Thought Leadership

Making manufacturing smarter using a digital thread

By Blake Snodgrass

The industrial machinery industry is witnessing exponential technological innovations using smart manufacturing. However, the manufacturer’s goal to validate and manage modern manufacturing and assembly operations is intimidating to achieve optimum quality while improving cost.

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In the machining industry, manufacturers are requesting additional content, sensors, and feedback on the execution of production and manufacturing processes. This data is leveraged into a digital twin. For instance, inspection is essential when making a machining tool to create traceability for designing, manufacturing, and closing the loop process based on a high-fidelity digital twin. This process is necessary to link the product’s digital twin with the machine’s digital twin.

Industrial machinery’s process and trends

A comprehensive solution is crucial to comprehend the steps in the manufacturing process. These steps include idea creation, developing the product via machining, executing in manufacturing, and extending the entire service life based on the digital twin. These steps enable machine manufacturers and designers to create value, drive down costs, and compress delivery schedules. Also, it closes the loop rapidly between manufacturing operations and engineering.

Smart manufacturing using additive manufacturing and digital twin

In recent years, additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has come to the fore. For example, the machining industry permits the machine designer to consolidate components using additive manufacturing, resulting in economic parts, more excellent reliability, and improved durability.

However, in smart manufacturing, the digital twin uses more than additive manufacturing. It also requires post-process machining with other make-ready processes for industrial machinery assembly.

This process results in a new class of machinery that’s highly valuable. A digital twin provides for designing parts or mechanical components, plus it adds the flexibility and adaptability to reflect the electrical part, the software, and the programmable logic control (PLC). Therefore, when manufacturers incorporate a multidisciplinary approach in using a digital twin, the correct software is essential to orchestrate it.

Learn more in the Smart Manufacturing White paper.

Software essentials

Siemens Digital Industries Software drives the transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing, and electronics design meet tomorrow.

Xcelerator is a comprehensive, integrated portfolio of software, services and an application development platform. The portfolio accelerates the transformation of businesses into digital enterprises. It unlocks a powerful industrial network effect – essential requirements to leverage complexity as a competitive advantage, no matter the industry or company, to transition seamlessly to create tomorrow’s complex, efficient machines.

Related links: 
Industrial-machinery and smart manufacturing 
Implementing smart manufacturing for a smart factory 
Smart manufacturing and industrial machinery – Podcast series

About our expert
Rahul Garg is Vice President of Industrial Machinery and the SMB Program for Siemens Digital Industries Software. He and his team are responsible for identifying and delivering strategic initiatives and developing solutions for the industry, working closely with industry-leading customers and providing thought leadership on new, emerging issues facing the machinery industry. Rahul’s experience and insights are derived from a 25-year career of delivering software-based solutions for product engineering and manufacturing innovation for the global manufacturing industry. He has held leadership positions in multiple areas, including research and development, program management, sales and P&L management, having focused exclusively on the industrial machinery and heavy equipment industry since 2007. Rahul holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from Wayne State University, with a concentration in Operations Management and Strategic Marketing, as well as a Bachelor of Computer Engineering degree in Computer Engineering from Bombay University.

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