Article | April 1, 2022
Digital twin technology in the manufacturing industry is playing a vital role in evaluating current and future production line conditions to increase OEE, productivity, and business profitability. It has become the most critical component of industry 4.0 because it collects precise data about your manufacturing process and uses that data to help you make wiser decisions.
In other words, manufacturers can utilize digital twins to check and assess physical assets, processes, and systems in a virtual environment.
In this article, we will discuss some of the major applications of digital twin technology in the manufacturing industry. Additionally, we also have a look at how this technology helps businesses increase their ROI.
Digital Twin Technology Applications
Product development is a long and intricate process. For example, it might take up to six years to develop and launch a new automobile model. The shift from the previous model to the new model must be seamless. A minor error during this process might have a detrimental effect on the brand's value and revenue. A digital twin software enables the integration of data between previous-generation models and the new concept's digital representations. Additionally, twinning facilitates communication between product designers, end users, and other stakeholders. When it comes to product testing, having digital twin platforms eliminates the need to wait for performance data from car trials to determine the product's performance and quality.
As consumers become more intelligent, and demand personalized items in a timely manner, the manufacturing industry will become increasingly competitive. According to an Industry Week Special Research Report on the future of manufacturing, industrial enterprises of all sizes place a premium on process improvement and customer relationship strengthening, while small businesses focus on addressing customer demand for product customization. To assist in the customization process, manufacturers use Twin Design Customization, which enables the virtual design and re-design of goods prior to generating a physical product that fully meets consumer specifications.
Shop Floor Performance Improvement
The shop-floor digital twin concept helps businesses to be proactive as the system is capable of identifying anomalous situations. This demands attention and process improvements prior to them escalating into a real problem or standstill.
Individual digital twin examples for equipment or manufacturing processes can detect deviations that indicate the need for preventative repairs or maintenance prior to the occurrence of a serious problem. Additionally, they can aid in the optimization of load levels, tool calibration, and cycle times.
Can Digital Twin Boost Business Revenue?
According to a recent study by Juniper Research, revenue from digital twins (a virtual representation of a connected physical product, process, or service throughout its lifecycle) will reach $13 billion by 2023. This is an increase from an estimated $9.8 billion in 2019, representing an average annual growth rate of 35%. The study also discovered that increased deployments of advanced sensors for data collection and technological advancements such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing are enhancing the benefits of digital twins.
So, how does a digital twin help your company's ROI?
The digital twin improves transformation efficiency by providing platforms and technologies that simulate the impact of process changes in your supply chain – in a safe, secure, and digitally isolated environment – using real-time scenario modeling generated parallel with live supply chain operations. More than a visualization, a digital twin can help accelerate innovation, foster consensus, and save time and money by iteratively modeling changes, testing how components or systems operate, and inexpensively troubleshooting malfunctions in a virtual world.
The digital twin platforms benefit manufacturing organizations across all verticals, including supply chain management, manufacturing operations, and logistics. Thus, technology is accelerating and enhancing the manufacturing industry to obtain more positive results and, in turn, increase its efficiency and, as a result, its return on investment. The digital twin will gain popularity as businesses learn to use it to their advantage. According to a 2020 analysis conducted by Research and Markets, up to 89% of all IoT platforms will incorporate digital twins by 2025. Thus, the future of digital twins is bright, and we may witness increased use of digital twins in the next few years.
How digital twin help businesses?
Digital twins can help businesses make better data-driven decisions. Businesses utilize digital twins to understand the state of physical assets, respond to changes, optimize operations, and add value to systems.
How does digital twin save money?
A digital twin can save time and money by iteratively modeling modifications, testing component or system functionality, and resolving faults in virtual reality.
What are the essential components of digital twin technology?
The concept of the digital twin is composed of three unique components: the physical product, the digital or virtual product, and the linkages between the two.
Article | December 6, 2021
Additive Manufacturing (AM) uses computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D object scanners to create accurate geometric features. In contrast to traditional manufacturing, which frequently involves milling or other processes to eliminate superfluous material, these are produced layer by layer, as with a 3D printing process.
