When we think of the automotive industry some years ago, the time to ramp up a manufacturing line to full productivity could have taken more than one year.
Global competition does not allow for this anymore, which means that full production of a complex line, such as in the automotive sector, now needs to be reached in less than three months.
Siemens says plant simulation software is the key to reducing the time required to commission and optimise complex production systems. The company says, using its Tecnomatix Plant Simulation, it has seen plants achieve up to 75% shorter plant commissioning times.
According to the company, using the data inside Teamcenter Manufacturing, planning engineers can build a simulation model that reflects the complexity of the required production, including its dynamic behavior.
The company says that in recent years, material flow simulation has been enhanced by powerful 3D visualization capabilities.
The Siemens’ website says that as most equipment suppliers now offer 3D model geometry for their products. This means, for example, that robot, high bay warehouse, and build conveyer model geometries are available in 3D form. Therefore, customers using the Siemens platform can build a 3D-enabled material flow simulation using these real CAD models enabling robust decisions for their future investments. Through these simulations they get a 3D digital factory representation in real time that anyone can understand right away.
The simulation enables optimization of the system including planning of the layout, the control logic, and the dimensioning, that is, the means to optimally fine tune the amount, position and sequence of production resources.
Analysis shows that in this way one can achieve increased productivity of up to 40%. Several tools in the software enable deeper investigation into the system behavior. There is, for example, a bottleneck analyzer that investigates the system, analyzes the statistics, and specifically points out where to find savings potential within the system.
Another analysis tool that is built into the software is the Sankey Diagram, which allows the plant designers to quickly get an overview of system material flows. This means, for example, that you can reduce the number of forklifts required and design your conveyor system at lower costs allowing you to reduce the plant (capital) investment by as much as 30%.