That’s NXT: Now with a digital twin
We are in the midst of a digital revolution in which intelligent virtual models play a central role. One of these is the digital twin. It is a technology trend and driver of digitalization and the ideal tool for continuously optimizing products and production processes. With our NXT, the virtual newcomer becomes reality: It is optionally delivered with its twin.
What is a digital twin?
The digital twin is the virtual counterpart to its real machine. It captures all the relevant features of its real doppelganger and mirrors its characteristics and functionalities. The only requirement: it must be possible to collect enough data to adequately describe the features.
Efficiency before the first chip
Today, products are developed, tested and optimized in the virtual world - long before they are physically built. They are simulated as a software model on the computer and scaled for complex applications without having to set foot on the factory floor. "We can also carry out the simulations practically from our home office," explains Christian Herzog, our Head of Software/Application Technology, "and even try out something riskier in the process." Digital twins enable a precise virtual representation of the parts even before the first prototype is produced. Engineers can thus carry out realistic simulations to understand the machine's behavior under different conditions and identify possible weak points. And optimize the product accordingly. Before the first chip!
In short, the benefits are enormous: physical prototypes become superfluous, development time is reduced and the quality of the final product is improved.
The new digital technology not only enables the virtual design of products, but also their extensive testing. Before real products are built, configurations can be run through and tested virtually - something that would be impossible to do physically in the time available. Above all, this brings efficiency benefits: Better products can be developed in the shortest possible time.
Predict maintenance and rectify faults in advance
The digital twin monitors and analyzes the entire production process and identifies potential for optimization - reducing costs and increasing output. Production can be optimized even further: The digital twin monitors the condition of the machines in real time. Sensors register data on temperature, pressure and wear. Using the data obtained, we can predict when preventive maintenance measures are required and thus prevent costly breakdowns.
Virtual commissioning saves time and resources
A digital twin offers the option of virtual commissioning and can test all machine functions in its virtual environment. As the commissioning of new production lines is time-consuming and resource-intensive, this can ultimately save time and minimize risk.
Who does a digital twin serve?
The solution for everything and everyone? No. A digital twin would be overkill for a machine that will produce only one part its entire life. The virtual twin brings advantages for machines when there is a high degree of variability in part production. It allows those responsible to navigate through the greatest complexities and then make the best possible decisions.
The integration of digital twins in mechanical engineering marks a further step towards customer orientation: thanks to the virtual twin, machines can also be tailored to the customer's requirements. "The digital twin not only makes it possible to develop high-quality products in less time, but also to customize them," says Head of Software/Application Technology Christian Herzog, explaining the advantages of individualization. Which is hugely important for our business.
Siemens software for the digital twin of NXT
Siemens and its leading modeling technologies are behind the digital twin of the NXT. Another advantage: The control software is integrated into the CAD/CAM and can be operated in a user-friendly manner via a panel.
From design to production and maintenance, the digital twin offers a wide range of options for optimizing processes. "Thanks to smart design and digitalized data management, we are making production twice as smart," concludes Christian Herzog. This is just: Move The Standard!