The empowering benefits of linking the digital twin of production online with real production

By Matthias Heinicke

Achieving scale with Plant Simulation in Siemens factories utilizing the the digital twin of production.

2023 Plant Simulation User Conference presentation by Natalie Vollmer and Lars Schreiber – July 13.

By linking the digital twin of production online with the real production, a completely new quality of data is generated within the material flow simulation model. This enables the unlocking of new use cases for planners and shop floor leaders.

In the realm of manufacturing, the convergence of the real and digital worlds has opened up new possibilities for optimizing production processes and driving innovation. One remarkable advancement in this domain is the linking of the digital twin of production with real-time operations. This integration has proven to be a game-changer, unlocking a multitude of benefits and revolutionizing the way factories operate. In the lecture, Natalie Vollmer and Lars Schreiber explore the significant advantages of connecting the digital twin of production online with the real production environment.

Natalie Vollmer, a Mechanical Engineer, has been serving as a simulation expert at Siemens’ electric motor factory in Bad Neustadt a.d. Saale, Germany, for the past four years. With her extensive expertise in material flow simulation using Plant Simulation, she plays a pivotal role as the key user in implementing digital twins for production planning. She excels in tasks such as 3D layout planning with NX and robot simulation with Process Simulate, providing valuable support in these areas. Natalie’s unwavering dedication to integrating engineering principles with cutting-edge simulation technologies remains a driving force behind the continuous innovation observed in manufacturing processes.

Lars Schreiber completed his studies in Industrial Engineering at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg. Since 2019, he has been employed by Siemens AG at the Eletronic Device Plant Erlangen (GWE). In his capacity as the expert in material flow simulation and key user, Lars has successfully conducted numerous material flow studies for production and logistics projects. Additionally, he actively contributes to fostering digital consistency at GWE through his proficient utilization of Teamcenter, NX Line Designer and Plant Simulation tools. Notably, as part of the Siemens DI-wide Lean Digital Factory program, both Natalie and Lars have collaborated closely with other Siemens experts across various domains of digital twin technology.

Optimize my Plant - Using the Mendix App.

Natalie Vollmer and Lars Schreiber have been selected as presenters at the 2023 Plant Simulation User Conference. During their session, they will demonstrate their achievements in scaling the digital twin of Siemens Bad Neustadt’s motor production, effectively expanding its capabilities and introducing innovative use cases.

By using the Mendix Optimize My Plant app and data connected to Insights Hub we improved significantly the accuracy of the Plant Simulation model, which can be used for up-to-date planning and optimization of production. By linking the digital twin of production online with the real production, a completely new quality of data is achieved within the simulation model, unlocking new use cases for planners and shop floor leaders.

Siemens business unit - Motion Control - High Level Architecture Closed Loop Simulation – Pilot of Solutions Factory Twin / Optimize My Plant.

The integration of the online digital twin of production with real-time manufacturing process data results in a significant elevation of data quality within the simulation model, ushering in a transformative era. This breakthrough enables planners and shop floor leaders to explore fresh applications and unlock untapped potentials. A notable initiative in this regard is the pilot of the Plant Simulation Closed Loop Simulation, which encompasses the Factory Twin and Optimize My Plant solutions. This pioneering endeavor aims to reduce costs and streamline simulation efforts, ultimately yielding improved efficiency and effectiveness.

By establishing a live connection between the digital twin and real production processes, an entirely new quality of data is achieved within the simulation model. This integration enables the digital twin to capture real-time data, providing a highly accurate representation of the actual production environment. The result is improved data quality and increased accuracy in simulations, enabling more precise planning, optimization and decision-making.

Real-Time Insights for Planning and Optimization

The online link between the digital twin and real production empowers planners and shop floor leaders with real-time insights. This enables them to monitor production performance, identify bottlenecks and make data-driven decisions promptly. By leveraging up-to-date information from the real production environment, planners can optimize resource allocation, streamline workflows and maximize efficiency in real-time.

Unlocking New Use Cases

The integration of the digital twin with the real production environment unlocks new use cases and possibilities. Planners and shop floor leaders can explore innovative scenarios, conduct virtual experiments and test alternative production strategies within the digital twin. This capability not only enhances operational agility but also allows for the evaluation of potential process improvements without disrupting the actual production line.

Efficiency and cost savings

Linking the digital twin of production online with real production enables a more efficient and cost-effective approach to simulation. The need for extensive offline data collection and manual input is minimized, reducing the effort and resources required for simulation activities. Furthermore, real-time monitoring and optimization within the digital twin facilitate the identification of process inefficiencies, leading to cost savings through improved productivity and reduced downtime.

Collaboration and Digital Consistency

The online linkage of the digital twin with real production promotes collaboration and digital consistency across various teams and departments. By providing a shared platform for stakeholders to access real-time production data, insights and simulations, it fosters a collaborative environment where cross-functional teams can work together seamlessly. This unified approach leads to improved communication, coordinated decision-making and the alignment of strategies for enhanced overall performance.


The integration of the digital twin of production with real-time operations represents a significant advancement in the manufacturing industry. It not only improves data quality and accuracy but also enables real-time insights, unlocks new use cases, and drives efficiency and cost savings. By embracing this powerful combination of the digital and physical worlds, factories can achieve unprecedented levels of productivity, agility, and innovation, positioning themselves at the forefront of the expanding manufacturing landscape.

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