Manufacturers in just about every industry are already embracing the reality of Industry 4.0—that the digital transformation of factories is necessary, replacing manual processes with automated systems in cyber-physical smart factories. This is crucial to manufacturers as challenges caused by global disruptions can make it even more challenging for them to ramp up production in order to satisfy ever-volatile market demands.
There are many subtle differences in the obstacles faced by manufacturers in different industries, but there are also a few key challenges that all manufacturers have in common. Having a limited number of assembly lines makes it difficult for manufacturers to keep up with the rising demand for customized products as well as the accelerating rate of innovation (and by extension, obsolescence) in new products.
Many manufacturers still lack the visibility required to respond to supply and demand volatility in an agile manner. At the same time, it can be challenging to be mindful of the growing list of certifications required and regulations that manufacturers need to comply with—in addition to the growing pressure for manufacturers to shift towards more sustainable practices.
To be able to adopt digital transformation towards smart factories, what manufacturers need is a solution where the virtual and real worlds converge in perfect synchronization. The Virtual Twin Experience, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, leverages real-time data from the real world to create perfect virtual simulations that can be used to model, plan, optimize and execute efficient real-world manufacturing operations with minimum risk.
Optimizing Operations Across the Value Chain
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform equips manufacturers with solutions for improvement at every stage in their value chain and across different time horizons, allowing for better strategic and tactical decision-making.
- Facility Planning
Using anything from 2D drawings to fixed point scans of physical facilities, the 3D virtual twin allows manufacturers to plan assembly lines in a way that optimizes the use of the available physical space. Perfect planning of assembly lines, workstations and tools through the virtual world minimizes potential risks and avoids costly layout redesigns after the physical facilities have been installed.
- Process Planning
The Virtual Twin Experience can be used to plan the use of materials and resources in products, optimal processes for maximized production output, as well as safe work conditions. Virtual simulation of processes allows manufacturers to eliminate potential process or quality issues ahead of execution—reducing launch times and scrap while saving time and money from building manual prototypes.
- Manufacturing Planning
On a more tactical level, the Virtual Twin Experience equips manufacturers with the capabilities to adjust and optimize production while managing constraints in manufacturing, assembly and distribution. This can be applied to areas such as supply and demand planning or sales and operations planning through the use of forecast data—or help generate an optimized master production schedule.
- Manufacturing Execution
When it comes to manufacturing operations management, the Virtual Twin Experience gives manufacturers the agility and flexibility needed for tactical decision-making. Real-time visibility over all operations allows manufacturers to promptly carry out unplanned maintenance on machines or identify an urgent need to requisition materials—reducing downtime, eliminating silos and minimizing risk.
Raising Competitiveness Through Manufacturing Excellence
Companies have a prime opportunity to optimize and maximize returns in their manufacturing operations by leveraging the extensive capabilities of the Virtual Twin Experience, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. By planning optimal processes and enhancing the cohesion between design, engineering and manufacturing, manufacturers can see significant impact in:
- An increase in efficiency and operation rates
- Cost savings from elimination of physical prototypes
- Increased speed of NPI and time to market
Learn all about the Virtual Twin Experience and how the 3DEXPERIENCE platform benefits the manufacturing value chain by exploring our ebook.
This post first appeared in Dassault Systèmes DELMIA blog.