The annual Manufacturing in America (MiA) event brings together hundreds of manufacturing and automation experts from all over the world to see, learn about, and experience the latest technology in the industry. Well-known for their commitment to innovation, Siemens consistently brings cutting-edge technology to MiA. We’re pleased to welcome Colm Gavin, an expert in digitalization and a 17-year Siemens veteran, back to MiA this year to present on Siemens’ latest innovations. His topic this year: commissioning production and perfecting manufacturing processes through a virtual copy—the Digital Twin. Let’s take a brief preview of the Digital Twin, and see what you can expect at this MiA presentation.
The Digital Twin and Manufacturing Innovation
What is the Digital Twin?
The Digital Twin sounds at first like science fiction—a virtual replica with the ability to mimic processes and foresee obstacles before they happen. However, this technology is very much science fact, and is being newly used in all types of manufacturing, including medical equipment, electronics, automotive, aeronautics, and much more.
The increasing use of the Digital Twin is one of the most anticipated industrial automation innovations of 2019. This technology has been in early implementation phases for some time, with the most innovative early adopters enjoying the benefits. This year, adoption rates are expected to increase significantly. IT analysis and market research institute Gartner predicts half of all major industrial companies will use Digital Twin technology by 2021. MiA presenter Colm Gavin is an expert on the Digital Twin, and will give attendees an inside look at how the virtual model works and what it can do.
Learn more about the Digital Twin
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How it Works
Last year at MiA, Gavin showed guests how the Digital Twin can shorten time to market and improve the flow from the engineering stages to manufacturing. The Digital Twin is able to combine a wide variety of information, from product design and parts, to construction and assembly, to performance and more, to predict obstacles at every stage of the process. With all of the inputs in place, the Digital Twin shows businesses when or if production can’t be met, how to move assembly processes to speed up production, where design flaws exist, or when manufacturing processes aren’t suitable for the design. With the right inputs, the predictive power of the Digital Twin is endless.
The simulated design, prototype, and production processes show what could, and most likely will, happen at each step. This allows engineers to solve problems before they become costly mistakes. By the Six Sigma Rule of Tens, explained by Gavin in his previous presentation, detecting and fixing errors at earlier stages decreases costs by an estimated factor of ten, potentially reducing costs by 99%.
Digital Twin technology also gives engineers and business leaders more time to plan ahead. Materials, personnel, time, and other needs are accurately shown in the digital model, providing calculable costs and a measurable timeline.
By creating more accurate planning and forecasting, the Digital Twin helps to significantly reduce costs, risks, and uncertainties.
At MiA 2019, Gavin will explain further about the Digital Twin’s role in product and process development and implementation. Attendees will see how the Digital Twin works in real time and what virtual commissioning means for total production. Gavin will also explain more about the hardware and software systems powering the Digital Twin, including the SIMATIC PLCSIM and SIMATIC S7-1500. Engineers will see how this technology has been implemented by other businesses and how they can be implemented in the future.
You can learn more about the Digital Twin, SIMATIC PLCSIM, and SIMATIC S7-1500, at Colm Gavin’s presentation, Virtual Commissioning and Digital Twin for Machines, at Manufacturing in America on March 20 and 21 in Detroit, MI. Register today to reserve your spot.