Together with the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (IFW) at the University of Hanover and the technology service provider isb, PROSTEP, a PLM consulting and software company, is offering its customers a comprehensive new service for digitalizing their existing production systems and optimizing their production processes. The partners have developed the innovative service concept, which is primarily aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with limited IT resources, as part of the DigiTwin joint project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It involves scanning machines and systems in 3D and converting the 3D scan data into a digital factory twin, which can then be used to plan changes to plant layouts, perform material flow simulations and analyze bottlenecks.
PROSTEP's data logistics experts are responsible for automatically converting 3D scan data from production into simulation-capable models in joint customer projects. With the help of methods from artificial intelligence and machine learning, they analyze the point clouds or the mesh geometry derived from them to classify the scanned objects and identify similar system components that have already been stored in a library as simulation-capable CAD models. Their position and orientation in space is determined using a so-called bounding box so that they can be automatically placed in the digital twin of the factory.
Depending on the category, up to 80 percent of the objects can be automatically identified and placed, which dramatically reduces the effort required to set up the digital twin. System components for which there is not yet an equivalent in the library are converted into CAD models and parameterized with the help of feature recognition so that they can be prepared for simulation. PROSTEP makes the services for object detection, object harmonization and conversion available via the proven data logistics portal www.OpenDESC.com.
The scanning experts from isb innovative software businesses scan the existing factory systems at the customer site and provide the 3D scan data. Depending on the case in question, the engineers use hand scanners, stereo image cameras or terrestrial laser scanners to scan the systems. The manufacturing experts from the IFW help customers record and map the manufacturing logic in the digital models. If requested by the customer, they also perform simulation tasks such as material flow or bottleneck analysis, evaluate the results and draw up recommendations for optimizing the production processes.