The global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow at a 14.42 percent annual rate from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028, according to reports and data. Overall, the worldwide 3D printing industry is gaining traction due to various reasons, some of which are listed below.
Significantly, greater resolution
Reduced manufacturing costs as a result of recent technology breakthroughs
Ease of creating customised goods
Increasing possibilities for printing with diverse materials
Funding by the government for 3D printing ventures
Additive manufacturing is available or may be implemented in various procedures, which is the primary objective of this article. First, we'll look at the seven additive manufacturing processes and which one is the best to use. So let us begin.
“Don’t be afraid to go outside of your industry to learn best practices. There might be something that surprises you or inspires you to try in your line of work.”
– Emily Desimone, Director of Global Marketing at SLM Solutions
Additive Manufacturing Processes
There are numerous diverse additive manufacturing processes, each with its own set of standards. Here are the seven additive manufacturing procedures that many manufacturers consider based on their benefits from each process, or whichever approach best suits their product requirements.
This additive manufacturing process is quite similar to that of conventional inkjet printers, in which material droplets are selectively placed layer by layer to build a three-dimensional object. After completing a layer, it is cured with UV radiation.
VAT Photo Polymerization
This procedure employs a technology called photo polymerization, in which radiation-curable resins or photopolymers are utilized to ultraviolet light to generate three-dimensional objects selectively. When these materials are exposed to air, they undergo a chemical reaction and solidify. Stereo lithography, Digital Light Processing, and Continuous Digital Light Processing are the three primary subcategories.
Binder jetting is a process that deposits a binding agent, typically in liquid form, selectively onto powdered material. The print head deposits alternating layers of bonding agent and construction material and a powder spreader to create a three-dimensional object.
S. Scott Crump invented and patented material extrusion in the 1980s using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The continuous thermoplastic filament is fed through a heated nozzle and then deposited layer by layer onto the build platform to produce the object.
Powder Bed Fusion
Powder bed fusion procedures, particularly selective laser sintering, were the pioneers of industrial additive manufacturing. This approach melts the powdered material and fuses it using a laser or electron beam to form a tangible item. The primary kinds of powder bed fusion are direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering, multi-jet fusion, electron beam melting, selective laser melting, and selective heat sintering.
Sheet lamination is a catch-all term encompassing ultrasonic additive manufacturing, selective deposition lamination, and laminated object manufacturing. All of these technologies stack and laminate sheets of material to form three-dimensional objects. After the object is constructed, the parts' undesirable areas are gradually removed layer by layer.
Directed Energy Deposition
Directed energy deposition technology employs thermal energy to melt and fuse the materials to form a three-dimensional object. These are pretty similar to welding processes, but are much more intricate.
Which Additive Manufacturing Process is best? Why?
Based on three fundamental factors, additive manufacturing techniques are categorized into seven types. First, the way material is solidified is determined first by the type of material employed, then by the deposition technique, and finally by how the material is solidified.
The end-user often chooses an additive manufacturing technique that best suits his requirements, followed by the explicit material for the process and application, out of the seven basic additive manufacturing processes.
Polymer materials are commonly used in AM techniques because they are adaptable to various procedures and can be modified to complicated geometries with high precision. Carbon-based compounds are used to strengthen polymers. Polymers, both solid and liquid, have been widely used due to the variety of shapes, formability, and end-use qualities available. Wherever the light-activated polymer contacts the liquid's surface, it instantly solidifies.
Photo polymerization, powder bed fusion, material jetting, and material extrusion are the most common additive manufacturing procedures for polymers. The materials employed in these processes can be liquid, powder, or solid (formed materials such as polymer film or filament).
How BASF is Using Additive Manufacturing
BASF is a chemical company. BASF, one of the world's major chemical companies, manufactures and provides a range of 3D printing filaments, resins, and powders within its extensive material portfolio.
The company, well-known in the 3D printing sector, has formed major material agreements with several 3D printer manufacturers, including HP, BigRep, Essentium, BCN3D, and others.
BASF went even further in 2017 by establishing BASF 3D printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS) as a wholly-owned subsidiary to expand the company's 3D printing business. In addition, BASF stated last year that B3DPS would change its name to Forward AM.
