At A Glance – Digital Manufacturing

The digital revolution disrupting the $10tr manufacturing industry yet again

To remain competitive, manufacturers need to ensure high manufacturing process performance. This has led to the development of detailed computer simulations, tasked with working out the best ways to run production lines. Through digital manufacturing, manufacturers can do exactly that.

Digital manufacturing is a subset of Product Lifestyle Management (PLM) that builds, tests and analyses the behaviour of virtual models to optimise how they are designed and applied in the real world. Digital manufacturing is an umbrella term for various different strategies such as 3D modelling and Robotics Process Automation (RPA). Simulating, testing and analysing models can help to enhance an existing production system, or build one that functions at an optimal rate.

Digital manufacturing can be divided into two categories – on demand and cloud based. These techniques have transformed the manufacturing value chain and will continue to do so in conjunction with disruptive technology. Production lines will become even more efficient, harnessing automation to improve the transition of virtual designs into physical products and processes. Tech suppliers, for example, could use digital manufacturing to build a simulation of an entire production line to bring transparency and precision to planning.

Other benefits of using digital manufacturing include real time access to lifecycle data, openness across production processes, and virtual validation. Companies can save time, money and resources by making decisions based on digital information. Digital manufacturing is enabling the growth of on demand manufacturing, as well as fuelling the factory of the future. Key players in the global digital manufacturing industry include Siemens PLM Software, Autodesk, PTC and Dassault Systèmes.