Open Source is the magic word that should move digitalization of industrial processes forward: The foundation of the technology association "Industrial Digital Twin Association", the two associations VDMA (German Engineering Association) and ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturer's Association) should pave the way to a real mass start towards industry 4.0.
This project is supported by 18 companies from mechanical and electrical engineering, and one of the participants is SCHUNK, the specialist for gripping systems and clamping technology. It has already gained extensive expertise in the generation digital images of their components. The aim of the association is to combine parallel developments of the digital twin, and to further develop it jointly as an open source solution.
In order to simplify conception, design, and commissioning of automated systems, SCHUNK already pushes digitalization of engineering for several years forward. In conventional engineering processes, mechanics, electrics and software programming run off successively, however, the world of digital simulation combines all three disciplines on one surface, and therefore opens the possibility of parallelizing all activities. This speeds up everything, reduces complexity and communication problems, increases flexibility and saves costs, also because possible errors are detected and eliminated at an earlier stage. Changes can be applied within no time at all and their feasibility verified. Comparable follow-up projects can therefore be implemented much faster than was previously possible.
A complete digital 24 V program for high-speed assembly is already available
Digital twins of SCHUNK components are already available in a wide variety of software solutions. As a part of an OEM partnership with Siemens PLM Software, the competence leader for gripping systems and clamping technology offers an attractive starter kit, the Mechatronics Concept Designer, which includes a library of digital twins as well as introductory training courses and individual support for users. Designers, programmers, and project developers can test the simulation software for six months in the full version free of charge.
SCHUNK has already created its 24 V mechatronics program for high-performance assembly completely as a library of digital twins. The complete gripping system program will follow successively. In the field of tool management, digitalization also creates the ideal conditions for simulations, collision analysis and store floor management. Therefore, SCHUNK provides the data for the TENDO, TRIBOS, and SINO toolholder series in accordance to standard DIN 4000 as digital twins.
The open source strategy has wide-ranging effects
"While the solutions which are available on the market have provided access to the technology of digital twins exclusively within individual ecosystems, the digital twin for industry 4.0 will now be established as an international standard," explains Timo Gessmann, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at SCHUNK.
"The new user organization and the associated cooperation offer a great opportunity to significantly accelerating digitalization of the industry in the upcoming years, because availability of digital components and security of investment in new technologies will increase." The two associations VDMA and ZVEI as well as Asentics, Bosch, Bosch Rexroth, Danfoss, Endress+Hauser, Festo, Homag, KUKA, Lenze, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, SAP, Schneider Electric, SCHUNK, Siemens, Turck, Volkswagen and Wittenstein participate in the network.