Do you ever wonder how a refrigerator is manufactured? For sure you should have guessed that plastics play an important role in production of these appliances, especially for their interiors. Thermoforming is that crucial manufacturing operation that converts a large and thin plastic sheet into a bath tub like piece that houses all of the food and beverages we store in a Fridge. Temperature plays an important role in well behaved thermoforming operation. Though, the industry suffers from waste and rework while meeting the requirements for quality products. Here, digitilization would play a role.
The manufacturing of a product consists of a series of processes, most of which involve heating, cooling,molding and cutting. How the material responds to manufacturing processes depends on many factors such as the heat and the pressure applied by the equipment,variations in previous processes,geometry and properties of the raw material, and even the temperature on the shop floor. Traditionally, the parameters of the processes are decided by the operators who use the equipment, which leaves a lot of room for human error. Excessive heat can cause melting,excessive pressure can cause tearing,and even the most experienced operator would not be able to predict deformations caused by raw material non-conformities. Digitalization solutions are necessary to eliminate human error from the manufacturing processes in order to reduce scrap & rework.
Digital Twin (DT), in essence, is a digital replica of a physical asset. It is used for the assessment of how a product or process is performing or will perform in the future. Digital Twin of a production machine can analyze ongoing processes inside the machine such as heating, forming, etc. Digital Twin uses sensor data to understand the current situation of the process and then performs analyses to provide parameters such as optimum temperature and pressure which unlocks the opportunity for operating with higher efficiency and better quality.
Digital Twins give instant recommendations for higher efficiency & better quality
There are different technologies used to develop a Digital Twin. Big Data &Analytics approach is one of the well knowns, however it needs plenty of sensors, big set of data and an expert data scientist to be able to create a complete & accurate digital representation of its physical counterpart. Simularge uses mechanical engineering simulation codes that work seamlessly with minimal sensor data to develop Digital Twins. This technology reduces investment cost, data collection period& integration time significantly, while creating a business impact at least 2x.
Thermoform.ai uses niche and high-tech algorithms on cloud to capture the behavior of ongoing thermoforming process with streaming data from sensors. It calculates optimum heating power values and their distribution pattern in order to prevent defects on the plastic parts. Thermoforming machines running with this optimum pattern produce non-defective parts. With eliminating quality issues, thinner plastic sheets can be used for production, which ultimately reduces the consumption of raw materials. Thanks to reduced plastic consumption, our customers save millions of dollars every year.
I couldn't imagine any other partner for our Digital Transformation Journey. Simularge met and exceeded my expectations
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