Every manufacturing plant is a complex system.
There are the fixed assets, machines, robots, and the building that houses them all. Interacting with these machines and technologies are the workers, skilled and expert, as well as the company management that directs them. Then there are the parts that become the product – these flow into the plant from suppliers near and far, and often on a ‘just in time’ basis.
This manufacturing system, like at SEAT automotive plant in Martorell, Spain, involves seven thousand technicians who, by optimizing their manufacturing plant system, can turn out more than 2000 new vehicles a day.
Yet the plant itself is also a part of a bigger system.
Indeed, it is part of a system of systems and, by optimizing more than just the plant system, a manufacturer can unlock hidden value, lift productivity, and increase efficiency.
If the plant is a system, it is a system within a wider system.
The plant is connected to a wider company system of suppliers and retailers, raw material vendors, and the supply chains that link them all. The plant is also connected to a consumer demand curve that dictates what is produced, when it is produced, and in what quantity.
It’s connected to a financial system that sets prices, margins, budgets and wages for the workers. It’s connected to a regulatory framework – both internal to the company and externally imposed by a governmental regime – and to an environmental system, too. Everything from the local weather to a changing global climate can impact the plant, and it cannot be separated from the geography, locale, or national context in which it is placed.
While optimizing the plant system to better plan production, control plant resources, and efficiently deploy workers and machines, optimizing for the plant and the wider system of systems of the company has the potential to unlock enormous value for the enterprise as a whole.
Cosmo Tech’s Simulation Digital Twins have proved that optimizing a manufacturing plant is an effective strategy to lift productivity and increase operational efficiency.
In one plant in Europe, for example, deploying a Cosmo Tech Simulation Digital Twin inside a plant helped production planning and control managers to lift production, meet dynamic and sometimes volatile demand, and generate value for the company in less than a quarter.
But that same company was able to generate even more value by deploying the Simulation Digital Twin across the organization and using it to address different use cases. Whether it was achieving an optimal strategic balance between OPEX/CAPEX, managing complex planning and scheduling sequences, implementing cost savings plans, or retrofitting a manufacturing plant, Cosmo Tech’s Simulation Digital Twins could help identify bottlenecks and barriers to operational efficiency and dictate a plan to overcome these for next-quarter value creation.
As a leading industry analyst put it to Cosmo Tech recently, “I would maintain that the essence and the DNA of the digital twins is systems models, and the core of putting those system models together is where the value is.”
“On such a platform you can create a digital twin of a factory layout with material flows, factory floors, and a common framework on which to overlook the processes,” he continued. “Then you can overlay the humans and processes and the factory, and then you have systems of systems – but the key is identifying the critical variables, identifying the relationships between them, and then using the models of these variables to optimize processes, organizations, and layouts.”
For more than a decade, Cosmo Tech has been identifying the critical variables, relationships, and interdependencies of complex industrial systems – and all without requiring the exhaustive data that AI-based technologies demand. This deep knowledge of complex industrial systems coupled with the power of its Simulation Digital Twins to scale and unlock value quickly and easily is what today allows Cosmo Tech to empower manufacturers to optimize their system of systems and realize the productivity and efficiency returns they seek.