The Digital Twin is incredibly valuable for complex manufacturers that are faced with the challenge of managing a complex and often distributed supply network. An end product may have hundreds of individual components or assemblies, some of which the manufacturer may produce and others that are sourced from a range of supplier levels.
The supply chain can become incredibly complex to manage, as a single design change can affect the manufacturing of multiple components. By providing a “single version of validation,” the Digital Twin helps manage this complexity to transform manufacturing, and extend to product lifecycle execution.
A genuine Digital Twin cannot exist without a Product Lifecycle Execution platform to provides “the what” ie modeling, process planning, process simulation, and engineering change management. Enterprise resource planning provides “the when, where, and how much” ie scheduling, financials, and inventory.
To have a fully developed model-based enterprise—and a fully functioning Digital Twin—manufacturers also need “the how.” That’s what product life cycle provides through process execution, process control, quality assurance, traceability, and deviation handling.
Digital Twin in the Model-Based Enterprise: Today’s connected digital enterprise is all about leveraging 3D models across all operations. In the model-based enterprise, there is much greater use of 3D models and more structured handover of model-based definitions from one department to another in the Digital Twin.
As these changes continue, manufacturing is moving from illustrations to simulations to augmented reality as a means of delivering information. As new technologies develop, these tools are increasingly practical to deploy and connect, using the Digital Twin.
To tap the power of Digital Twin, all facets of the organisation and all lifecycle phases are reliant upon the Enterprise Configuration Management process. Activities driven through networks impact the Digital Twin with a constant barrage of changes making the ability to manage the Digital Twin that much more complex. How an organisation identifies, structures, links and assigns ownership to its requirements and internal processes directly affect its ability to successfully and efficiently perform the intended mission or achieve its business objectives.
If activities are done incorrectly, an organisation pays severe penalties in the form of intervention resource expenditure. Those expenditures are the unplanned time, money, and resources expended to compensate for quality and schedule problems.
When quality and schedule problems dominate the energy an organisation expends on a daily basis, corrective action becomes the standard “way of working”. Changing that environment requires an understanding of how current processes relate to best practices and the culture change that is needed to make the transition.
Most organisations struggle with the ability to manage information accurately for the enterprise or throughout the product/solution lifecycle. How to maintain the Digital Twin from the baseline to the planning bill, then from the planning bill to the order bill, and finally from the order bill to the actual as-built record is a major challenge.
Knowing which requirements, at which revision level, to use at any point in time is another challenge. This failure creates a high level of intervention resource expenditure and an inability to track fielded configurations. This drives significant warranty, recall, and concession costs that can have devastating impacts on the business.
A structured and effective methodology for documenting, validating, releasing, and changing requirements is paramount. Requirements management is the foundation for the Digital Twin. Organisations struggle with the ability to define and maintain the digital architecture needed to support Systems, Facilities and Infrastructure throughout the entire lifecycle.
Inability to effectively manage the Digital Twin creates a high level of corrective action in every phase of the lifecycle. Configuration management is the major backbone of requirements management and requirements management is a major building block in the creation and management of the Digital Twin. Understanding that relationship is imperative when defining the future mode of operating.
When properly applied, this improved business model enhances the development, structuring, and managing of requirements throughout the enterprise. Organisations continually struggle to define a fast and efficient change management process. Many organisations have changed or replaced their change process multiple times without understanding the dynamics of change or the building blocks needed to facilitate change management.
Struggles with item re-identification decisions and the required level of visibility of changes directly impact the ability to develop and maintain the Digital Twin. The management of change includes understanding it’s impact throughout the entire organization and the total product/solution lifecycle.
Intelligence systems for configuration tasks have recently become an important application of artificial intelligence techniques for defense industry selling products tailored to customer needs. Several approaches to configuration are based on relatively well understood general concepts, such as constraint satisfaction, its extensions, and variants of description logistics.
Configuration tools allow a user to define a product that meets certain given criteria by combining a number of parts, features or functions. In practice, a configuration tools are an application used in industry to enable quotation, marketing, and rapid manufacturing of customised products.
Industry is being forced to move towards increasingly customised and individual products. In order to do this cost effectively, the engineering phase needs to be accelerated. The use of configuration tools decreases the engineering work required in the sales phase, but also empowers the product development of platform derivative products.
