4 ways to transform manufacturing operations

Posted on 4 Apr 2023 by The Manufacturer
Partner Content

Discover how digital twins can be used to accelerate production efficiency, driving manufacturing straight to real-world value and fast impact.

Time to value is essential to production. In today’s climate of rising costs and ongoing uncertainty, you need digital solutions that make a difference to your daily operations now. Investing in secure digital technology – that helps reduce errors, costs, and waste from day one – fast-tracks your journey to efficient processes and real-world results.

Intelligent twins drive smarter factories

Digital twins give you the insight to inform your smart manufacturing investments and transform your manufacturing operations at speed. Enabling you to gain real-world results in weeks, not months.

By creating digital replicas of physical assets, processes and resources, manufacturers can use digital twins to test and experiment across different scenarios – uncovering knowledge to drive sustainable efficiencies and enable innovation at scale. Here’s the effect you can expect to see:

1) Factory: Increase production volume

Digital twins can leverage factory data to improve operations and processes, increasing production volume by 10-15%. There are several ways digital twins can trigger this growth, such as optimising capacity, conserving energy, reducing errors and scaling use cases.

Additionally, digital twins can be used to encourage collaboration, scalable training and efficient ways of working. Automation takes care of repetitive tasks and processes, so workers can do more in less time. Using virtual guidance to facilitate knowledge sharing can also speed up problem solving – and reduce the training burden on senior team members. That’s a win for you, the business and your employee.

2) Products: Reduce waste

Digital twins can accelerate the drive towards responsible manufacturing – reducing waste by 10-20% and lowering greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount.

These outcomes are realised by using digital twins to test and develop connected products, streamlining across the product lifecycle to limit waste. This may involve reducing errors and avoiding production stoppages or identifying ways to improve reusability of materials.

As an example, Avanade created a visual inspection solution to help a utility client increase the purity of its waste plastic, glass, and paper. This meant the client could sell these waste materials for greater profit.

3) Production line: Improve asset utilisation

Digital twins can increase asset utilisation by 10-15% and reduce inspection costs by 10-20%. This is made possible by monitoring and analysing the factory production line to enhance factors such as production capacity, packaging efficiency and grade quality.

  • Production capacity – analyses the utilisation of factory machines and replicates the production line, revealing insights that can increase production capacity and variability, and reduce costs.
  • Packaging efficiency – monitors, simulates, and refines the packaging process within a production line, focusing on features such as precision, surplus and cost to reduce errors and ensure quality.
  • Grade quality – detects machine defects and anomalies in real-time and predicts possible deviations in quality along the production line. This insight is then used to pre-empt repairs to reduce inspection costs and improve product grades to ensure that the final product meets standards.

4) Factory machines: Enhance quality and yield

A digital twin gathers insights from a machine to understand its current state, predict its behaviour and enhance its functionality.

This has several use cases, ranging from calculating the machine’s remaining useful life to undertaking corrosion analysis. It can also be used to perform what if scenarios, running infinite simulations to find a solution that improves machine performance to produce a consistent, quality product.

Avanade helped a client in the consumer goods sector improve its product quality with intelligent digital twin visualisation. The plastic parts produced through injection moulding often had defects, so we used digital twin visualisation to identify the cause and suggest improvements.

Based on this insight, we were able to deploy a monitoring solution, which is expected to save the company $15-20 million by 2025, thanks to a reduction in part failure and improvement in product quality and yield.

Accelerate time to value

To learn more about intelligent digital twin solutions and how they can transform the factory floor, explore our suite of assets. See how digital twin technologies can uncover sustainable efficiencies and build a business case so you can talk to your CIO about bringing speed and value to your operations.

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About the author

Tom Nall, Global Manufacturing Lead, Avanade

Tom specialises in leveraging technology to create value for manufacturers and is passionate about helping manufacturers harness the rapidly changing world of technology to become more innovative, efficient and productive.