IT in Manufacturing


Faster results with a digital twin

June 2019 IT in Manufacturing

The high-tech company Grenzebach’s portfolio includes the simulation of material flow in complex plants in the glass industry, which it achieves using Siemens simulation solutions. Together, the two companies have developed the most recent product from Grenzebach, the tin-air speed stacker, a machine for stacking all types of glass sheet. This expertise has produced a Siemens digital twin that allows all the functions and permutations of the stacker to be simulated, while simultaneously developing the initial motion control program to provide an optimum starting point for virtual commissioning. By running what were previously sequential development steps in parallel, it was possible to reduce both development times and costs significantly.

The stacker is a three-axis system that can selectively pick up glass sheets, from the tin side or the air side, and place them vertically on a glass rack – up to 20 times a minute. This represents a 30% improvement in stacking performance and makes the tin-air speed stacker the most powerful of its type. The motion control is provided by a Simotion D445 system with the Handling Advanced universal library, as well as Sinamics S120 modular converters and Simotics S servomotors. Grenzebach was venturing into completely new ground with this development. “In order to get to grips with the potential singularities of the kinematics, which were similar to those found in articulated robots, we decided to build a digital twin for the first time,” explains Roland Jenning, head of Innovation at Grenzebach.

Erring on the side of caution

The digital twin was produced using the NX Mechatronics Designer from Siemens PLM Software. The initial motion control programs were created at the same time as the digital twin, which reduced the development time and time-to-market significantly. To make the simulation of the programmed movements in the digital twin as close to reality as possible, Grenzebach chose a ‘hardware in the loop’ design in which the control is connected to the kinematic modal in NX via a Simit simulation unit. The program is then tested using the Simotion Scout engineering system: Simit picks up errors and highlights weak points. This allows processes to be optimised long before the first actual commissioning. However, this is not the end of the digital twin’s usefulness. Future modifications to the plant or changes to the product can be played out virtually in advance and checked for errors without disrupting operations.

For more information contact Jennifer Naidoo, Siemens Digital Industries, +27 11 652 2795, jennifer.naidoo@siemens.com, www.siemens.co.za



Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Navigate the fourth industrial revolution with PricewaterhouseCoopers
November 2019 , IT in Manufacturing
Using the building blocks of 4IR to transform business processes into manufacturing advantages requires a holistic approach.

Read more...
Artificial intelligence in manufacturing – a practical and simplified view
November 2019, Altron Bytes Systems Integration , IT in Manufacturing
Looking at and interpreting data generated during the manufacturing process to find ways to reduce waste, improve quality and increase yield is not new. However, the increased use of digital technologies ...

Read more...
Intelligent data glasses support production
November 2019, Siemens Digital Industries , IT in Manufacturing
Augmented Reality (AR) has arrived in the workplace: for the last three years, a consortium of six companies and institutions chaired by Siemens has been researching the use of augmented reality (AR) ...

Read more...
VinFast deploys Siemens technology to deliver cars ahead of schedule
November 2019, Siemens Digital Industries , System Integration & Control Systems Design
VinFast, Vietnam’s first volume car manufacturer, has successfully produced its first cars ahead of schedule using Siemens’ portfolio of integrated software and hardware. By deploying its portfolio, Siemens ...

Read more...
Siemens launches report on Dawn of Digitalisation and its Impact on Africa
October 2019, Siemens Digital Industries , IT in Manufacturing
Africa needs a digitalisation strategy to compete in the global economy.

Read more...
Integrating IT with Operations Technology - a CIO perspective
October 2019, Absolute Perspectives , IT in Manufacturing
Digitisation projects, spurred on by Industry 4.0 and technological advances, have opened up many possibilities to create new value.

Read more...
Real-time data increases metal recovery at Peñasquito mine
November 2019 , IT in Manufacturing
At a recent OSIsoft User Conference in California, ARC Advisory Group had an opportunity to learn about a related project at Newmont Goldcorp’s flagship Peñasquito gold, silver, zinc, and lead mine in ...

Read more...
The power of data
October 2019, Throughput Technologies , IT in Manufacturing
Gain access to important information with ProSoft's new OPC UA-based gateway and data logger.

Read more...
Securing and managing devices the modern way
October 2019 , IT in Manufacturing
Organisations of all types and sizes are bringing vast numbers of devices into their IT infrastructure and networks. Moreover, these devices are not only smartphones, wearables and tablets because the ...

Read more...
Siemens South Africa puts Smart City vision into action
September 2019, Siemens Digital Industries , News
Fourteen months ago, Siemens installed a microgrid at its headquarters in Midrand and data shows it is using 50% less supplied energy, drawing it from solar resources instead. By extracting energy off ...

Read more...