Virtual Development in systems engineering and R&D

The development of a new machine or system is a process, where bottlenecks and other difficulties can be encountered. With methods like lean and agile, these production processes can be optimized taking out one bottleneck at a time. In this blog we guide you through the benefits of virtual development in systems engineering and R&D.

Read more

Digital Twin

Five trends that shape the development of Digital Twins

Digital Twin technology is still relatively new, and it is rapidly evolving. Here are five trends that may shape the development of digital twins in the next few years:

Read more

Industrial Metaverse

The future of Digital Twins in the Industrial Metaverse

One of the buzzwords of 2022 was the Metaverse, mainly driven by the change of Facebook into Meta. This virtual realm is seen as a potential future for many industries, including manufacturing. After the interesting discussions and conversations with people on my previous blog on that topic, some asked me how we see it 1 year later, and mainly how we see this develop in the context of the manufacturing industry. In this blog we describe our take on the development and future of Digital Twins in the Industrial Metaverse.

Read more

The 7 biggest mistakes and challenges when starting with Digital Twinning in industry

Digital Twins help in optimizing workflows in the development, deployment and life cycles of systems. Although the value of Digital Twins has become more obvious, we still see a lot of manufacturing companies struggling to get started. 

That’s why we want to discuss the 7 biggest mistakes and challenges we see companies struggling with.

Read more

Virtual Commissioning with HMI on Digital Twin

How to get started with Virtual Commissioning

How to get started with Virtual Commissioning

In the development of mechatronics systems in industry, software and controls teams normally are the last step in the development cycle. The hardware is ready and shipped to location and then the software is connected and often last-minute changed to ‘get the motor running’. However connecting the software untested and late in the development cycle is time consuming, stressfull (the factory is waiting), and expensive. Virtual Commissioning gives you the opportunity to develop and virtually test your (PLC-) software in an early stage. A Digital Twin is the ideal tool for simulation and communication. It helps to divide the software development work easier, and do more parallel testing over multiple teams. This enables you to get earlier insights and detects issues and errors before they appear in the field. This results in doing virtual FAT and SAT tests. Saving on travel expenses, people, and getting systems more quickly up and running.

Read more

Virtual Commissioning

Why start Virtual Commissioning?

The design of manufacturing systems is characterized by constraints in costs and time to market. The timeframe in which a system has to be developed is shorter than ever. The development of those systems consists of multiple phases such as mechanical/hardware engineering, electrical engineering, design and software engineering. In the past a system had to be built and set up to do integrated testing. If there where any errors or design problems the whole process would had start over again, leading to a longer time to market, wasting more resources and thus; costing more money. The indispensable step would be using Digital Twins for Virtual Commissioning.

During Virtual Commissioning, a virtual model of the manufacturing system is used for commissioning. The goal is to detect and correct early errors in the design and software. 

 

The step to virtual verification and commissioning is clearly very understandable. Building a digital carbon copy of your system gives you many advantages, also during installation and final testing. For example, you can find some of advantages in our Philips case study

From hands-on experience, we know that you can shorten the commissioning time by at least 25 percent, even when you are new to the technology and it is only your first swing.

That time reduction has two benefits. First, because of the fact that you can verify and check approximately 75 percent of the machine up front, the commissioning team will need less time on site. Second, the run-up time to production is shortened drastically because of parallel development. 

What are the costs of the on-site commissioning team per day? 

How many days can you win by using virtual commissioning? 

And how big is the benefit from that earlier uptime? 

Those are the questions that can be asked during the consideration of using a Digital Twin for Virtual Commissioning. Of course there will always be a delta with the real world, but there are a lot of benefits. That has to balance out the investment in software, the time to build the digital twin and, if applicable, the consultancy you need to hire. As said, 25 percent time reduction is a given, and it will only increase in your next efforts. 

 

An added bonus of Virtual Commissioning is that there is less travel involved also making it the more sustainable option.

