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Virtual Plant Engineering: Closing the loop from design to operations
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Description

GEA is one of the largest suppliers of process technology for the food industry and a wide range of other industries. The international technology group focuses on process technology and components for sophisticated production processes in various end-user markets. In 2016, GEA generated consolidated revenues of about EUR 4.5 billion. The food and beverages sector, which is a long-term growth industry, accounted for around 70 percent. GEA's vision is to provide the world with innovative solutions for smart food processing and for a more efficient use of energy resources. Which means �We want to be known by our customers for providing innovative solutions that help them be even more successful�. The cornerstones of GEA strategy include: Market leadership and focus (concentrate on core competencies and technologies), Technology leadership through innovation (differentiation based on technological advantage), Strong focus on the bottom line (decentralized global structure, rigorous cost management), Calculated risks (diversification and project risk management) Dr Christian Hirschen, team manager for GEA's Digital Twin project, is looking together with his team for innovative solutions which are effective against information silos, increase automation and customer satisfaction. The program has the following key objectives: Link Design & Build data with Operations (maintenance), Connect past, present and future to improve performance, Establish a single access point for information for all types of users, Remove silos, Add customer value through innovation. The target personas for the solution are the GEA project manager, customer project manager and GEA services technicians. Two main scenarios where addressed in this first project: the first aimed at delivering an overview of the plant design to the GEA and customer project managers, giving them access to the relevant data. The second scenario was for services technicians, to receive live information from sensors placed over key components of the plant and instant notifications of predicted or occurring failures of components. Authorised maintenance staff would get an alert and immediately gain access to the right information to request targeted inspections and send requests for new parts. The solution delivered by Autodesk Consulting leveraged the reusable �Forge Toolkit for Information Hubs� to enable: the display of service alerts, the correlation between 2D with 3D views, document browsing (filtered

Key Learnings

  • How new technologies are impacting the the world of plant processing
  • How digital twins can support products life-cycle and plant manufacturing in general
  • How the Agile project methodology has decreased the time to deliver and improved the cooperation
  • The role of Autodesk and FORGE in the project, the challenges, the approch followed and the future prospects

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