Digital Twin – Smart Modelling – Metecno Oy

Digital Twin - KUKA Sim Pro.

Digital Twin a New Method at Metecno – Smart Modelling for the Benefit of the Customer

Blog 01.07.2021

The digital twin is a virtual simulation model produced by a software, a copy of the intended machine solution. A smart digital equivalent of a physical end result. An innovation that is ready to change both the traditional ways of working in mechanical engineering and the ways for companies to grow in the midst of the digital revolution. It is an old method, which companies have just recently started to use more widely.

The change could be compared to the time when engineers moved to work from pen and paper to computers. In the future, a machine solution in the making can be seen in realistic operation on the computer screen. With the data obtained from the simulation model, we can develop the machine even before its manufacturing starts.

The Benefits of the Digital Twin

The main goal and at the same time the real benefit of the digital twin is to save time, effort and money.

We can use it to avoid error solutions in mechanical engineering when we see the robot cell or production unit virtual operation even before we order the components.

Based on the simulation, the system designer and the customer can jointly assess whether it makes sense to manufacture the device with the intended specs.

If not, the information provided by the digital twin can address problem areas, for example the external dimensions of the solution. The digital twin provides an advanced mean for making early, cost-effective corrective actions without physical testing.

Its particular benefit is the ability to determine the life cycle of a machine. The digital twin makes it possible to schedule maintenance on the machine and even predict component wear.

Lots of Potential for Design Optimisation

It is no longer necessary to complete assembly to see what potential errors need to be corrected right after the machine, cell or production line is put into operation.

The digital twin eliminates the usual worries of solution functionality, lead times, and even payback time for an investment. Also, we can ensure the always important safety aspects with the help of the digital twin.

Essential to the use of the digital twin is data transfer; you don’t have to be content with only observing the modeling on the screen, but the twin provides real-time, valid data on the operation of the machine or robot during an assignment. This in turn makes it possible to optimise even small details with the knowledge that the design time used for optimisation will be value for money.

The data transfer to the upper control system takes place via the OPC UA interface. So, we can realistically configure, develope and test the interaction of PLC logic, HMI, actuators and robots. FAT tests also include virtual deployment. Virtual deployment significantly reduces the time required for the actual physical deployment at the customer’s premises when the operation of the solution has already been digitally verified. The simulation also generates data on the process, which we can be handily visualise with built-in tools.

Digital Twin at Metecno Oy

At Metecno Oy, we have decided to start utilising the potential of the digital twin. The first tool generating a digital twin we will introduce will be the KUKA Sim Pro.

Visual Components has developed this simulation program. We can use it to accurately model and collect information about the operation of KUKA robots in a production environment. Naturally, we can produce the digital twin with numerous other software programs. Some of them we may introduce in the near future.

For a Better Offer

KUKA Sim Pro is an integral part of Metecno Oy’s service offering for both robotics applications and MetePRE pre-design.

As a result of the MetePRE® pre-design, we will be able to offer a ready-made virtual presentation of KUKA’s robot as part of the production cell on a case-by-case basis in the future. With further user experiences, we can expand our service offering in digital twin applications since they are widely available in terms of equipment, processes and systems.

Further information

Matti Metsähonkala, CEO
+358 20 741 6210
matti.metsahonkala@metecno.fi