Digital twins of machines are used for simulations in order to shorten development cycles, perform virtual tests or prevent downtimes. During operation, the virtual twin of the machine, plant or factory facilitates the automation of production on the way to the smart factory and enables predictive maintenance through data-based forecasts.
From the perspective of product development, end-to-end virtual engineering is a prerequisite for Industry 4.0, because today’s highly complex, sophisticated products can only be developed with end-to-end digitization. Important sub-disciplines such as mechanics, electronics or software, which make up a product today, can be linked more easily with the help of digitization and connected with requirements as well as the real performance data. By implementing a digital image, processes can be simulated before the machine is produced, and information and 3D visualization of the plant can be obtained.
The target consists of the virtual commissioning of a machine in addition to the completion of three subtasks: Development, construction and commissioning of the machine. By implementing a virtual commissioning, the three subtasks are linked together in one process. In this way, a digital twin is designed to connect the real world with the digital world and thus enable an overarching exchange of data.
As part of the consulting project, our consultants first conduct comprehensive status quo analyses against the background of digitization and a virtual commissioning. These reviews assess the development and setup of the machines as well as the implementation of individual processes. The status quo provides information on the extent to which Industry 4.0 requirements have already been implemented.
Following the analyses, our consultants support the preparation of a virtual commissioning. First, a uniform basis of information is created by the technical documentation of the machines, the discussion of the client requirements and the presentation of the IoT concept of ensign advisory. Subsequently, our consultants conduct expert interviews in the engineering and R&D area and assist in customer surveys on necessary requirements. Based on the survey results, technical requirements can then be defined, measures can be planned, and a strategic roadmap can be created. This is supplemented by training of employees in predictive maintenance in order to be able to ensure predictive maintenance through data-supported forecasts.
Based on the preceding steps, our consultants subsequently begin the implementation process of virtual commissioning and the resulting digital image. For this purpose, a mechatronic model is connected to the machine control software in the engineering phase. The connection of these elements enables the simulation, validation and optimization of the digital twin during the development process before the actual production of the machine. In an operational phase, our consultants collect real-time data from the machine and sensors through the digital twin, to control and improve the ongoing production process. The data obtained can be used to drive optimization and modification of the overall line. In the additional value phase, solutions are gained through the captured real-time machine data. In addition, new business models can be developed in the after-sales and service area, remote maintenance of the machines can be enabled through 3D visualization, and the improvement of the machines and the resulting optimization of the line can be brought about.
Through our consulting services, our consultants can reduce the total development time of a machine by up to 20%. In addition, our consultants eliminate errors, collisions, and failures early in the development process through virtual validation and concept testing. With our support, our clients achieve better quality and reduce the number of customer complaints. With the help of the quality improvements, we prevent follow-up costs by saving resources through each identified software bug. Overall, the implementation of virtual commissioning and the use of a digital twin can save up to 70% of the lead time in real commissioning.
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