Turnkey Manufacturing Solutions case study summary
TMS develops reliable production lines, allowing automobile manufacturers to achieve their ambitious time-to-market goals.
Turnkey Manufacturing Solutions (TMS) headquartered in Linz, Austria, manufactures materials handling, assembly and part cleaning equipment for the automobile industry. TMS was among the first manufacturers worldwide to create reliable production lines that accommodate several models in various batches. TMS also has ample experience integrating new models with existing production line which enhance the flexibility of the plants allowing manufacturers to react faster to unforeseen changes in demand.
The company’s main challenge was developing highly-efficient reliable car body production lines, suitable for a variety of models, with a risk-free way to facilitate physical reconfiguration of a plant without reducing its production capacity successively during brief shutdown periods.
TMS realized that without an in-depth simulation of the entire production plant, reconfiguration would not be possible without prolonged standstills.
It is now common practice at TMS to digitally design, simulate, and commission each plant all the way to customer approval, including offline robot programming and details down to individual screws. TMS uses Tecnomatix Plant Simulation solution to create plant concepts as early as the proposal phase and Siemens PLM Software’s Process Simulate and Process Designer solutions for detailed planning. In the design and development phase, TMS uses Siemens’ NX software.
TMS does not rely on planning data. It is standard procedure to incorporate the as-is situation using point clouds from 3D scans in the simulation model. TMS was one of the first customers to use the point cloud integration module in Process Simulate. This allows them to make preparatory modifications to the existing facility, substantially enhancing planning dependability, and save costs for additional on-site assignments for rectification work.
Design and verification of the production facilities in the virtual world start with the design of complex manufacturing processes using the Process Designer solution. Offline robot programming is also performed using this tool for the design, simulation and optimization of complex production equipment.
TMS engineers optimize the results by simulating the production equipment in an iterative process using Process Simulate. In regular intervals they pass the simulation results on their customers for review and approval, and they make all necessary modifications directly in the simulation model. All changes automatically appear in the data that make up the overall model. Without additional efforts, the automatic updates deliver consistency that result in higher quality. TMS has intensified the use of simulation products because it enables them to optimize lines prior to commissioning.
Verification of the development results in TMS is no longer confined to pure simulation. As soon as simulations are completed they are followed by virtual commissioning. The simulation model is connected to the actual control system which has been programmed in parallel with plant optimization in the virtual world. This simulation incorporates the actual timing characteristics of all parts of the line. This allows the engineers not only to identify and eliminate programming errors but also to further optimize time-critical processes. Virtual commissioning allows improvement and optimization of the control system software, avoiding unpleasant surprises when loading it to the target systems on site later. Virtual commissioning cuts the time TMS staff needs to spend on site during the final commissioning phase from several weeks to a few days.