Digital Twins are the manufacturing buzzword of 2024 and many companies are excited by the possibilities of creating a digital ‘replica’ of their production processes. But what do they use it for? The answer very much depends on the type of Digital Twin and the technology behind it.

Overview: Working with COMPANY F on a groundbreaking digital transformation project - Connected Reconfigurable Factory (COREF) – the Industreweb team set out a blueprint for the data architecture needed to create a digital twin for 2 innovation labs in Belfast and Crawley UK using our Vactory Module. The aim of the digital twin was to connect and visualise production data remotely and monitor the orchestrated process between multiple shop floor devices by different vendors, in real time. This type of digital twin is referred to as a Digital Shadow and presents an alternative to a real-time dashboard and historian to replay events in the virtual environment.

Technologies used: Fanuc Cobot, MESTEC MES system, Atlas Copco Smart tool, Keyence CBX, Arkite Projection System, Industreweb Data Platform, Industreweb Vactory.

Machine Protocols: Ethernet/IP

Approach:  The Industreweb Data Platform (Edge Device) sits at the heart of the Digital Twin by creating an integrated data layer between the shop floor devices (Cobot, Smart Tool, Inspection System, Smart Bench) and the management layer (MES) to collect and translate the machine data from the different vendor systems. The data is published to a broker via MQTT and picked up within the Vactory Module in the Industreweb Cloud Global Admin Tools. This machine (asset) data is then pushed into the Unity-based Vactory Platform where it’s rendered in 3D within a virtual replica of the production environment. Because the data is captured in real time, the assets move in sync with the physical assets – stopping when they stop, moving when they move according to the positional data and process steps in progress. The Vactory suite also features additional KPI overlays such as cycle/runtime, alerting, faults, stop/start and sequence which can be applied to any asset and managed from the Admin tools.