On 14 September 2022 at the ANUTEC-International FoodTec India exhibition, Siemens held a thought-provoking seminar on the topic Intelligent Intralogistics-Experience the Flow. The well-attended talk involved an in-depth analysis of the need for digitalization or a digital twin, well explained by Ashwinkumar Inamdar, manager of business development, Siemens.
Inamdar started by putting forth the issues faced by manufacturers that include changes or disruptions in the technologies in the form of digitalization, artificial intelligence, and robotics. He said that the following disruptive changes put pressure on today’s logistics and intralogistics operations
Sustainability- renewable energies, CO2 neutral, waste reduction
New technologies- artificial intelligence, robotics, digitalization
E-commerce boom- high competitive pressure,shortage of space,need for space
Need for resilience-COVID 19, increasing protectionism, avoiding standstill
He explained, “There is a boom in the eCommerce sector and this puts a lot of pressure in the form of time to market, speed and better utilization of the space for the warehouses. When they're dealing with all these challenges, there is also a need that the solution should be sustainable. That means, the solution should be as energy efficient as it can be.”
Digital twin- Bringing the real and digital world together
Inamdar believes that Siemens can provide a solution to the above problems through the means of a “digital twin”. Elaborating on the concept, he said, “With the help of digital twin we are bringing the real and the digital both together. It can help the machine manufacturer in many aspects, such as time to market, and how quickly they can develop a machine and send it to market. So, in the digital world, customer can first simulate his entire machine without having any material with it. And once the concept is ready, he can directly start manufacturing the machine."
The benefit of this concept according to him would be that since this real and digital world is being brought together, users can gather a finite amount of data from both the digital world and as well as the real world. Hence, in the digital world, users are already getting the data so that they can find out the bottlenecks in the machine. Continuing to explain the concept, he said, “When we come to the real world, when we have a real machine, we can again collect the data from the machine with the help of our IoT solution and this data can be analyzed for the optimization of the product.”
Enlightening the audience on the various benefits for manufacturers and operators, he continued, “A manufacturer can quickly get the proof of concept of his machine and from the warehouse operators’ point of view or logistics, concept design can be done quickly. Virtual machine engineering time will drastically reduce because of parallel engineering of mechanical electrical and automation work, saving operation planning for the operators. The warehouse operators will be quick and due to commissioning of the entire machine virtually, the commissioning time will drastically reduce.”
Not a buzzword anymore
Inamdar made the audience privy to the fact that digitalization or a digital twin, is not a buzzword now, even though a few years ago, it was. People were talking about it, but now it has already started being utilized. Siemens’ customers are already using it.
Displaying the integrated insights and KPI (key performance indicator) from Siemens’ worldwide industry customers, he showcased the following statistics-
Up to 35% reduced engineering time and early proof of concept
Up to 85% decreased commissioning time and shortened time-to-market
Up to 80% lower installation time on site, speed up delivery times
Up to 25% productivity increase of running systems on site
How to create a digital twin?
Inamdar said that Siemens provides various solutions to create a digital twin. He shared, “If we talk about the warehouse, the key technologies will be AGVs, ASRS, shuttle systems, sortation systems, and conveyor systems. All these will be a part of the warehouse. So as a material handling equipment manufacturer, a digital twin of all these individual machines can be made.” He explained further, “Let's say you're designing a conveyor system or a sortation system. It can be mechanically designed with the help of a Mechatronics Concept Designer, so you don't only design but also simulate the movement of mechanical parts virtually before you have any material with you for the machines.”
On a final note, Inamdar talked about Siemens various services such as wireless communication and a master controller software that can be changed as per the requirement to reduce commissioning time. Talking about Mindsphere, he said, “ Mindsphere is Siemens’ own cloud-based solution where you will get Siemens’ application or your own machine learning algorithm, where you can find out the root cause.” It is used for applications in the context of the Internet of Things. MindSphere stores operational data and makes it accessible through digital applications to allow industrial customers to make decisions based on valuable factual information.
The session ended with a question-answer session with the audience who put forth questions insightfully answered by Inamdar.
The 16th edition of India's biggest and most sought-after trade fair for the food and drink processing suppliers industry- ANUTEC International FoodTec India along with its concurrent trade fairs ANUTEC Ingredients India, PackEx India, Annapoorna- ANUFOOD India, and Food Logistics India was organized from 14 – 16 September at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai.