Digital Engineering Magazine features how Process Simulate powers the digital factory of the future [article]

By Rajvi Vaidya

A recent article by a leading industry publication, Digital Engineering, featured insights from Siemens simulation expert, Colm Gavin, on emerging trends in factory simulation and design software. Gavin discusses the significance of virtual commissioning in modern manufacturing processes, shedding light on its importance and the benefits it offers to industries embracing digital transformation. 

Meeting the demands of manufacturing presents various challenges. These include the need for customized products, a shortage of skilled labor, sustainability concerns, and increased global competition. Consider a scenario where a manufacturer’s customer suddenly requires higher production volumes. Can the existing production lines meet this demand? What impact will it have on costs? Moreover, can machine builders swiftly adjust to these changes?

(Colm Gavin, Portfolio Development Manager at Siemens Digital Industries Software)

“Virtual Commissioning of the automation logic enables different disciplines within the development department to work concurrently rather than sequentially. This process allows almost all functions to be tested using the digital twin.

Colm Gavin

In the article, he discusses how Siemens software including Tecnomatix Process Simulate and Plant Simulation helps optimize and validate production machines, robotic cells, and entire plants, empowering manufacturers, and machine builders to adapt quickly and efficiently. This enables earlier production commencement with reduced commissioning time and costs.

Virtual commissioning explained in Digital Engineering

Manufacturers requiring digital twins from their machine builders are essentially creating the digital factories of the future.
Manufacturers requiring digital twins from their machine builders are essentially creating the digital factories of the future.

Virtual commissioning is becoming increasingly vital in modern industrial settings. Virtual commissioning enables you to optimally prepare your system operators for the start of production, even before actual commissioning begins.

The result? Manufacturers use virtual commissioning capabilities of Siemens industrial simulation software Process Simulate in the Tecnomatix® portfolio to achieve fast, high-quality, and safe commissioning. It allows engineers to test software modules in a virtual environment, addressing errors beforehand and ensuring the quality and safety of automation systems. This approach significantly reduces commissioning time, often by 40-60%, minimizes downtime, and accelerates time to market while enhancing operational efficiency. Siemens is a key player in advancing this technology, facilitating its adoption across various industries.

Key Takeaways from the Interview with Colm Gavin, Portfolio Development Manager at Siemens Digital Industries Software:

  1. Digital Twins for Optimized Design: Digital twins of production machines, robotic cells, or complete plants enable manufacturers to respond faster to dynamic challenges, reducing commissioning time and costs.
  2. Virtual Commissioning: Virtual commissioning validates and optimizes machines before physical construction, allowing various disciplines to work in parallel. This process exposes weak business processes early on, reducing overall costs.
  3. Executable Digital Twin (xDT): Siemens Executable Digital Twin (xDT) are self-contained digital behaviors of assets that can be leveraged across the entire lifecycle of a machine. They are real-time enabled, self-adapting, and calibrating, providing unique insights into product performance.
  4. Process Simulation: Simulation technology, like Process simulation and Plant Simulation, including digital twin, is becoming a strategic advantage in building manufacturing infrastructure for new production lines. Large manufacturers like Estun Automation increasingly require digital twins as part of the bid process and milestones, driving adoption across industries.
  5. Competitive Edge: Embracing simulation technology, particularly digital twins, can provide a competitive edge by reducing risk and cost, improving quality, and facilitating training. Manufacturers who adopt these tools early gain efficiency and flexibility, outpacing competitors who lag.

Read the Digital Engineering article to learn more about the benefits of Process Simulation addressing challenges requires optimized design, simulation, and digital twin solutions.

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