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Video: On To New Shores With Digitization
In short, digitization changes everything! In our area in particular, digitization is making rapid progress. Things have been digitized for a long time, for example from 2D drawings to 3D models. But the depth and consistency with which digitization is currently taking place is new. Meanwhile, designers all over the world are working together on a product and contributing data and information. As a result, completely new ideas flow into the design and development process, which in turn leads to completely new approaches.
What does this mean for traditional process chains?
The various disciplines that make up a product today can be more easily networked through digitization and linked to the requirements and the real performance data. This is necessary in order to be able to develop today's highly sophisticated products. It is essential to integrate the CAD, CAM and CAE solution modules across the various specialist areas.
Speaking of manufacturing - how do digitalization and new manufacturing technologies influence each other?
Some design approaches only make sense for certain methods. Specifically, this means that a product that is to be manufactured additively or hybridly has to be constructed differently than a process that is purely material-removing. The information that comes back from production must therefore already flow into the design process. Production defines the construction more and more.
Can you give an example?
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic, commonly also called carbon, is being used more and more frequently. However, many designers continue to treat the material like black sheet metal, so they do not adequately address its specific properties. This will change with new, digital tools such as NX and Fibersim and the necessary know-how about their application.
Digitization will also significantly simplify predictive engineering. This makes it possible to predict exactly what the product will be able to do very early on in the process. The control of the necessary machine tools can also be represented virtually. These digital images of products and manufacturing systems become more and more precise the more data from manufacturing and from the products is played back and evaluated. The aim is to describe a product so completely digitally that it corresponds exactly to reality as a digital twin. The real and the virtual world are interlocking more and more.
For this networking, however, all data must first be available digitally.
This requires an open, transparent platform on which all data is available to everyone involved. The approaches here are often still too vertical. For each individual area, for example mechanics or electrics, the best solution is sought without worrying about the integration. This creates islands that need to be networked. How such a horizontal integration of the different disciplines takes place, whether in a single tool or whether the networking at data model level takes place between the generation tools, often depends on the company processes. But it is important that the integration takes place.
What solutions does Siemens offer for integration?
In our view, horizontal integration is very important here. Disciplines like mechanics, electronics or software have to be networked as well as production and construction. For example, we acquired Polarion, an application lifecycle management provider. This enables us to integrate the topic of software development into our PLM structure. The Siemens portfolio is also integrated beyond the software. Our machine controls can be mapped virtually and can therefore be taken into account early in the design of a machine and used for virtual commissioning. A future solution for the engineering of production lines will not only combine mechanics and electronics as disciplines in one application, but also the creation of the automation code.With the additional coupling to the TIA portal, our automation designer will usher in a whole new era in integrated mechatronic engineering. The truly networking of digital product and manufacturing planning with the real automation components in the manufacturing world will produce completely new product ideas and business models.
So what opportunities do you see in networking?
The great opportunity for companies is certainly that completely new business models can open up. For example, a company that has previously manufactured spare parts for certain products could switch to selling digital models of these parts in the future. The customer buys the digital version and prints out the component himself. Production, warehousing and so on are eliminated. For such business models, however, the process chain must be absolutely stable, only then can companies get involved with these new models and use them for themselves.
And the downside - what are the risks of networking?
In a globalized economy, the question is no longer whether anyone is using a new business model. It's just a question of who does it when. Companies that do not do their homework on digital processes quickly fall behind here. In this context, new ways of acquiring knowledge will also become important. Companies should think about digital education strategies so that their own employees can keep up with the competition.
Thank you for the interview
Siemens PLM Software at the SPS IPC Drives 2016: Hall 11
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