Introduction to Plant Simulation – How To Increase Productivity Up To 40 Percent

By Stephanie Aldrete

What you will learn from the Introduction to Plant Simulation video:

  1. How to achieve 75 percent shorter plant commissioning times than before the simulation was performed.

  2. How to increase productivity by as much as 40 percent using Plant Simulation software.

  3. How to reduce energy consumption through optimization of logistical processes within the production system.

View the Introduction to Plant Simulation video here.

The world of production has changed considerably in recent years. When we think of the automotive industry some years ago the time to ramp up a manufacturing line to full productivity could take more than one year. Global competition does not allow for this anymore, which means that in one to three months full productivity has to be reached.

Siemens PLM Software has a comprehensive bundle of software products to manage the complete product lifecycle, especially in the area of time to market. Siemens offers Tecnomatix Plant Simulation software. It allows for simulation, visualization, analysis and optimization of very complex production systems. This greatly reduces the required commissioning time. As a result, we’ve seen 75 percent shorter plant commissioning times than before the simulation was performed.

Using the data inside Teamcenter Manufacturing, planning engineers can build a simulation model that reflects the complexity of the required production, including its dynamic behavior. In recent years, material flow simulation has been enhanced by powerful 3D visualization capabilities. Today, most equipment suppliers already offer 3D model geometry for their products. This means, for example, that robot, high bay warehouse, and build conveyer model geometries are available in 3D form. Therefore, our customers can build a 3D-enabled material flow simulation using these real CAD models enabling robust decisions for their future investments. Through these simulations they get a 3D digital factory representation in real time that anyone can understand right away.

The simulation enables optimization of the system including planning of the layout, the control logic, and the dimensioning, that is, the means to optimally fine tune the amount, position and sequence of production resources.

Analysis shows that in this way one can achieve increased productivity of up to 40 percent. Several tools in the software enable deeper investigation into the system behavior. There is, for example, a bottleneck analyzer that investigates the system, analyzes the statistics, and specifically points out where to find savings potential within the system.

Another analysis tool that is built into the software is the Sankey Diagram, which allows the plant designers to quickly get an overview of system material flows. This means, for example, that you can reduce the number of forklifts required and design your conveyer system at lower costs allowing you to reduce the plant (capital) investment by as much as 30 percent.

While 20 years ago energy consumption during production was of little or no importance, today it is playing a significant role as a cost driver in manufacturing. The integrated energy analysis module now enables optimization of the system in terms of its energy consumption. One very impressive result has been achieved in the automotive industry in the production of crank shaft casings. Three gigawatt hours per year can be saved through optimization of logistical processes within the production system alone. As a result, the customer saves money every day.

Read the case study, “Premium Car Maker: Reducing lifecycle energy consumption of car engines with Plant Simulation”

To learn more about Siemens PLM Software, download our “PLM for Manufacturing” white paper about how to design and validate processes in a digital manufacturing environment.

To learn more about Tecnomatix Plant Simulation, please visit our website.

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