The digital twin is becoming increasingly important in the production environment. But what is behind it and how can it contribute to the development of the factory of the future? In this blog post, we will look at the concept of the digital twin and explore its application using MORYX.
What is a digital twin?
A digital twin is a virtual representation of a real product, process or system. All relevant data is captured and updated in real time. In the vision of the future, every factory exists twice, because alongside the physical production landscape is its virtual image, the digital twin. This can be seen as a virtual copy of a real object, enabling processes to be optimized and potential problems to be identified at an early stage. In this way, the twin can provide enormous support for the process chains of manufacturing companies. For example, new or modified plants can be commissioned virtually before physical commissioning. Downtimes during commissioning and reconfiguration can thus be kept to a minimum.
Areas in which the digital twin can be used:
- Production planning
- Product development
- Plant development
- Quality assurance
- Virtual protection
- Logistics planning
Use case: MORYX in the factory
MORYX is an open software system developed for the flexible operation of modular production lines. With MORYX, it is possible to connect existing production structures that previously operated independently of each other, although dependencies exist. MORYX connects different machine controls and enables integration to higher-level production planning systems to automatically control, adjust and optimize the entire manufacturing process.
By using a digital twin, MORYX creates the basis for efficient manufacturing of products. To illustrate this approach, one can consider the example of an assembly of electrical devices. This process involves various sub-processes such as the assembly of printed circuit boards, the soldering of contacts and regular electrical tests. Here, an exact mapping of variances is necessary. The concrete specifications of the product, such as performance, color and other properties, are stored in a product database and transferred to production via the enterprise resource planning system. The basis for this is a twin that describes the desired product in all its properties and also contains the necessary production and testing routines.
Advantages for the factory of tomorrow
The digital twin offers numerous advantages for the factory. For example, production processes can be made more efficient by simulating and optimizing workflows. The maintenance and servicing of machines and plants can also be improved through the use of the digital twin, as defects can be detected at an early stage before costly errors and failures occur.
Another advantage is the ability to develop and test new products and processes without the need for physical prototypes. This saves time and costs and enables companies to respond more quickly to changes in the market.
MORYX offers significant advantages, especially in small-scale production with fast job changes and small batch sizes. Reduced setup times, more flexible production equipment and seamless product traceability can reduce operating costs and increase productivity. MORYX can also help optimize the energy efficiency and carbon footprint of manufacturing.
Advantages at a glance:
- higher production flexibility
- faster response time, saves time and costs
- improved effectiveness due to perfect interaction of all systems
- faster commissioning of new plants
The digital twin is an important building block of Industry 4.0 and offers numerous advantages for the factory of tomorrow. Companies that rely on the use of the digital twin can optimize their production processes, reduce costs and react faster to changes in the market. MORYX makes it possible for all systems in the production landscape to interact with each other and for different PLC or ERP systems to interact with each other. It remains to be seen which other application areas will be developed in the future and how the factory of tomorrow will evolve. What is certain, however, is that we will not be able to avoid this type of digitalization.