Digital Machine Shop Series: Blog #4 Process planning with a digital twin

By Armin Gruenewald

Some people call the process planning department, the CAM room, but we are not talking about computer-aided design only. CAM is a very important component but not the whole thing.  If you want to make a set-up completely right the first time, then you should go with the digital twin concept. We make everything here in the plan, in the digital twin correctly, and then we can shift it down to the shop floor.

I will explain the complete plan in the video, “Digital Machine Shop: Manufacturing Process Planning”

Our part manufacturing solution is not only for the machining, it can also add the quality component; a very important step.  For this we have NX CMM software, NX enables you to generate complete machine inspection programs for CMM. NX CMM Inspection Programming reduces programming time, frees-up expensive CMM machine resources and ensures fast responses to design changes.

We are no longer just offering a CAM solution, but a part manufacturing solution.  The solution starts from designing, preparing the part, the CAM, the simulation, the set-up of the tool, the fixtures, generation of the work instructions, the CMM, all the way down to the shop floor to execute. This process gets the whole set-up right the first time for the machine.

One very important component is the simulation. The simulation is not only the tool and the part.  If you want to do the digital twin, you need to look at the whole environment, look at the whole machine.  At Siemens we have the controller technology in house. We have very good friends in the machine tool business.  Machine tool companies, like DMG Mori, they work with us and build these virtual machines to make sure we have the whole machine as a digital copy, as a digital twin.  We can simulate and make sure that when we go to the shop floor it is all right and working.

Let me know what you think of the video in the comments section below.

In case you missed it, you can view Blog #3 here.

By Armin Gruenewald, Vice President Business Development MBG, Manufacturing Engineering Software, Siemens Digital Factory.

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