Seeing a better future: Simulation software renders optimal plant layout before construction
MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, a heavy-duty truck manufacturer based in Munich, Germany, is substantially cutting the cost of building a new production facility by using the simulation capabilities of the DELMIA Process Engineer software package from Dassault Systemes.<br/>
MAN Nutzfahrzeuge , a heavy-duty truck manufacturer based in Munich, Germany, is substantially cutting the cost of building a new production facility by using the simulation capabilities of the DELMIA Process Engineer software package from Dassault Systemes .
The new facility will produce TGA Worldwide trucks, a model specially designed to meet East European market requirements. Through 3D visualization of the building and work cell layout, DELMIA is helping MAN minimize costs and potential production problems, says MAN planner Thorsten Franz.
A truck consists of about 6,500 parts delivered in containers to the workstations. Each container of parts must be available at the right time and the right place in order to keep production flowing. The DELMIA simulation of the facility revealed how the original plans would have led to the concentration of materials at certain locations and rendered feasible work processes impossible.
MAN began by developing an initial draft plan of the new plant in Process Engineer using different assembly lines complete with line balancing on the various stations, such as framework construction, painting systems, wheel, cab and motor assembly. Then MAN used the software to configure alternative manufacturing designs, systems layouts, material handling, tests for usability, and the supply concept. Additionally, line balancing and cycle periods were all placed in context, then visualized and optimized.
"We were able to considerably minimize costs and problems through simulation. We have already achieved significant synergies among the logistics, technology and assembly divisions, we're a long way from exhausting all possibilities and will continue to review processes with DELMIA," Franz says.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey