DUALIS: 3D simulation for more sustainability and energy efficiency

Sustainability has long since ceased to be a mere image factor, and is now crucial to competitiveness and the future. Industry is faced with the task of minimizing environmental impact, using resources more efficiently and meeting legal requirements. Simulation and production planning solutions can make an important contribution here. For example, virtual testing of production concepts not only saves time and money, but also has advantages in terms of resource and climate protection. This can be implemented with the 3D simulation platform Visual Components, which is distributed by DUALIS. DUALIS also offers a new add-on for Visual Components for energy saving and scheduling, which can be used to simulate and plan power consumption.

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“3D simulation offers potential savings at various levels. For example, virtual testing of manufacturing concepts reduces the need for physical prototypes and associated materials. Also, machines no longer need to be used for testing purposes or training phases. This saves electricity costs and helps reduce the carbon footprint,” explains Ralf Dohndorf, Vice President Factory Simulation at DUALIS GmbH IT Solution.

By means of virtual reality, future machine operators can also be trained in a climate-neutral way. This can be done while the machine is still being built. Training takes place in a virtual environment without the need for physical machines or workshops. In this way, users learn how to operate the machine safely and effectively without consuming unnecessary resources.

Controlling electricity costs (climate)consciously with add-on.

“Skyrocketing energy prices are an enormous burden for manufacturing companies. We have therefore developed the new DUALIS Consumption Add-on for Visual Components. It enables the simulation of the energy consumption of various elements depending on the specific production plan. In this way, it is possible to examine how changes to the production plan and other parameters affect energy consumption as well as lead times and throughput,” says Maximilian Dilefeld, Project Manager at DUALIS GmbH IT Solution.

Users can use the add-on to define and simulate power consumption for any components in Visual Components, such as machines or automation units. During simulation, power consumption is calculated for individual machines or for an entire layout. The power consumption can be evaluated over time for groups of components or an entire layout. Based on the calculation of the consumption, the production plan can be adjusted and thus the power consumption can be manipulated or regulated.

Not only the reduction of the required amount of energy as an absolute value, but also its classification occupy practice and research. Users are thus given the power to decide when and how much electricity is consumed. For example, if there is a solar system on the factory roof, consumption can be based on the hours of sunshine. Or it is preferentially produced when the electricity is cheaper. Even if renewable energy is not self-generated, it makes sense to produce during times when there is plenty of green energy available on the grid to reduce the carbon footprint of production. The availability of green energy on the grid depends on the number and location of energy production facilities. Many utilities now offer online dashboards where energy production from renewable sources can be tracked in real time.

The DUALIS Consumption Add-on is part of the DUALIS Tool Box, which is provided free of charge to DUALIS customers and Visual Components users. The add-on is basically also relevant for the simulation of other media consumptions in the production context, such as water consumption or compressed air, and can be easily extended if required.

The factory of the future is smart and energy efficient.

Heike Wilson, Managing Director of DUALIS GmbH IT Solution, explains: “In the wake of climate change, awareness of sustainability and energy efficiency is increasing – even in the manufacturing industry. Because this is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Germany. Rising energy prices are encouraging a rethink in the industry. We are holistically aligning our portfolio to the requirements.”

DUALIS wants to enable production companies to overview and optimize their energy consumption. And this already starts in the production planning phase. With the GANTTPLAN APS system from DUALIS, planners can compare and adjust various scenarios and find the most energy-efficient options for their own production. Corresponding evaluations create additional transparency and show further optimization potential. Combined with the possibilities of 3D simulation as well as the iTAC.MOM.Suite for controlling, optimizing and predicting manufacturing processes in real time, the result is a consistent overall solution for the smart and energy-efficient factory of the future.

Further links


Product page for 3D factory simulation

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