Digital twin: a new standard in industrial production

In recent years, industrial production has undergone an intensive process of increasing productivity and quality. But previous optimization approaches have already run out of their potential to improve production and the 4th industrial revolution came on the scene. Today, digitalization plays the most important role in optimizing production.

Digitalization of production provides the company with more accurate and reliable data on the course of the production process. Based on them, company is able to set up production processes more efficiently, increase productivity, significantly reduce costs and, in particular, accelerate innovation in production.

New digital technologies are radically transforming the environment of industrial production and will also significantly affect the competitiveness of companies. Given this challenge, digitalization is no longer a question, but a necessity for all businesses that want to continue to operate in a sustainable and competitive way.

Digital Twin Technology

One of the most important technologies for digital transformation in manufacturing is a Digital Twin. Digital Twin is an exact virtual model of a product or production line. It comprises of several elements like manufacturing simulations, 3D CAD models, and real-time data feeds from sensors that are incorporated into the physical operating environment.

Digital Twin records and evaluates changes throughout the lifecycle, enabling companies to predict behavior, identify bottlenecks and inefficient operations and optimize production. In addition, it can simulate and test various changes and innovations before they are put into real operation, which ensures their reliable implementation. Simply put, Digital Twin can virtually “foresee” everything that can happen in real production.

Digital Twin makes every process more efficient

However, the advantages of Digital Twin do not end with the optimization of production processes. It also represents a huge opportunity for production at the level of engineering, design adaptation, production, operation and its maintenance.

Engineering – by this term we mean the design and improvement of products using CAD programs. With the help of a Digital Twin, it is possible to record important information directly on site. Based on this information, you can perform analyzes in a simulation model and thus constantly improve the product.

Customizing the design – imagine that you are able to offer your customers your products in various modifications, exactly according to their requirements (different color, performance, etc.). Making these changes in a Digital Twin will give you a more comprehensive picture of the impact of changing a product’s configuration on cost and allow you to avoid costly manufacturing changes that might not be effective.

Production – production can be tested for its distribution, material flows and processes before final installation. Digital Twin allows a “view” of the model as a whole and thus speeds up communication between individual teams in production.

Operation – with the Digital Twin in Operation it is possible to survey the actual real time production numbers and recalculate so that you can make projections of the trends out of the real production numbers. This enables you to react immediately on upcoming changes out of the production and as well to predict the long-term results of these changes.

Maintenance – Digital Twin will also enable you to use so called “predictive maintenance”. With the use of sensors one can recognize unusual behavior of machines and installations (vibrations, deviations in machine operations) before these deviations would be visible in a nonconformity of products and you can react before machine failure occurs.

Digital Twin concept

Wesconi Digital Twin concept consists of 3 parts:

1. Digital Twin of product

The Digital Twin of the product includes product design as well as virtual, system-oriented product development. This allows to comprehensively design, simulate and validate product, automate electronic design and software management across all areas of development, without the need for physical prototypes.

2. Digital Twin of production

Production planning in a digital environment, simulation, optimization and automatic generation of a program for PLC control creates a digital twin of production. The interconnected simulation of mechanical and automation parts captures the final behavior of the machines and forms the basis for virtual commissioning.

3. Performance Digital Twin

With the help of targeted integrated equipment in operation, it is possible to obtain a comprehensive view of production by reading data from production lines and products. Thanks to integrated automation elements, production technologies are able to provide data and then send it to the value chain at various levels up to the level of product design. In this way, they create a closed loop of decision-making processes and optimization of the product and production lines in real time.

How we implement a Digital Twin in your production?

  • We will analyze your current production processes and propose the optimal solution for their digitalization.
  • We will provide a digital fingerprint of each product and using IoT technologies we will record specific production parameters and the status of the entire production process.
  • We will set up a digital connection of individual elements of the production process and especially a two-way flow of information to and from production.
  • We will create an overview of where losses or downtime arise and propose solutions to eliminate them and streamline the production process.
  • We are able to modify the product or production process according to your preferences. We will create a virtual model on which we will incorporate the required changes without the need for costly interruptions of actual production.
  • Virtual commissioning – before commissioning, we will check whether the entire system with mechanical, electrical and automation components works together as planned.
  • Only after a thorough testing of changes in the virtual model and optimization of individual parameters, the application of changes to real production takes place.

Digitalization of production is a complex process that must first be carefully thought out and planned. But where to start? What will be the entry costs? How to prepare a company and train employees? We will be happy to help you and propose an optimal solution for digitalizing your factory. Contact us.

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