We train it

Off we go to Blom­berg, on the hunt for the digi­tal twin. Here we find the next trace of the digi­tal clo­ne. We’ll start at a field office, not direc­t­ly on cam­pus.

Mar­lies Achen­bach

The Lean Value Chain depart­ment is hid­den in a small indus­tri­al area with a faca­de that, at first glance, appears unim­pres­si­ve. The office mana­ger, 33-year-old indus­tri­al engi­neer Mar­lies Achen­bach, greets us with the words, “You’ll only find a part of the twin here at best.”

But this part, as we then learn, is a par­ti­cu­lar- ly inte­res­ting one. This is becau­se the Lean Value Chain depart­ment is dedi­ca­ted to opti­mi­zing pro­ces­ses, espe­ci­al­ly in pro­duc­tion and logistics. “We advi­se and train our col­leagues very tan­gi­b­ly, and also with a stop­watch in hand when exami­ning their pro­ces­ses. Making things lean means making them effi­ci­ent – and that is exac­t­ly what we aim to do.”

This is by no means just a mat­ter of savings. “We try to achie­ve opti­mi­zed pro­ces­ses in pro­duc­tion.” In doing so, the Lean Value Chain depart­ment acces­ses data from the Manu­fac­tu­ring Exe­cu­ti­on Sys­tem and, ulti­mate­ly, mer­chan­di­se manage­ment data from the SAP envi­ron­ment.

We don’t look at the pro­ces­ses in our own pro­duc­tion,” exp­lains Mar­lies Achen­bach. “Ins­tead, we also sup­port our part­ners in the sup­ply chain, the sup­pliers. An exten­ded work­bench is a con­cre­te examp­le. We deli­ber­ate­ly trai­ned the part­ner com­pa­ny in the design of lean pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses and coa­ched it during the first imple­men­ta­ti­ons. In part, we also simu­la­te mate­ri­al flows in a digi­tal fac­to­ry during our opti­mi­za­ti­on work.”

So we find not just one indi­vi­du­al twin here, but rather an ent­i­re group of them? “Exac­t­ly, our ide­al is a digi­tal fac­to­ry in 2D or 3D, whe­re CAD data from machi­ne buil­ding and SAP data from the enter­pri­se resour­ce plan­ning sys­tem come tog­e­ther, enab­ling simu­la­ti­on runs for opti­mi­zed pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses.”

We feed it
We train it
We con­trol with it
We print with it
We’­ve got it!

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