industry needs to build. They have to apply some of the methods that automotive has applied, and they cannot afford all of the time it’s taken in the past, so they’re doing more robotic and material flow simulations today as well.” Many digital applications need more effective simulations

related to shop-floor ergonomics, and employing the Tec- nomatix Jack and Jill manikins in simulations gives builders key insights into potential ergonomic risks in any particular process. “It was a bigger trend in automotive in the '90s, and it’s coming back with the aging workforce,” Rossgoderer said. “They have a shift in age on the shop floor they have to be sensitive to, which lead, in places like Germany, to raising the retirement age to 67 over the next years.” Melding simulations with technologies like augmented

reality, and with Google Glass, also are starting up, albeit in incubation form, added Frankel. Another trend is the support of point cloud data in visualizations recently added in Tecnomatix solutions, which narrows the gap between the factory and simulations. “With the support of point clouds, there is a greater fidelity between the product and the 3D world,” he said, noting that with any new changes, scans can be quickly added in for a more complete model. “We’re ultimately trying to enable companies to make a virtual twin.”

Adopting new digital tools The payoff of digital manufacturing

isn’t always readily apparent to many. “A lot of companies are simply not aware of virtual simulation or a ‘digital factory’ and how it can help them,” said Helmut Ziewers, VP, Digital Factory Solutions, Cenit AG. With its updated FastSuite Edition

2, Cenit offers a digital manufactur- ing software platform for automating robotics applications. With Cenit’s FastSuite, manufacturers can maximize factory throughput, Ziewers said. “Not only does it offer a simulated test and way to configure your manufacturing environment better, but it will help save on costs,” he said. “Doing something digitally will prove out the process, and it’s a lot easier to change things on the computer screen than it is to reconfig- ure them on the shop floor.


“Digital manufacturing thus becomes an enabler for

automation technology. Thanks to early feasibility studies, by testing the reach and limits of various robots for cer- tain applications, it provides a higher maturity during the decision-making process,” he said. With hundreds of installations of FastSuite, Cenit has

customers like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Ford Motor Co. in production applications, such as spray paint, laser cutting of sheet metal and automated robotic riveting, Ziewers said. “Cycle time enhancements using real-time emulation in the virtual world before commissioning them to the shop floor is a major way to improve efficiency in any factory that has automation,” he said.

Leveraging CAE simulations More widespread use of CAE and multiphysics simula- tions is also making inroads in manufacturing, as “non- expert” users become more involved with these simulations early in design cycles that have a major effect downstream on product development and manufacturing processes. “The large majority of use is around product design,” said

Summer 2016

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