenecks to simulation of PLC code for automation hardware, this ultimately leads to virtual commissioning that helps in 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 the 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 starts a continuous optimization loop to further increase efficiency and use data analytics for innovative services like predictive maintenance. This is made possible through the Digital Enterprise solutions portfolio.

The digital twin of performance includes production and product performance. It is constantly fed with data from the product and production facilities, leading to new insights. Through the connection with integrated automation components, the workbench delivers 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 driving the digital transformation of industry – the seamless integration of automation, software and advanced technologies will take industry to a higher level of efficiency.

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