Methods of the Digital Factory

Tools and methods for more efficiency in factory planning

More efficiency in the planning process

Whereas in the past, factory dimensioning involved moving scraps of paper to scale on a plot of land, digital factory methods are now being used. What these methods are in detail and for which phase of factory planning they are suitable is dealt with in the article Dimensioning the Factory Size Using Digital Factory Methods.

Determining the size of the plant using digital factory methods

The planning procedure of factory planning is structured by planning phases that are delimited in terms of content. Basically, the five phases preparation, concept planning including factory dimensioning, detailed planning, implementation planning and execution can be distinguished. Dimensioning is an elementary step in the planning process, since it determines the investment sum and the size of the plant. Simply put, dimensioning determines the number of operating resources, employees and, as a result, the required area. Due to the large impact of planning errors, new methods and tools are being used to achieve greater planning accuracy and economic efficiency. In detail, the following methods are used:

  • Information and data collection methods
  • Representation, design and visualization methods
  • Mathematical planning and analysis methods
  • Simulation methods
  • Artificial intelligence methods

With the help of these methods, it is possible, for example, to make spatial and design aspects of the new factory more imaginable through factory virtualization. In this way, collisions are identified or spaces for movement that are too small are avoided. In addition to the static visualization of the factory, dynamic tools are also used. For example, in movement-intensive areas, material movements can be tracked and recorded using RFID. Area-related information can be generated via methods such as 3D laser scanning. In addition to data collection, data forecasting is also an important part of factory dimensioning in order to be able to design capacities for expected production volumes. Artificial intelligence methods such as artificial neural networks are used.

Read our article to find out which methods are suitable for which applications and which tools bring the greatest benefits, or contact our experts for the digital factory. Please do not hesitate to contact us.