Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - 27

Because the virtual twin contains everything there is to know about the product, engineers can lay
out virtual factories and simulate material flow. (Image: Dassault Systèmes)
passing year. Again, how will manufacturers
cope?
Enabling Customization at
Scale
The virtual twin is an excellent place
to start. Consider a typical product
launch. Historically, designers will put
their best foot forward, transforming
their ideas into CAD models that are
then machined or 3D printed into physical
prototypes. These are evaluated for
fit, form, and function, and the process
repeated until the design is correct or
the budget exhausted. With a virtual
twin, however, multiple design iterations
are no big deal. Digital models can be
put through their paces over and over
again until the optimal design configuration
has been achieved, all in a virtual
world, quickly, cost-effectively, and without
fear of failure.
These benefits apply to parts and assemblies
as much as they do the machine
tools and production lines that make
them. Because the virtual twin contains
everything there is to know about the
product, including procurement information
and manufacturing processes,
engineers can lay out virtual factories
and simulate material flow. They can
measure efficiency, identify safety concerns,
and look for improvement opportunities,
iterating at will until the manufacturing
and logistics processes are as
optimized as the product design.
Once the digital model becomes physical,
IoT-based sensors can be used to
Tech Briefs, July 2022
gather real-time production and quality
statistics and feed them back to the virtual
twin, helping management head off
potential problems before they can rear
their ugly heads. Such capabilities extend
to the field as well, where smart, internet-connected
products gather usage
information and send it to the OEM for
incorporation into the virtual twin, thus
closing the design loop. The result is
greater efficiency and flexibility throughout
every stage of the product lifecycle.
Of course, there's much more to this
digital manufacturing story than described
here. For instance, virtual twins enhance
inter-departmental collaboration, even
where teams are separated by multiple
time zones. They help increase knowledge
retention, a significant benefit given today's
tumultuous labor market. Virtual
twins provide greater supply chain visibility,
assist with manufacturing planning and
execution processes, and increase the asset
utilization levels of capital equipment.
The shift to mass customization has a
lot to offer consumers and manufacturers,
but also a new array of technical
challenges. With a virtual twin-enabled
platform, manufacturers can flexibly optimize
products' customization through
better-informed decisions without relying
on physical prototypes.
Simply put, it's an excellent time for a
twin.
This article is written by Eric Green, VP of
marketing, DELMIA, Dassault Systèmes. For
more information, visit http://info.hotims.
com/82323-284
www.techbriefs.com
Contact our application engineers:
Phone +1/919 787 9707
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022

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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - Cov1
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