In the past 18 months, the manufacturing industry has experienced a number of powerful disruptors. Between uncertainty in product demand, disruption in the supply chain, and new social distancing norms, organizations have had to find ways to make their lines more flexible. 3DEXPERIENCE Twin is a digital twin that has broad applications from product design to manufacturing. In the context of manufacturing, 3DEXPERIENCE Twin can mitigate the effects of such disruptions by enabling simulation of manufacturing lines. Here’s where it adds value.

3DEXPERIENCE Twin in Manufacturing

As COVID-19 started to spread around the globe, no industry was spared. In manufacturing, organizations had to quickly pivot to manage a variety of disruptions amidst a global pandemic, including: unexpected changes in demand for different products, severe shortage of critical components, social distancing orders, and complete lockdowns that prevented key employees from working onsite. 

3DEXPERIENCE Twin, a cloud initiative from Dassault Systèmes, addressed many of these obstacles and helped keep manufacturing going during the crisis. The benefits of 3DEXPERIENCE Twin, however, extend well beyond today’s challenges. 

This platform allows you not only to virtually model your manufacturing plant, but also to simulate the manufacturing line in a 3D, browser-based, cloud environment. This means you can access 3DEXPERIENCE Twin anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Furthermore, when used in a collaborative environment, 3DEXPERIENCE Twin can assist in making essential manufacturing decisions to keep your organization agile.

Though 3DEXPERIENCE Twin is extensive and covers, among other areas, both product design and manufacturing, this post will illustrate the platform’s three key benefits in manufacturing: manufacturing planning and simulation of the production line; virtual commissioning and remote troubleshooting; and simulation of air flow in the factory. 

Manufacturing Planning and Simulation of the Production Line 

Having the ability to virtually simulate the production line has multiple benefits. To start, it can help you respond to changes in demand by repurposing the assembly line to support a new product or production change requests. During the pandemic, many organizations needed to ramp up, slow down, or even start producing entirely new products to meet new demands. 

3DEXPERIENCE Twin allows you to virtually reorganize your line and add new machines where needed. You can then verify how the new machine or line will perform both independently and in conjunction with the existing set-up. You can also study the material flow and throughput to obtain critical production parameters upfront. 3DEXPERIENCE Twin simulates a production environment with both humans and robots, allowing you to optimize the correct mix of both to achieve your production goals. Your simulations can provide insights on critical safety and ergonomic aspects of any changes and, finally, can even virtually train your employees on the new set-up.

Virtual Commissioning and Remote Troubleshooting 

3DEXPERIENCE Twin allows offline programming and hardware-in-the-loop simulation so you can significantly reduce your assembly downtime when using virtual commissioning. You’ll spend less time fixing software errors once your hardware is installed, saving both time and other associated costs as you make your changes.

If there is an issue in the plant, an offsite maintenance engineer can use 3DEXPERIENCE Twin to troubleshoot the production line in 3D, remotely. All 3D models and drawings are connected and stored on the cloud for easy remote access. The engineer can also communicate any necessary fixes to the onsite team, and 3DEXPERIENCE Twin will document and store those messages for future reference. The end result? Your organization can use 3DEXPERIENCE Twin as a knowledge base for any production-related issues both today and long into the future.

Simulating Factory Air Flow

Another benefit of 3DEXPERIENCE Twin is the ability to model the air flow inside your factory using simulation. This is critical for several reasons: 

First, clean air is crucial to a healthy, safe working environment. By simulating air flow, you can better understand the quality and flow of air in all zones, especially where humans will be working. You can even simulate the humidity and temperature distribution on the floor, yielding additional valuable data that you can use to gauge human comfort. 

In addition, some critical components need a working environment free of contamination and dust. Air-flow simulation provides data on the movement and deposition of contaminants, helping you protect key components.

Finally, this simulation allows architects to design better ventilation systems and study the air flow inside the factory during all possible weather conditions—before the facility is even constructed. For existing factories, architects can redesign the ventilation systems when needed using 3DEXPERIENCE Twin. 

It’s clear that air-flow simulation plays a vital role in improving workplace safety in manufacturing sites.

Summary and Takeaways

The manufacturing industry is no stranger to business disruptions, but 3DEXPERIENCE Twin can help mitigate their effects. This platform allows organizations to:

  • engage in thoughtful manufacturing planning activities by simulating the production line to assess changes, 
  • save time and cost by harnessing virtual commissioning and enabling remote troubleshooting, and
  • simulate air flow to improve workplace safety.

Companies that have access to powerful cloud solutions like 3DEXPERIENCE Twin place themselves in a better position to weather unforeseen obstacles.