Siemens digital products, services and solutions bring unlimited digital potential to automotive assembly lines nationwide. Csaba Pálla, head of the machine tool business at Siemens Zrt., tells the Budapest Business Journal about the futuristic solutions that are already part of the German giant’s present.
Siemens’ Digital Twin solution, which enables the creation of a virtual world, is a game-changer for manufacturers, Pálla insists.
“With our Digital Twin solution, we can build entire assembly lines in a virtual environment and ‘test’ manufacturing, even before a physical machine is built,” he explains.
“It not only makes processes faster and more streamlined, but is also extremely sustainable; there is no need to set up an entire factory and wait to see which parts will fail on the line and need to be scrapped and replaced. Therefore, the end product is always maximized in terms of performance and endurance,” says Pálla.
The Digital Twin approach is not only beneficial for testing heavy machinery. It is also suitable for testing electronics and software running on them, even if such hardware has not yet been manufactured.
“The Digital Twin ecosystem makes it possible to test the behavior of chips in the virtual world. Even before the hardware comes out, the software can be tested. It’s fast and economical because errors can be corrected in the pre-production of the digital environment, which is better than if they were discovered after the material was released and corrective action would have to be taken physically,” adds Pálla.
Additionally, the software can also model the behavior of assembly line operators; in fact, the entire environment in which the operators will work can be simulated virtually.
The Siemens expert, however, says it goes beyond planning and carrying out assembly lines for car manufacturers in Hungary and around the world. Once these lines are operational, monitoring is ongoing and ongoing, with all data fed back into the digital twin to ensure further process and machine improvement.
This approach ensures that no big data is ever lost. Instead, it is stored in Siemens’ industrial cloud solution, which is always available to users and highly secure to ensure that no third party has access to it or can compromise confidential information.
But how does artificial intelligence enhance automotive production for Siemens?
“AI is not a system that thinks for humans. It is a system that greatly complements human work. For example, when the body of a vehicle is welded, there are hundreds of points that were previously manually checked. AI can check these weld points with cameras and sensors and flag potentially problematic points to humans for further verification,” says Pálla.
Because every manufacturing environment is physically (and therefore digitally) different, Siemens believes that there is no single off-the-shelf product or service offering available in the market.
“First, we assess the client’s needs and their native environment through consultations in order to be able to offer them a set of personalized solutions. Once this is done, we offer ongoing maintenance and ongoing services to ensure that all Siemens solutions work properly and meet the customer’s needs as much as possible,” concludes Pálla.
This article first appeared in the May 20, 2022 print issue of the Budapest Business Journal.