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Heard about Digital Manufacturing?

Siemens Theorist Siemens Theorist
Siemens Theorist

You might say, I know how to design a product, but digital manufacturing? Is it something like the creation of a product out of pure energy; a kind of STAR TREK technology? That would be really cool, but digital manufacturing is more real than that.

Digital manufacturing is a way to plan and simulate the manufacturing process in a virtual environment. Basically it uses the 3D CAD data and allows you to build the product virtually. There are many questions that could be answered like:

  • Which machine tools do I need to manufacture the product?
  • How could I create the program for the machine tool?
  • And how could I be sure that the program is running smoothly?
  • In which sequence do I have to assemble the product?
  • How should I place my workplaces in the factory for an optimal output?

Digital manufacturing is about answering all this up front to the start of production in a virtual environment.

For example the third question: The German based machine tool builder Index Group is using our solution to simulate a virtual machine and together with a virtual Siemens 840D controller to validate and optimize the NC programs before they go into production. This is one of the fascinating things, seeing the virtual machine in a virtual production controlled by the virtual controller. The simulation is visualizing the material removal, checking for collisions and even showing the tool path.

Beside the confidence that the NC program can run without collisions, the tool path could be used to optimize the NC program and reduce the production time.

This is one example of how digital manufacturing could help manufacturing companies to validate and optimize production processes.

Not applicable

In today’s eco-sensitive environment, manufacturing industries are understandably often the focus of negative publicity.  It would be beneficial to hear what the Siemens digital manufacturing solutions can offer in a way of decreasing plant emissions, energy consumption and waste management.

Siemens Theorist

Thanks Chad for your comment. The digital manufacturing solutions are used when a new plant is designed or an existing production is changed. During this planning process aspects about sustainability and environmental friendliness of the plant need to be taken into account. For this the relevant information of the used plant equipment and the used manufacturing technologies like energy consumption, pollution or recyclability are mandatory.

Once this information is available, e.g. how much energy does a robot consume during operation or which materials and how many of them does the robot contains, this can be taken into account.

Another aspect is to optimize an existing plant by reducing transportation inside the plant. This could be done with a static analysis using FactoryFLOW of the existing transportation which is required to manufacture a specific product. Or if you want to take dynamic effects like traffic jams into account you could use our product Plant Simulation.

But sustainability and green manufacturing is a much broader topic and I might do a separate post about it.

Not applicable

That was an inspiring post,

Nice explanation of digital manufacturing,

Keep up the good work,


Siemens Theorist

Thanks grin

I’m always trying to explain complex topics as simple as possible; mostly using examples.

BTW: If you are interested in digital manufacturing, just click on Tecnomatix in the tag cloud on the right page site which will provide you with additional posts about this topic.