Digital twins are indispensable for the Industrial Internet of Things. In this article, we explain the benefits of digital twins in single-item and series production.
- What are digital twins (definition)?
- What can you do for your production?
- How are they used in single and series production?
- How can you benefit?
What are digital twins?
A digital twin is the digital image of a physical object. This can be a tool, a workpiece, a machine or a process. The digital twin (rarely also an administration shell or digital shadow) contains all available data that can come from surveying, sensors, etc. The data for the digital twins is usually fed into an IIoT hub (Industry 4.0 platform). In addition to the defined target data, a digital twin always contains the current actual data.
Where do digital twins occur?
years. Companies want to optimize the output of their production, become cheaper and faster, save resources and much more. As a result, they connect all possible data sources such as assets, sensors and connectors to the Industrial Internet of Things. This data is assigned to its origin, for example the tool, the system or the workpiece to which it belongs. This inevitably creates digital images.
What are digital twins good for?
Digital twins enable companies to optimize the way they work, save resources and become more sustainable. A typical area of application is inline quality control: With this method, a final inspection of the products is actually no longer necessary. Sensrik already collects the necessary quality data during the production process. This saves personnel costs and time in the final inspection. But digital twins can do even more. For example, new business models such as pay-per-use are conceivable for companies. In doing so, for example, a tool manufacturer does not sell its products to the customer per piece, but according to the duration of use. Digital twins are also valuable for customer service. Warranty issues are clarified without a doubt.
Digital twins in individual production
Digital twins bring advantages and leverage optimization potential in both single and series production. In individual production, companies aim in particular for longer tool life and more efficient use of the same. Inline quality control has also been proven to save working time and can thus compensate for the lack of skilled workers. Quality fluctuations in the material, e.g. B. Blowholes (air inclusions that occur during casting) or differences in hardness are determined by the inline quality control. In this way, it prevents a workpiece from being processed further, which may be scrap due to material defects.
Digital twins in series production
In series production, the advantages that also play a role in single-item production apply. While the quality is otherwise only monitored on a random basis, it is now possible to make statements for each individual product based on the quality data collected during the manufacturing process. Products can be optimized based on the application data from further use. For example, barcodes on the parts make it possible to assign the physical objects to their digital twin over several processing steps.
Who benefits from digital twins?
Almost every link in the industrial value chain can benefit from digital twins. In fact, the benefit is particularly great if the digital twins are enriched with data across the company. If the companies involved then share the data or make it visible to partners via an IIoT platform, everyone involved benefits. It is therefore particularly important that an IIoT platform protects the know-how of companies.
Your entry into Industry 4.0
With the iiotecos software, inno-focus offers an IIoT platform for companies. With CuttingEdge, we also operate a specialized Industry 4.0 platform for machining technology. Contact us for a non-binding consultation.
Quick guide for your start with the IIoT
- Eight-page practical guide for companies planning to get started with Industry 4.0 for their production
- Definitions – What is Industry 4.0? And what IIoT?
- What exactly is an IIoT platform?
- How exactly can you benefit as a company and on what scale?
- Where is the lever for optimization and savings?
- How do you specifically approach the introduction of an Industry 4.0 platform?
- Checklists for the most important considerations in advance and the top security criteria of a platform