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Smart Manufacturing – A digital thread approach to manufacturing for the Industrial Machinery industry

The industrial machinery manufacturing sector is experiencing an innovative surge in technological advancements based on smart manufacturing. This is in response to the daunting task of validating and managing contemporary manufacturing and assembly operations to achieve a premium level of quality while optimizing cost.

In machining, manufacturers are asking for additional content, sensors, and feedback on how production and manufacturing processes are executed. This information is leveraged into the manufacturing digital twin. For example, when making the machining tool, an inspection data process is added to create traceability for designing, manufacturing, and closing the loop process based on a high-fidelity digital twin. The next crucial step is linking the digital twin of the product with the digital twin of the machine.

The manufacturing industry for industrial machinery – process and trends

There is a need for a comprehensive solution to realize every step in the manufacturing process, including idea creation, developing the product via machining, executing in manufacturing, and extending across the entire service life based on the digital twin. This process enables machine manufacturers and designers to create value, drive down costs, and compress delivery schedules. Moreover, it allows for closing the loop faster between manufacturing operations and engineering.

3D printing, digital twin and smart manufacturing

In the last several years, there has been a move towards 3D printing/additive manufacturing. From a machining perspective, it allows the machine designer to consolidate components via the additive manufacturing process, leading to less expensive parts, superior reliability and increased durability.

The digital twin plays a role in this process. From a smart manufacturing perspective, the digital twin requires more than just additive manufacturing. It also includes post-process machining along with several make-ready processes for industrial machinery assembly – an entirely new class of machinery that’s worth the investment. The digital twin encompasses more than merely designing parts or mechanical components, adding the flexibility and adaptability to reflect the electrical part, the software, and the programmable logic control (PLC). When a multidisciplinary approach is incorporating a digital twin, it is critical to have the right software to manage it.