Digital evaluation of mix product: Simulation helps to evaluate the challenges of robotic cell for producing mix products.

Digital evaluation of mix product: Simulation helps to evaluate the challenges of robotic cell for producing mix products


In the era of Industry 4.0, the manufacturing industry is increasingly shifting towards high mix/low volume production. Production facilities, originally designed for serial manufacturing, need to adapt to these changes. This includes the robotic cells installed in the manufacturing line, which play a crucial role in the production process.

Handling mixed products has always been a challenge in the manufacturing industry. This is especially true when the information about mixed product production arrives later than the installation of the robotic cell itself. This often leads to a situation where the cell was not designed for the product mix, creating inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the production process.

In the ODIN project, it was observed that digital simulation tools, like Visual Components, can play a crucial role in such scenarios. These tools can help evaluate the capabilities required in the robotic cell to handle mixed product production. This facilitates the identification of challenges in the existing robotic cell. The simulation tool can be utilised for necessary configuration changes in the robotic cell as soon as the information on the design of the product variant is received. This means that all the background work is done for new product variants when the actual robotic cell is still in use for the current product variant in production.

The white goods pilot line from Whirlpool was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of these simulation tools. The pilot line was not initially designed for mixed product production, which posed a significant challenge when the demand for mixed products arose. Using Visual Components, the team was able to simulate the production process with the mixed product demand. This simulation helped identify the bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the existing setup. It also provided insights into what modifications would be required in the robotic cell to efficiently handle the mixed product production.

Digital simulation tools like Visual Components are proving to be invaluable in the modern manufacturing industry. They not only help in identifying the challenges in existing setups but also assist in designing more efficient and flexible production processes. As the demand for mixed product production continues to grow, the use of these simulation tools is expected to become even more prevalent. These tools will continue to play a vital role in ensuring that manufacturing processes are efficient, flexible, and adaptable to the changing demands of the market.

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