Digital manufacturing uses computer systems to integrate data from various manufacturing processes.
It relies on digital technologies such as 3D modeling, simulations and analytics to improve production, supply chains, and other areas associated with manufacturing with the goal of becoming more agile to save money and respond to market conditions.
Digital manufacturing is especially applicable to designing products, creating smart factories and optimizing the value chain.
Instead of relying on physical processes, companies can turn to digital models. Here are three clear benefits of digital manufacturing.
Engineers can utilize digital manufacturing applications to make an electronic twin — basically a digital prototype or copy — rather than using materials like metal or foam to make a real one.
They could then examine the electronic twin to ascertain how real world conditions could impact suggested layout changes, and subsequently, detect possible defects.
For example: A digital representation of a car engine can show that some components will deteriorate faster than others. Technicians can study their digital twins to find solutions to those issues.
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The value chain may be complex to enhance. Digital production can assist with analysis all over the series through its focus on integration and data. In addition, it allows experimentation via electronic means, so there’s less physical and fiscal risk.
One way that this plays out is in maximizing mill layout. Businesses can utilize digital manufacturing applications to make virtual representations of mill floor designs and mimic production processes.
Technicians can detect potential bottlenecks, in addition to causes of downtime or waste, before the mill is built. This helps to ensure that the mill will operate efficiently once it is operational.
Technicians may also use digital representations to experiment using different manufacturing methods without having to spend money on infrastructure or retooling.
By way of instance, a mill manager may hear a different sort of machine is much more efficient than that which is currently being used. Technicians can create an electronic representation of this mill and change out the older machines to get new ones.
The technicians may then examine the simulation to find out how the new machine will influence production.
They might discover a brand new machine is too expensive, too dangerous or too slow — without spending cash, endangering employees or altering the manufacturing program.
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Digital manufacturing supplies the frame for smart mills, that can be closely connected with Business 4.0. Although in their infancy, smart factories utilize artificial intelligence, robotics, analytics, large information and IoT to operate on a mostly autonomous foundation.
They’re effective at self-correcting and alerting human employees when a problem happens. Since smart factories are intended to operate with minimal human interaction, one possible advantage is that individuals are freed from tedious, repetitive jobs and can concentrate on more interesting and significant work.
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