What is Digital Manufacturing?
Digital Manufacturing: Digital fabrication is a general term these days. In short, digital manufacturing is when a company uses digital technologies to support its engineering operations. With digital trade, manufacturers can create a factory that is a connected, networked, and fully integrated environment. That allows them to leverage real-time data analytics to optimize the entire manufacturing process and achieve cost savings.
Digital manufacturing enables manufacturers to remove bottlenecks, reduce inventory, improve quality, reduce time to market, respond quickly to customer needs, and increase productivity—the number of products produced.
Problems and People First
Before adopting digital manufacturing technologies, manufacturers need to identify the business problem they are trying to solve, e.g., B. more effective manufacture or earlier time to market. Next, set measurable and incremental boxes for ROI. Some early adoptive parents bought digital factory technology with only a vague idea of what they wanted to do, then failed
People are the next priority. A strong and visionary leader who understands digital manufacturing will lead digital factory programs. Beyond this scale, the board must also be involved and informed of the benefits. Under this leader, they are listening to frontline workers about their roles.
Digital Industrial Custom Cases
According to Deloitte, digital manufacturing enterprises include:
Predictive maintenance to avoid costly downtime.
Detection and quality detection to monitor and test devices and products in real-time with visual analysis.
Predictive efficiency to avoid expensive bottlenecks.
Temperature monitoring to make necessary adjustments in cutting tools for higher temperatures.
Optimize jobs for the benefit of the entire production chain.
Intelligent transport to automate material movements, ensure a continuous flow of materials and avoid jams.
Real-time asset tracking.
Siemens Digital Factory is a good use case
Siemens stands out as a successful company. In 2010, the company began digitizing its manufacturing facility in Amberg.
Before digitization, the factory could produce five products. In 12 months, the factory had 1,300 different products with a total production capacity of 9,000, said Alastair Orchard, vice president of digital affairs at Siemens Digital Industries Software.
Instead of focusing exclusively on optimizing production in individual work cells, the Digital Factory from Siemens and others takes a long-term perspective to optimize the entire process or even multiple processes.
How it works:
Imagine that a factory machine can only drill holes. An intelligent factory robot can drill holes and weld, perform specific assembly processes, pick and place electrical components, and test features. At the start of the workday, the digital twin determines the most efficient way to operate the entire facility and manufacture each product for the task at hand. Orchard said that identical products could be complete with different combinations of work cells depending on the workload throughout the day.
Errors have become fewer, but speed has also decreased
Defects fell from 150 per million to nine, Orchard said. The initial improvement in quality came at the expense of speed, as the factory x-rayed each product for missing components and solder defects.
“It was an essential part of the process, but it slowed everything down,” Orchard said. “We tried to do something every second. The radio took a long time. It was a big bottleneck. »
But Siemens was not willing to sacrifice quality. Instead, the company decided to determine which parts to X-ray intelligently.
Digital twins play an essential role in digital factories
Finally, digital twins also play a role in optimizing production. For companies like Siemens that manufacture and use digital factory platforms, a digital twin can easily show customers what technology can do for them.
A Siemens member labeled the digital twin “the factory in your pocket.”
Siemens is also pursuing digital manufacturing initiatives with its suppliers. When the factory continued to have problems with its contacts for innovative strollers, its supplier encouraged to use Siemens’ innovative connectivity platform to collect data and sell maintenance services to the factory. If the connections fail even slightly, the system triggers an action to send the buggy to a cleaning station rather than shutting down an entire production line.
Siemens receives the digital twin of a new machine about a month before receiving the actual device and virtually orders the digital twin for test production. It only takes 40 minutes to start production when the actual machine arrives.
AlsoRead: The Impact Of Technologies On Business