BASF's role in the 3D printing business, however, is not limited to material development. BASF has made several investments in 3D printing companies over the years, including the acquisition of Sculpteo, one of the significant French 3D printing service bureaus, last year.
BASF sees 3D printing as having a bright future. With the growing popularity of professional 3D printers, all of these systems will eventually require robust, high-quality polymer materials to perform at their best – and BASF has been paving the way to becoming one of the leading solution providers.
All additive manufacturing procedures are unique and helpful in their way. Still, some have additional advantages over others, such as the material used, highresolution, precision, and the ability to build complicated parts. Because of these added benefits, photopolymerization, material jetting, powder bed fusion, and material extrusion are preferred over others. Therefore, choose the AM process that is best suited to your manufacturing business and will assist you in achieving the desired final product output.
What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?
AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability.
What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?
Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing.
What are the steps of additive manufacturing?
The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below,
Step1 - Design a model with CAD software
Step4 - Post-processing
"name": "What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?",
"text": "AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability."
"name": "What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?",
"text": "Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing."
"name": "What are the steps of additive manufacturing?",
"text": "The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below,
Step1 - Design a model with CAD software
Step2 - Pre-processing
Step3 - Printing
Step4 - Post-processing"
Article | July 8, 2020
Nic Temple (pictured left) Vice President of US Sales, Global AGV shared the rationale for autonomous forklifts: any manufacturer operating two or more forklifts currently, must consider the merits of replacing one unit as a critical return-to-work strategy during the pandemic.
Fewer than 2% of forklifts sold in North America are automated, yet there has never been a greater need for this technology. Many manufacturers are looking to automate material handling processes because it reduces the potential for COVID-19 exposure by reducing human contact.
Essential manufacturers working throughout the pandemic have been forced to deal with social distancing and PPE (personal protection equipment) required for employee safety. The money that manufacturers must spend on masks, gloves, face shields, and Lexan plastic partitions is difficult to recoup for a small or midsized operation. Temple shared that automated material handling helps a company keep working through these challenges as the only viable return-to-work strategy.
A single autonomous forklift can achieve 60% savings on day-to-day operations
With a single autonomous forklift these smaller manufacturers can easily achieve a 60% savings on day-to-day operations shifting away from driver-operated forklifts.
60% Savings on Day-to-Day Operations
Manufacturing Technology, Future Of Manufacturing
Article | July 11, 2022
Even though Silicon Valley has built its reputation on innovation, it is believed that it has lost its edge. Business entrepreneurs were encouraged to focus on gleaming venture capitalists, to sell bigger dreams to the most popular technology. The future of the American manufacturing industry is predicted to have more growth than the past two decades, and here are the reasons why:
Excluding the Middleman:
From ancient times, manufacturers sold through retailers who acted as middlemen in the distribution process, but with the upgradation of the industry, manufacturers can now directly connect to the consumers and the government.
Rising Demand for US Made Products:
The US population leans more towards products that are made in America. Hence, the manufacturers make extra efforts to produce high quality premium products for their customers.
Customer Loyalty and Support:
Customers love to connect with the brand and understand the brand’s struggle to manufacture and create excellent products. Engaging customers in the journey will help manufacturers gain insights and feedback, and improvise accordingly. People today are more keen towards seeing improvements sooner, and it has become much easier to hear from customers, iterate, fail, pivot, and improve quickly.
Conscientious Capitalism’s Rise:
When you take into account the carbon cost of transportation imports, there is another clear advantage to the growth of domestic production. Important financial advisors are also raising this alarm. For instance, the polypropylene required for the majority of PPE is manufactured in the U.S., transported to China, used to make masks, and then returned. Additionally, since at least 18% of air pollution is caused by ocean freight, domestic product manufacturing may benefit both the environment and consumer demand.
The cost of energy consumption in the United States is declining, which is crucial when competing with foreign companies. For the first time in modern history, domestic production has a strategic advantage because electricity is the second-highest cost after labor.
The strategic advantage of cheap labour possessed by international competitors is eliminated by the growth of automation. Over the next ten years, robotic automation is expected to challenge enterprises that have relied on cheap labour as a competitive advantage, paving the way for a revival of American manufacturing.