Virtual Factory: Demonstration and Evaluation of a Digital Twin-Based Virtual Factory

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Abstrakt

Smart manufacturing, tailored by the 4th industrial revolution and forces like innovation, competition, and changing demands, lies behind the concurrent evolution of markets, products, processes and production systems. Manufacturing companies need to adapt to ever-changing environments by simultaneously reforming and regenerating their product, process, and system models as well as goals and strategies to stay competitive. However, the ever-increasing complexity and ever-shortening lifecycles of product, process and system domains challenge manufacturing organisation’s conventional approaches to analysing and formalising models and processes as well as management, maintenance, and simulation of product and system lifecycles. The digital twin-based Virtual Factory (VF) concept, as an integrated simulation model of a factory including its subsystems, is promising for supporting manufacturing organisations in adapting to dynamic and complex environments. In this paper, we present digital twin-based VF to support modelling, simulation and evaluation of complex manufacturing systems while employing multi-user collaborative virtual reality (VR) learning/training scenarios. The proposed concept is demonstrated and evaluated using two different wind turbine manufacturing cases, including a wind blade manufacturing plant and a nacelle assembly line. Thirteen industry experts who have diverse backgrounds and expertise were interviewed after their participation in a demonstration. We present the experts’ discussions and arguments that evaluate the VF concept based on four dimensions, namely, dynamic, open, cognitive, and holistic systems. The semi-structured conversational interview results show that the VF stands out by having the potential to support concurrent engineering by virtual collaboration. Moreover, VF is promising for decreasing physical builds and saving time by virtual prototyping (VP). Online survey results that evaluate VF artefacts were also introduced.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Antal sider21
ISSN0268-3768
StatusAfsendt - 20 okt. 2020

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