In the industry, ensuring the efficiency and correct functionality of the production systems is essential. Obviously, you can check the plant’s actual working conditions only when a line starts working, and an evaluation of mistakes or potential problems are frequently discovered when it is too late. This inevitably makes you fail to achieve the goals and often causes not budgeted extra costs.
At the same time, plants must be kept efficient and maintained, adopting careful and preventive actions once bought.
Today, we act with scheduled, preventive maintenance plans, which often imply high real costs and are time-consuming, while the real need is to anticipate events by monitoring the plants preventing failures by understanding ahead of the weak signals they send and thus making it possible to intervene before any failure occurs.
Nowadays, technology offers the possibility to create a plant “digital twin”, by virtually recreating the real behaviors of machines and plants. Therefore, the digital twin makes it possible to identify and study why failures happen together with the conditions that cause them to anticipate potentially dangerous plant events, reducing plant downtime and increasing machine productivity.
In the same way, the Digital Twin allows to study and verify their behavior in the preventive phase of engineering and study of the production lines, offering the possibility of testing the effect of different configurations, with different processing machines, different products, and different events that usually occur in the production line.
In this way, we can predict an operating line’s real behaviors and performances, helping the correct engineering and manufacturing of the same, obtaining higher OEE.
The preliminary analysis of processes and flows allows for correcting any anomalies or criticalities in the design phase, with consequent optimization of both the operating characteristics and composition of the lines and their layout, thus optimizing both the production flow, that the flow of people and goods, improving the use of space.
The PLS Dynamic by Pulsar Engineering is a simulation software that reproduces the production process of production lines, primary and secondary packaging, and the design phase.
The tool developed allows reproducing all the machines that make up the production lines using virtual modeling, which reproduces the operating logic and the real links that the various systems offer.
By reproducing a line, it is possible to simulate its actual behavior during the engineering phase, verifying the effect and comparing the performance of different machines or layouts.
Similarly, it is possible to verify the interaction of different products with the plant to establish the configuration that allows maximum efficiency in all potential cases.
Furthermore, it is possible to reproduce the effects caused by specific events in the production processes, identifying the phenomena and evaluating the transition phases, such as restarts after stops and the system’s ability to stand any temporary malfunctions of some of the components of the line.
The adoption of digital twins of the line, also allows to anticipate the testing and calibration phases of the devices along the process flow, predetermining the operating conditions and parameters according to the various scenarios that arise and according to the various product formats to be managed
In this way, the testing and calibration phases of the lines during commissioning are strongly reduced, with a consequent reduction in costs and time required.
The main benefits and the results that can be achieved through these simulation services are:
- Virtual duration of the simulation starting from a working shift until reaching one year of production
- Calculation of the overall production of the line per product unit (rolls, packs, bags, bundles, cases, and pallets)
- Calculation of the average and instantaneous speed of the machines
- Calculation of raw materials used for production (i.e., quantity of tissue and related raw materials)
- Identification of bottlenecks with an indication of the machine or the group which limits the maximum speed of the system
- Calculation of line OEE (in particular the values of line and machines exploitation)
- Customization of a production plan with different products run, considering the changeover times (the software takes account of the time required for the restocking of consumable materials – mother reel and polyethylene reel change.
- Comparison between different layouts, operational logics, and alternative machines to evaluate the efficiency and the productivity of the line with different products
- Effective training tool for line operators (with a check of machines’ regulations during a determined period and related consequences)
Once defined the parameters to set the software, the user will be able to manage the production line simulation independently through a user-friendly interface.
The parameters which can be set through the user interface are among others:
- Virtual duration of the simulation
- Cut/minute of the log saw
- Number of packs per minute of the wrapper
- Number of cases per minute of the case packer
The simulation results can be collected and downloaded in excel format for further analysis and comparisons.
Learn more about the PLS Dynamic in Pulsar Engineering website.