Configuration tools can be used for structural dimensioning or design verification purposes. Manufacturing may use configuration tools to create customer tailored embedded systems for the customer. After sales may check the sold configuration and verify the compatibility of new installations or spare parts with the current system.
Product configurators capture a lot of information related to engineering and product pricing. Updating relationships between parameters takes a lot of time and effort. Implementation of project requires mapping the elements and their interactions.
In competition space product customisation is one of the most important enterprise goals. Must satisfy customer needs to offer reliable product suitable for client. Product customisation is necessary to increase enterprise competitiveness. Quality and costs requirements cause the need of product configuration with well known product core and redesign of only chosen product
Configurable products are important in domains where standardised components are combined into customised products. A configuration task takes as input a model which describes the components that can be included in the product and a set of constraints that define how components can be combined, and requirements that specify properties of the product to be configured.
The output is a description of a product to be manufactured, a configuration. It consists of a set of components as well as a specification of how they interact to form the working product. The configuration has to satisfy the constraints in the model and the requirements.
Product platforms are widely used as a tool for product configuration defined as a set of subsystems and interfaces developed to form a common structure from where stream of derivative products can be efficiently developed and produced. In product platform, customer requirements are given as inputs and the solution is a product variant or a range of several variants that satisfy customer requirements and constraints while optimising performance and/or economic objectives.
Different product platform customisation strategies such as: scalable, configurable, adaptive. The scalable product platform approach means a family product variants composed of particular components where differences between are represented in parameter values. The optimisation problem in this case is a parametric design optimisation problem under the fixed product platform architecture.
Customer requirements towards a configuration system can be clustered in different categories. These generic categories contain a number of different approaches and guidelines to describe design rules of customer orientated product configuration systems responsible to assure the success of a configuration system.
But a large problem in this context of customer requirements is that neglecting only one small factor can disturb the whole configuration experience. A system has not to be perfect in only one of the categories. Customer scenarios are very sensitive and every even small obstacle can cause the termination of the configuration process and the selling process.
Customer orientation in product configuration is very important for the growing market of self configurable products and service in interaction systems. The imperfect customer orientated design of many product configuration systems is a major reason why business concepts like mass customisation or made-to-measure products are behind market forecasts and expectations of industry.
Customer needs are divided into two categories: revealed - related to product trade features which can be satisfy in proportion like low price, fast delivery, period and expected - related to products technical characteristic which decided about products utility and their functions.
The design problem includes, among others the problem of product decomposition. Product configuration issue needs information related to product’s functions and components that implement the function. Product physical component elements are assembled together to accomplish product functions.
Customer-oriented product design procedure is developed based on user’s characteristics. This procedure includes design input and output parameters, and their relationships. The designer first identifies design input and output parameters and values for the targeted product. Based on a specific set of user requirements, the approach will identify possible design output parameter values that can meet these requirements. A random assignment procedure is then employed to generate feasible design alternatives.
In order to achieve Integrated Process Excellence an organisation must break the many paradigms generally associated with configuration management’s limited role, only applying it to design information. The phased transition from that limited approach is a major behaviour change that must be carefully planned and managed
The foundation of organisation change is the ability to change faster and document better. The application of that ability is extended beyond design information to include all requirements for the enterprise, and the enterprise deliverables throughout all of the lifecycle phases. Keeping all of those requirements clear, concise, and valid at all times is the goal…a very achievable goal.
1. Specify digital reference architectures down to the last configuration detail and use it as a digital requirements set for integrators and vendor
2. Increase in mission success result of Cost Avoidance. By reducing corrective action, unnecessary costs will be avoided leading to increased profit.
3. More room for creativity thru less rework. Most organizations spend a lot of resources on fixing problems. If corrective action declines creativity will increase.
4. Reduced lead time for changes. Lead time for changes will be reduced dramatically by using the unique “fast-track” capability of the Configuration Management change process.
5. Competitive advantage thru shorter development cycles. Products will be released into the market earlier using Configuration Management principles in product development — with better quality and less failure
6. Increased robustness and control by improving visibility and tracking of information at the right place/time
7. A means to anchor configuration drift and prevent configuration change through more efficient change management by knowing what the prior structure is
8. Enhanced reliability through more rapid detection and correction of improper configurations that could negatively impact performance/security
9. Design changes that do not produce new incompatibilities and problems due to side effects.
10. Automate enables continuous automation across the development, operations, and information security and compliance teams.