Digital Twin Technology
Three-dimensional (3D) models and, more recently, digital twins are increasingly well-established as the epicenter for optimizing product designs, allowing engineers to hammer out problems and verify key concepts in the digital world without the expense of building costly prototypes. The manufacturing sector is starting to head down a similar path, leveraging digital twins as a more effective and less expensive way to plan, commission, operate and maintain automated processes and industrial equipment. Hive Virtual Plant can provide digital twin technology to business owners who run plants and factories in the GTA and across Ontario. Digital twin technology is becoming so popular and effective that companies are going as far as spinning up entire plant floor operations and workflows in a virtual environment as the initial phase of commissioning. In this blog by Hive VP, we talk about digital twin technology and how it can benefit your business.
Click here to get more information about our services at Hive Virtual Plant.
What is Digital Twin Technology?
A digital twin uses virtual and augmented reality as well as 3D graphic and data modeling to build a virtual model of a process, system, service, product or other physical objects. This digital twin is an exact replica of the physical world. Its exact replica status is maintained through real-time updates. It is a technology that is applicable to a wide range of environments, including the monitoring of assets while they are in use and throughout their life cycle. An example would be a conveyor in a food processing plant. For a manufacturing plant, a digital twin could be used for:
- Component level: Focused on a single, highly critical component within the manufacturing process
- Asset level: Creating a digital twin of a single piece of equipment within a production line
- System-level: Using a digital twin to monitor and improve an entire production line
- Process level: This looks at the entire manufacturing process from product and process design and development to manufacturing and production, to distribution and use of the finished product by customers/patients throughout the entire life cycle and for the development of future products.
What can be done with a Digital Twin?
A digital twin firstly lets you monitor a manufacturing component, asset, system, or process in real-time. This gives a deeper understanding of what is happening on your production lines and in the wider manufacturing process. With machine learning and inputs from expert engineers, you can also use the digital twin to identify problems before they occur and predict outcomes for the future. This includes outcomes within existing parameters as well as outcomes if those parameters change. Digital twin technology supports other Industry 4.0 technologies too and can benefit predictive maintenance, improve OEE, reduce waste, improve batch changeover times, improve product quality, enhance traceability, and more. Its the perfect technology for plants and factories that manufacture products.
What are some of the benefits of using Digital Twin Technology in plants?
There are many benefits of using a digital twin for your GTA or Ontario based plant or factory. Some of these benefits include:
- Increased reliability of equipment and production lines
- Improved OEE through reduced downtime and improved performance
- Improved productivity
- Reduced risk in various areas including product availability, marketplace reputation, and more
- Lower maintenance costs by predicting maintenance issues before breakdowns occur
- Faster production times
- New business opportunities such as mass customization, mixed manufacturing, small-batch manufacturing, and more
- Improved customer service as customers can remotely configure customized products
- And much more!
At Hive Virtual Plant, we take great pride in our 3D laser scanning technology and helping business owners see their plant or factory in a different light. Beyond solving our clients’ problems we have one simple objective, to become their most trusted partner. Click here to find our contact information or to speak with a Hive VP representative.
About The Author: Rob Jickling
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