The Future Of Factories: 3 Ways To Navigate The Industrial Metaverse

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    As you’ll see in this article, this ability to mirror real-world products and systems into the virtual world (what is the metaverse, after all) proves useful in a number of ways. The three main benefits are:

    Real-world behavior and decision-making can be improved with synthetic data

    Boeing is one company that has embraced the idea of ​​this industrial metaverse. In fact, the company says it wants to build its next plane in the Metaverse. Central to Boeing’s vision is the construction of digital twins, digital replicas of real-world objects and systems. By creating a digital twin of the plane and the production system that builds it, Boeing can simulate complex operations on the real-world manufacturing floor before taking action. In other words, in the industrial metaverse, data from simulations inform what happens in the real world.

    The key to this is the concept of: synthetic data Or, data created by simulations or algorithms as opposed to (or in parallel with) data generated in the real world. Synthetic data is extremely powerful, providing businesses with insights not available in the real world. So did Boeing. The company wanted to use AR to create an aircraft inspection system that would compare the current state of an aircraft to its previous state based on both historical and current maintenance data.

    However, creating this system using real-world data (in this case, thousands of photographs of airplanes) proved to be very difficult. The system needed more training data. So the company instead built a digital twin of the plane and generated over 100,000 simulated images (which would be expensive and impractical in the real world). Equipped with this wealth of simulated data, combined with real-world photography, the system worked. This laid the groundwork for a Boeing engineer to use his AR to compare the plane in front of him with its past state.

    Digital twins can be used to simulate everything from entire factories to individual products

    Digital twins have proven particularly valuable in factory settings. At the Siemens Digital Native Factory in Nanjing, China, the entire factory was simulated with a digital twin during the planning phase, which allowed Siemens to detect and mitigate planning errors, thus optimizing the construction process. In fact, Siemens confirmed that there was a digital version of this plant. 200% more capacity Productivity is also increased by 20%.

    Digital twins therefore offer great value, not only when planning factories, but also when improving existing factory operations. Sensors installed throughout the plant can stream data into the digital twin, which can be analyzed to understand system performance. Based on this, manufacturers can initially adjust their workflows with the digital twin or try to change their workflows. Think of it this way, the digital twin is really just a tool for improving decision-making on the manufacturing floor.

    Simulating an entire factory (built or unbuilt) is one way to take advantage of the digital twin. But in reality, it is possible to create digital twins of almost anything, even individual machines. Siemens says it is working with NVIDIA to create digital twins that look and behave exactly like physical machines and allow real-time interaction. This means you can fine-tune elements (like temperature) in your digital twin and understand exactly how real-world machines are affected. Such technology can also be used to predict machine failures and optimize maintenance.

    You can even simulate your product to predict potential problems. Not only will this revolutionize product design, but it could also pave the way for deeper insight into how existing products work in the real world. Such information can potentially be used to inform future product designs or predict when a component will fail. As an example, Kaeser, a manufacturer of compressed air and vacuum products, uses digital twins to recreate the compressed air systems used by its customers. This will enable the company to monitor the condition of each product in use, remotely detect potential failures, and provide timely maintenance.

    VR makes the product design process more immersive and collaborative

    Of course, the use of digital twins aids the product design process, allowing designers to simulate products, find defects, and improve designs before they are actually built. This can solve many quality issues. (For example, Boeing 70% of quality problems Related to design issues. )

    But another metaverse-related technology that aids the design process is virtual reality (VR). Specifically, we’re talking about designing products within an immersive VR space, rather than just working on a screen. For example, imagine designing a car by immersing yourself in a VR version of the car interior. In the future, expect more and more product designers to put on his VR headset and immerse themselves in what they are designing. Designing in VR is especially powerful when combined with a digital twin. This means designers can immerse themselves in the design and make changes to the product in a virtual metaverse space, and the digital twin will update in real time to reflect those design changes.

    Designing in an immersive VR space also allows design teams miles apart to collaborate as if they were in the same room. In fact, the designer can already use co-design tools like NVIDIA’s Omniverse, where teams can design together in real-time and see changes instantly, as if they were in the same space.


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