Industrial EquipmentApril 8, 2024

Flexible Production: Enhancing Manufacturing Efficiency

Across the industrial equipment industry, the shift from mass to flexible production is well underway. Those leading the charge are embracing robotics and virtual twin capabilities to deploy modular production lines at speed, and test and refine them in the virtual world first.
Avatar Michael Mayr

Over the next five years, 86% of manufacturers plan to invest in factory automation solutions to become more competitive. Through technology, specifically virtual twin, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, they’re finding new ways to drive efficiency, resilience and innovation across the value chain. For industrial equipment manufacturers, gaining that competitive edge ultimately comes down to their ability to help their original equipment manufacturing (OEM) customers inject flexibility and agility into their production processes.

Amidst a backdrop of volatile economic conditions, supply chain fluctuations and chronic labor shortages, industrial equipment manufacturers and their OEM customers are digitalizing their production lines and plants and automating more tasks to keep pace with demand. This involves introducing modular manufacturing cells, which allow them to quickly pivot to accommodate changes in production requirements without having to overhaul the entire line each time.

Moving to flexible production lines

Unlike a traditional, fixed production line, where machinery and tools are combined and connected to each other via conveyors and remain in a particular setup for months or years at a time, a flexible production line is made up of modular manufacturing cells with autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) that move between them.

OEMs are increasingly turning to this flexible approach as it allows them to produce multiple types of products at any one time and more easily accommodate large-scale production changes. Rather than having to pause production for months on end as they completely overhaul their production system, they can modify modular cells and reprogram robots in a matter of hours or days to carry out new tasks, moving them from one application to another in line with their requirements.

By configuring and simulating production lines virtually, manufacturers can test ergonomics, robotics, line loads, speed requirements, and performance before committing to setting up the physical line on the customer’s shop floor[MB1] . Within the virtual twin, they can design and redesign production cells, test different types of robots and applications, and simulate the factory flow, seeing how everything will function ahead of time to achieve rapid and efficient changeovers and seamless AMR integration without compromising on quality or productivity.

Errors in line commissioning are responsible for up to 70% of project delays.

Flexible production lines in action

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s integrated 3D modeling and virtual twin capabilities give manufacturers everything they need to design, visualize and test their customers’ production lines from start to finish. Within the platform’s virtual environment, they can validate AMR movements, line layouts and plant ergonomics, and optimize setups before deployment on the factory floor.

Here’s how Dassault Systèmes customers within the industrial equipment industry use the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to their advantage:

CenterLine (Windsor) Limited

Canadian-based CenterLine (Windsor) Limited specializes in advanced automation processes and joining technologies for resistance welding, metal forming and cold spray applications. Today, it virtually tests every robot, process and piece of machinery before it’s on the shop floor. DELMIA Robotics on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform allows it to visualize and verify robot movements to optimize space while increasing material flow and ergonomic safety.

Read the full story here.

CIS Optim’Axes

This French industrial engineering company designs and develops customized production lines for companies across the automotive, IE, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sectors. It uses the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud to virtually test and demonstrate the technical feasibility of its clients’ production lines and make instant modifications. Taking advantage of DELMIA’s comprehensive robot library, it’s able to select any robot from any brand and generate the associated robot program.

Read the full story here.


When the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers develop a new aircraft, more often than not Electroimpact is involved. The US company develops machines that build commercial aircraft and integrates assembly lines. Moving to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform has allowed Electroimpact to deliver a joined-up service to its customers and validate all production setups virtually, including robotics, offline programing, mechanical design and factory planning.

Read the full story here.

Robot at Work

This Italian production line solutions specialist used to determine its customers’ production requirements and design and validate robotic solutions in a 2D layout. This meant that it was only when the entire cell was built in real life that it could test the solution and identify any issues. Today, using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s virtual testing capabilities, it is able to deliver complete production solutions to customers much faster, as it can fully define each robotic cell before it’s built.

Read the full story here.

By embracing the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s virtual twin capabilities, manufacturers can expect to:

See the future of manufacturing at Hannover Messe

This year, at the Hannover Messe tradeshow, Dassault Systèmes will showcase how virtual twin experiences are being harnessed to simulate flexible production lines, reduce commissioning time and drive continuous improvements.

Visitors to the Dassault Systèmes booth in Hall 17, E16 will get the opportunity to:

  • See a real-life scenario of how a flexible production line is planned and executed
  • Discover the seamless integration of AMRs for conveyor-less production lines
  • Learn how to empower the workforce of the future within a state-of-the-art collaborative environment
  • Experience the power of AI and advanced predictive maintenance for analyzing equipment behavior, carrying out predictive maintenance and optimizing asset tracking and repair processes.

Experience the future of manufacturing excellence at our booth in Hall 17, E16 at Hannover Messe. Our team of industry experts look forward to seeing you there!

Discover more

Hannover Messe 2024

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The 3D Selling Experience for Flexible Production Lines

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