IoT making Simulation World Real | Arena Simulation Software & Datonis®

Manufacturing a decade back was all about brute force and production. Today, it’s a different ball game altogether. Today’s manufacturing is more complex, involving diverse supply chains, material tracking, the need to integrate autonomous systems, and more. The manufacturer of today needs to be on his/her feet all the time to stay ahead of the curve. There are decisions to be taken, and constant trade-offs like changing machine locations, altering supplies, changing shifts, all in a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Here is where simulations and modelling step in.

Simulation is a flexible, cost-effective and accessible method of gaining insights about real-world situations without the issues and costs associated with working with an actual system. Arena, a pioneer simulation software from Rockwell Automation is a brand trusted by manufacturers over the globe for performing manufacturing simulations.

Arena enables the manufacturer to gain insight into complex systems, to develop and test new operating or resource policies and new concepts or systems, before implementing them and, last but not the least, to gather information and knowledge without disturbing the actual system. Hence, it is very useful in ‘what-if’ scenarios for manufacturers.

Arena is typically used in combination with CAx, layout design, material flow design, manufacturing networks and systems planning and control, augmented reality, virtual reality, ergonomics, digital mock-up, lifecycle assessment, product data management, enterprise resource planning, knowledge management, manufacturing execution systems, process simulation, supervisory control and data acquisition and supply chain.

Challenges faced in Brownfield Manufacturing Projects

The biggest challenge to the use of simulation software, like Arena, in factories in the absence of accurate shop floor data for simulation. Before the Industry 4.0 era, when connectivity in the plant was sparse, the manufacturer would create an assumed sequence of data based on their experience or by extrapolating random readings collected. If the input to the simulation process itself is erroneous, then the results are unreliable.

How Datonis®bridges the gap

Datonis®helps by taking care of the biggest challenge for simulations – the lack of quality data. With Datonis®in place, real-time data from the shop floor can be plugged into the simulation software to get the exact take on the problem. There are no assumptions, no errors in the data since it is actually received from the machines themselves. It provides actual cycle time data for building realistic statistical models from connected assets/resources that can be plugged to draw real-time simulations for the factory.

The actual historical data collected from Datonis® is in turn input to simulation package and statistical models for all deployed resources. The availability of data -both historical and real-time at the fingertips of the manufacturer assures that Arena can now be used for any required scenario, enabling optimization of facilities at the core. If there are significant deviations in the actual data collected in Datonis®, then notifications can be sent to Arena for simulating the actual scenario and measure the impact on the operations.

Typically manufacturing simulation softwares were focused on resource capacity analysis, scheduling, flow analysis and layout analysis. Availability of machine critical parameter data and part quality parameter data in Datonis®can further help to do more sophisticated higher degree models for PARTS and RESOURCES in the simulation models. Predictive maintenance and quality models using advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms in Datonis®can be integrated with Arena Simulation Software to validate the accuracy of the models. The combination of Datonis®with Arena Simulation Software will also increase the frequency of using manufacturing modeling and simulation &and hence optimizing resources deployed in the plant.

SNIC and Altizon impact

SNIC, a leading Industrial Engineering, and Management Consulting firm, who are also the official partners of Rockwell Automation announced their partnership with Altizon, an Industrial IoT company. Arena software helps businesses analyze the impact of “what-if” business ideas, rules and strategies by creating a simulated environment before they develop or implement a new processor technology. Datonis®, the flagship IIoT platform by Altizon integrates with Arena software, forming a complete ecosystem, where the real-time relevant machine data from IoT is provided to Arena Simulation Software, leading to a more realistic simulation of the plant.

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