Industry 4.0 Spurs $4.1 Billion Investment In Plant Simulation Software

How Manufacturing Companies Can Leverage Plant Simulation Software

Plant simulation software allows manufacturers to use computer modeling to determine how investing in new equipment or technology will impact operations before putting them into production.

The concept is not new; in fact, industrial companies have used simulation software to plan new production lines for several years. However, the rapid emergence of new technologies, and the fact that all of these technologies must work together, makes the software especially important in today’s landscape.

Taking A Holistic Approach

Traditionally, industrial companies and engineers attempt to leverage individual technologies to solve individual problems. For example, they try to figure out how many Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) they need, then they try to figure out what type of robot to purchase,  then they try to figure out where to place the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, and so forth.

However, because these technologies must work together and communicate with one another, decision makers need to take a much more holistic approach. As companies explore things such as Right now, industrial companies have an interest in many technologies such as 5G and private LTE (and other forms of connectivity), additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence applications, augmented reality applications, autonomous material handling robots and AGVs, CNCs and other reductive and casting manufacturing methods, cobots and industrial robots, location and asset management applications and metrology and inspection equipment on the line, but they often hesitate to deploy them without any assurance that they will provide the promised benefits. Simulation software can help provide that assurance by demonstrating different deployment scenarios or mixes of technologies on the factory floor.

Aligning Tech With The Right Teams

This holistic approach is forcing manufacturers to rethink — and realign — their workforces. Instead of siloed groups, companies are forming transformation teams. These teams work across department lines — and even geographies — to empower companies to deploy and scale technologies with an understanding of how it all fits together across the enterprise.

Controlling The Market

While no single technology is responsible for driving Industry 4.0, simulation software holds the potential to act as a catalyst for the transformation. If simulation software can accurately predict the effects of other technologies on the core goals of manufacturers (i.e., more production, more uptime, improved time to market, improved quality, fewer delays, more efficiencies, greater utilization of assets, all at lower costs) then industrial companies will deploy more technologies at scale with greater confidence with fewer delays.

This presents a tremendous opportunity for leading plant simulation vendors, including:

- AnyLogic
- Arena
- Aspen Technology
- Dassault Systèmes
- MathWorks
- Siemens
- Simio

However, there is still work to be done on their part. To get to the stage where plant simulation software accurately incorporates transformative technologies and stays a step ahead of the market while simplifying the user experience, vendors need to continuously hunt down new equipment and technology to include in the simulations, participate in more PoCs and pilots, and start incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques

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Industry 4.0 is rapidly changing the industrial landscape. Whether you are a manufacturing company or a technology vendor, our Industrial Solution can give you the insight and actionable advice you need to stay a step ahead. 

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