IT in Manufacturing


Digital twin allows process simulations

December 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 percent 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:

5G – the wireless network of the future
December 2019, Siemens Digital Industries , Industrial Wireless
Mobile wireless network standards, starting with 1G, have been shaping our mobile communication for years. While previous developments have focused on improved usability in the public sector, the new ...

Read more...
Game-changing digital solutions for mines
December 2019, SKF South Africa , IT in Manufacturing
With digitalisation creeping into the mining industry and transforming day-to-day operations, this sector is enhancing its Industry 4.0 operation and process compliancy. As a preferred supplier of premium ...

Read more...
Protect critical infrastructure and manufacturing plants
December 2019 , IT in Manufacturing
As manufacturers around the world analyse and embrace the importance of being more connected to the IIoT, cybersecurity experts caution that the benefits of being interconnected come with a warning, and ...

Read more...
Extending analytics to EAM and operations users
December 2019 , IT in Manufacturing
Today’s manufacturing operations and maintenance teams generate vast amounts of data in all forms.

Read more...
AI in manufacturing – revolutionary opportunity or well-trodden path?
December 2019, Absolute Perspectives , IT in Manufacturing
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a catchphrase used by marketers that attributes the characteristics of human intelligence to a computer system.

Read more...
Space chair automation
December 2019, Siemens Digital Industries , Motion Control & Drives
The Euro Space Centre adventure park in Transinne in Belgium is home to a number of different simulators, including the original NASA multi-axis chair dating back to the 1960s which was used to familiarise ...

Read more...
Blockchain technology in the food and beverage industry
December 2019, Schneider Electric South Africa , IT in Manufacturing
Advances in blockchain technology could enable the food and beverage industry (F&B) to enhance traceability. In the US alone, food recalls and food-borne illnesses cost some $77 billion per annum, including ...

Read more...
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...