The Industry of the Future touches six main domains: product design and process, control, fabrication, services and maintenance, big-data analytics, and work organization. The first main step is the digitalization of factories for new (greenfield) and existing (brownfield) factories. In this way, the digital mockup of factories lets us simulate and experiment before it’s real. With efficient, easy-to-deploy solutions, Autodesk helps factory owners to achieve this very important phase of the Industry of the Future, not in the future, but now. This article shows how Autodesk solutions enable you to digitalize, simulate, and experiment with your factories and will also explain the potential use cases we can address with estimated ROI.
The Factory of the Future
Virtual industrialization is the number one development area of the Factory of the Future. Why? Because it puts in place the base for the others. For example, it helps to put in place a better control, facilitate the operations and maintenance, and of course has an impact on the work organization. Creating a virtual factory including building and production lines is an important step that gives a lot of quick wins for a reasonable and controlled investment.
Create and Manage the Factory Digital Twin
Building Digitalization: BIM
The building is of course a big part of a factory. Today, you cannot talk about building a digital model without mentioning BIM (Building Information Modeling). BIM is a parametric 3D model that contains all itemized elements (slab, pillars, walls, etc.) with associated information (IPE350, paint color, length, location, etc.). Autodesk was at the time the pioneer of the BIM process. Now, we can say that Autodesk is the leader on the BIM market with the Revit platform.
With the BIM model, Autodesk's solution allows you to extract component lists with details and different views and sections with associated dimensions. These views depend on the 3D model and the information contained. They evolve automatically if the 3D model evolves.
Production Line Digitalization
The solution proposed by Autodesk allows you to extract mesh surface models from each machine or production work cell. These meshes can be simplified and identified as an item. The Product Design & Manufacturing Collection gives access by default to a rich library of machine tools, equipment, etc.
It is also possible to retrieve a native machine model from suppliers and simplify it.
• Direct modeling technology
• Move / delete functions with a single click
• Independence from previous design methodology
• Simplification of complex assemblies
• Simplification directly from models of the design office or subcontractors
• Native reading of assemblies from Solidworks, ProEngineer, Catia, etc.
• Automatic or manual simplification
• Remove small parts, holes
• Create a single envelope entity
• Reduce the file size
Work with Captured Reality
Autodesk offers the unique capability to work on an existing environment captured with a laser scan. A digital factory management tool is integrated into Autodesk's Product Design Collection. It allows the aggregation of all 2D and 3D data of a project (point clouds, building, structure, equipment, piping, ground, etc.). Features include:
• Lightweight and easy to handle overall model
• Real-time navigation
• Realization of measurements
• Creation of animations
• Combining a visual with project management
• Update the digital model throughout the project
• Interference detection
A free and lightweight "viewer" of this digital twin management application is available. It can be installed on a small PC but also on tablets.
Create a Digital Mockup of Existing Components
It is possible to work directly with the point clouds or the mesh of the machines in order to extract a light 3D model. It is possible to generate 360-degree stereo panorama views of different points of the factory that can be used for training around machines and production work cells. Always with the aim of communicating around the global model of the plant, it is possible, with the Autodesk solution, to integrate the factory model in an interactive virtual reality environment.
Use cases and ROI
The investment to create a factory digital mockup can easily be balanced by the ROI of a lot of services inside a factory: production, maintenance, works, facility management, security, trainings, ergonomics, sales, marketing, and others.
For production, the use cases are:
• Simulate implantation scenarios
• Manage people
• Manage used surfaces
• Manage industrial systems
• Manage traffic flows
• Simulate logistic flows and storage
• Manage regulatory controls
Going from 2D to 3D + analyses helps to reach the expected implantation budget. The cumulative ROI can progressively pay for the digital mockup of the factory in a short time.
Other benefit examples for production:
• Centralized information into a digital twin
• Easy access of the information
• Direct modification
• Annotations and synchronization
In facility management, the use cases with ROI can be found in the following domains: security, maintenance, exploitation, space management, and works.
Frédéric is a solution engineer at Autodesk. He started his career as an ANSYS simulation engineer. Then, he continued as an ANSYS mechanical and structural application engineer into the Robobat Company. He joined Autodesk in 2008 as an AEC application engineer promoting the whole BIM (Building Information Modeling) solution. In 2010, he moved into the Autodesk Manufacturing Division as a solution engineer. Today, Frédéric is really happy to promote the Autodesk Future of Making Things vision. With his manufacturing, simulation, and AEC skills, Frédéric has the right industry knowledge to drive customers to the good solutions, particularly regarding the Industry of the Future.