Want to Design a Factory?

By Markus Erlmann

This is not an easy task as the amount of information to take into account is huge. Starting with architectural information like the plant layout to libraries of standard manufacturing equipment which can be used to build the products to the required output of the manufacturing lines.

In addition there are a lot of people from different departments involved which need to communicate to finally get an optimized, reliable and well functioning factory.


In a previous blog post Brad Whitmore from Procter & Gamble described how he and his team solved this challenge. One part of the solution was the Tecnomatix product FactoryCAD which is part of the Plant Design and Optimization solution. This month we released an update which provides support for 64-Bit and Windows 7. In addition AutoCAD® 2010 and AutoCAD® Architecture 2010 are now supported.


 FactoryCAD works in conjunction with AutoCAD® to help you create detailed 3D models of your plants. It enables you to accelerate the process of plant layout creation by the use of “smart objects”. These smart objects represent all the resources used in your plant, from conveyors, mezzanines, cable trays, fencing and cranes to material handling containers and operators. They are smart because there is some logic included. For example, stretching a conveyor to the required length is simple and the logic in the smart conveyor object allows FactoryCAD to calculate the required supports along the way. At 15 feet long, for instance, FactoryCAD automatically puts a support every four feet once you start stretching the conveyor to this required length. All this visualized in 3D which was one of the benefits Procter & Gamble used as a basis for the communication across multiple teams from different departments.



Want to know more? Take a look at the Plant Design and Optimization solution homepage.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at