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Elitza Bastian |

Efficient engineering with TIA and virtual commissioning

Production planning is followed by the next stage of the automotive value chain: production engineering. This stage is becoming increasingly important due to the challenge posed by the mass customization of cars. Efficient engineering ensures error-free production, even for different models. We provide software and hardware for successful technical planning that allows car manufacturers to be well equipped for the future.

The setup of production technology allows for significant time savings. The integration of components including robots, drives, HMIs, and control systems facilitates efficient engineering. A common database enables these components to be quickly adjusted to the new product. Processes that would otherwise run successively can now run in parallel. Consistent data management and constantly updated system values form the basis of Totally Integrated Automation (TIA). With our Engineering Framework TIA Portal, the result is flexible and efficient engineering. Thanks to the standardized and integrated operating concept, production is even more efficient. The complex interplay is based on an industrial communication network that ensures all components are connected. Virtual commissioning with Tecnomatix is another tool that supports engineering. The new programs for industrial robots and the material handling system are simulated and validated in a virtual environment. The operators are thereby able to ensure the systems are working as expected. Only then is the programming carried out in the actual production systems, which ensures that errors are kept to a minimum during commissioning.

Increased energy savings, reduced engineering costs

The integration of components is nothing new at AUDI AG. AUDI uses Totally Integrated Automation in the production of its new AUDI A8 premium model at its factory in Neckarsulm, Germany. The use of TIA Portal enables the company to save around 10 percent in engineering costs. The factory’s individual control systems seamlessly deliver information to the central control system. Thanks to this comprehensive data handling, malfunctions can be dealt with more easily and downtime reduced. The integrated operator interface offers simple handling and provides a common database. TIA Portal is therefore a tool for all applications at the control level. AUDI has also chosen to use Siemens drives, which are more efficient than previous drives. This means the factory in Neckarsulm is able to save approximately 5 MWh of energy per year – an important step for the company as it pursues its aim 25% reduction of energy consumption by 2018.

98 percent of work is done at a desk

KUKA Systems, one of the leading global providers of plant and system technology, chose to use virtual commissioning. KUKA Brazil uses Tecnomatix at its factory in South America. For years the factory had been using Plant Simulation solutions for logistics systems and Robcad for the planning and optimization of their robot workstations. Following a successful project using Process Simulate software for virtual robot commissioning, KUKA Brazil began using the solution for other projects, too. This enables 98 percent of the company’s engineering to be completed at a desk. The software also optimizes robot productivity as it seamlessly coordinates all work stages. The result is a higher number of units produced per hour. KUKA also benefits from more reliable robot integration. Previously, there would be occasional collisions during prototype testing due to planning errors. The number of these incidents has been significantly reduced thanks to virtual commissioning.

Digital factory for ŠKODA

The Czech car manufacturer ŠKODA AUTO also relies on the extensive portfolio of Tecnomatix software. With its “Digital Factory” project, the Czechs rely on virtual mapping of production to increase efficiency. The project is primarily focused on the manufacture of the body in white. Process Designer optimizes production based on various scenarios, from which the most efficient process is selected. The Czech car manufacturer has also been using Process Simulate, which has already proved highly effective. As a result of the increasing popularity of the ŠKODA Yeti, another production line has been developed. Despite delays in the delivery of the new robots, production began on schedule thanks to virtual commissioning. Our software thus enables the transformation into a digital factory and supports ŠKODA’s growth in the automotive market.

Read the other blog posts to find out how companies in the automotive industry are benefiting from our solutions in design, production planning, production and services.

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