Production and logistics systems are currently undergoing revolutionary changes, gaining new features and functionalities. We now perceive production as a holonic system. Machines, robots, and products are becoming intelligent, and advanced information and communication technologies are becoming the central nervous systems of future production. In the near future, artificial intelligence will take over many managerial and decision-making functions in production. Production systems will be able to learn from their previous operations.
The virtualization of processes will bring about the widespread implementation of sensors in production, enabling the collection of large amounts of data. This data can be processed to create information, further processed, and utilized to generate and apply new knowledge.
The new production environment will maintain and manage its virtual image using the Internet of Things and cloud computing technologies. Without intelligent and adaptive production and logistics, companies will be unable to operate efficiently in the competitive environment of global markets.
Future production and logistics systems must be, above all, adaptive, capable of autonomously, actively, and rapidly adjusting to sudden and unexpected changes in their environment that go beyond the originally defined functions of the system. Such a system must have the ability to change not only its structure but also its functions and capabilities.
The fundamental characteristics of adaptive future production and logistics systems include:
- Adaptability: Flexibility limited to the family of elements or products.
- Scalability: The ability for easy modification of the capacity of the production and logistics system by adding or removing resources or changing reconfigurable elements of the system.
- Convertibility: The ability for easy transformation of the functionalities of existing systems, machines, and control systems to meet new production requirements.
- Modularity: Integration of operational functions into units that can be manipulated between alternative production and logistics schemes for optimal results.
- Integration: The ability for fast and precise integration of modules through various mechanical, informational, and control interfaces, enabling integration and communication.
- Diagnostics: The ability for automatic recognition of the current state of the system and its control for detecting and diagnosing root causes of equipment or product failures and quickly correcting operational problems.
Engineering, technological design, planning, management, and optimization of production and logistics processes must respond to these changes resulting from the fourth industrial revolution and the desire to build smart factories.
The design, management, and optimization of future production systems will not be possible without the use of advanced technologies. Future production systems must have entirely new features such as self-organization, reconfigurability, autonomy, self-optimization, self-replication, and the ability to learn and work autonomously with the creation and utilization of knowledge.
The design of production systems is associated with the use of a wide range of modern technologies. These are now known as Advanced Industrial Engineering. Production systems are currently designed in virtual reality, and computer simulation has become a standard element of such systems, with artificial intelligence methods increasingly being used.
Our company has long been working on tasks and projects focused on implementing methods and approaches of advanced industrial engineering into the concept of the fourth industrial revolution. For this reason, we have created the Twiserion system, which allows not only to plan production and logistics processes, monitor and then manage production and logistics but also intelligently manage AGV robotic systems in performing various logistics tasks.
The Twiserion system, to support the concept of a digital enterprise, already offers a virtual environment for designing, testing, and verifying decisions at various stages of the product life cycle. Its fundamental premise is to create a comprehensive connection of data about products, processes, and production sources into a common database. One of the main elements of the Twiserion system is the Design Manager.
Twiserion Design Manager: an interactive system for designing production and logistics systems
The research team at Asseco CEIT has developed a software module called Twiserion Design Manager, which is used for designing production and logistics systems. This tool enables collaborative planning of production and logistics systems using 3D models.
It allows for easy modification and analysis of production concepts while instantly displaying their effects in real-time. This innovative approach allows design teams to change production layouts with simple gestures and immediately observe how these changes impact the production system.
Twiserion Design Manager provides answers to questions like “What if…?”. This tool allows for the creation of comprehensive models of production, logistics, and warehouse systems using parametric settings. These parameters include physical properties, production parameters, and others based on which the system evaluates monitored indicators. Twiserion Design Manager offers significant time and cost savings to clients in the industrial sector.
It increases the efficiency of the design and planning process by an average of 30%, simultaneously reducing the overall workshop time by 25%. Twiserion Design Manager also enhances processes, resulting in average cost savings of 30% in production and logistics.
Currently, the standard for designing production and logistics systems is the creation of flexible solutions in a 3D environment, using parametric 3D models of machines, equipment, and other accessories. Such models of the production system can be easily and quickly modified, compared, and optimized.
The 3D design process typically begins with 3D scanning or another method of digitally transforming production spaces, manufacturing facilities, and other elements of the designed system. After obtaining the necessary models, the production layout is designed by placing these objects in the production space. Twiserion Design Manager allows for interactive design using static analyses. The designed layout of the production or logistics system is then verified through dynamic simulation.
The final version of the solution can be presented using virtual or augmented reality features, such as Avatar functions. However, the concept of a digital enterprise encompasses only one aspect, namely the digital representation of the facility, which serves as the basis for the next implementation of the physical system and its deployment. However, the physical system requires additional management and optimization, even during actual operation.
The production and logistics system is a dynamic and open system that must constantly change and adapt to changes in the internal and external environment. This requires the connection of physical system data with its digital counterpart. This issue is addressed by the concept of the digital twin factory.
By connecting the data model created in Twiserion Design Manager software with real data collected by the Twiserion Digital Manager system and managing them, we can conclude that the Twiserion system fully supports the concept of a digital twin.