In short, some benefits:

  • Communication – used to be on the same page with multiple stakeholders
  • Early testing – detect and reduce errors
  • Analyse the system and identify bottlenecks
  • Less disruption – Connect PLC’s, test early and run multiple test scenarios

Getting started? Click here!

2D versus Real Time 3D Simulations

The rise of Real-Time 3D Simulations

Real-Time 3D simulations are getting more and more indispensable in the manufacturing industry. They are mainly used for virtual simulation and monitoring of machines and production lines. Monitoring and testing in a digital environment isn’t a new concept, but what is quite new is doing this in Real-Time 3D. 

In this blog we’ll dive into the question: Why would you want to use RealTime 3D over 2D?

For those who are reading and have no idea what we mean with RealTime3D simulations, let us explain: Real-time 3D gives you the power to visualize in 3 dimensions plus the factor of time, thus introducing motion and events on the 3D model. Giving you a lively and working model of a machine or system. 

2D versus Real-Time 3D Simulations

We all know 2D tools like Excel and traditional CAD layout software and those 2D-tools are really good at solving 2D problems. 

In industry and manufacturing we move and place things in this 3D space. In the past it was hard to visualize them and easily put motion to it, so we could see and understand the implications of choices in this 3D + time model. 

What do we mean with the fact that the challenges in industry are 3D + time related?

For example; We see this in the use of robots. These are objects that are in full 3D and can move anywhere anytime inside the parameters of a cubicle. So choices in design and flow are done in this domain.

If there are 2 robots in a setup, the arms of those robots can’t both be at the exact same place at the same moment. This would be a deadlock in the setup. These kinds of errors could only be easily visualized in a 3D environment.

In 2D sheets you can’t see the “hidden dimensions”. It is hard to understand how 3D works within a 2D space. So the closer we can get to this paradigm within our engineering and design, the better we can communicate over what’s happening. As a human being it’s easier to translate a 3D layout to a 2D layout, than the other way around.

In 3D CAD software we are already working with the 3D images. But in more integral discussions with multiple disciplines, like clients and software engineers we miss the animations, simulations, behaviors as the 4th dimension of time.

Set up 4D models doesn’t cost that much time and effort anymore and they solve a lot of our communication problems we used to have.

The RealTime 3D simulations help sales engineering, design, engineering and software testing. The software can be used to connect multiple disciplines in an earlier stage to get a complete understanding of the product. 

So in short:

  • Most of the challenges in engineering and manufacturing are 3D+time related
  • We now have the tools to setup up complete models
  • Due to the authoring tools and using the data that is available we can use time

Do you also want to start visualizing your machines in Real Time 3D? Our expert Prespective team can help you!

Author: Omar-Karim Ajouz

The 5 biggest benefits of using Digital Twins in Virtual Prototyping

As one of the world leading Digital Twin software companies, we help a lot of our clients to start with virtual prototyping. In the talks we have with new potential clients, there is always the question: ‘What are the benefits of virtual prototyping?’. 

Read more

Play Rollercoaster Tycoon with your industrial customers

Many large industrial OEM’s and ODM’s are moving from an engineering-to-order approach to a configure-to-order model. Instead of designing and creating all machines from scratch with every incoming order, these companies are assembling a catalogue full of standardized and extensively tested modules and building blocks. That way, they can pick and choose from their own library of readily available options, and deliver their solutions much faster to their customers. Moreover, they can reuse much of their design and engineering efforts, making their whole business process run smoother, safer and more efficient. 

Read more

Virtual commissioning: ‘The perfect starting point for digital twinning’

Stating that the Covid pandemic has had a gigantic impact on the world, is still an understatement. The crisis has affected many aspects of our lives. On a professional level, working from home became standard, supply chains got seriously disrupted, resulting in material shortages and production stops, virtually all exhibitions and conferences were canceled, and many companies reevaluated their business strategies.

Read more