Robotics Industry News
HIROTEC implements Digital Twin with FASTSUITE Edition 2
CENIT North America Posted 08/15/2018
HIROTEC introduces CENIT's FASTSUITE Edition 2 as digital factory solution at its Japanese headquarters
HiROTEC implemented FASTSUITE as a platform for all steps from cell planning to PLC validation. A first milestone is the digital twin of a production cell for vehicle doors.
HIROTEC Corporation (Hiroshima/Japan) is one of the world's leading car body parts manufacturers. As Tier-1 supplier of automotive OEM, the company is continuously working on improvements in the manufacturing process from design to production ("Full Vertical Approach").
In addition, the company launched an Advanced Engineering Center in 2015 to work with industry and research partners worldwide on tomorrows solutions. The goal for production is "Zero Defects, Zero Delays, Zero Downtime". CENIT paves the way to the Smart Factory with the digital factory solution FASTSUITE Edition 2.
The collaboration started in 2016 when Yoshiaki Higashi, President of CENIT Japan, and his team of experienced engineers conducted a feasibility study for HIROTEC. The result was the placement of an order for our software in 2017.
HIROTEC started with the development of a digital twin for a vehicle door production cell. They have been continuing this project with the goal of digitalizing the entire process using 3D simulation. (See “ The entire engineering process in one software” below).
Hideharu Aranii, General Manager, Assembly Tool Engineering Department, Tool & Die Division, was responsible for the project on behalf of HIROTEC. He emphasizes the quality of the result-efficient cooperation: "CENIT employees have in-depth knowledge of our production technologies and many years of experience in the industry.” His employees have confirmed the user-friendliness of the software. "It is important to us that the software supports our teams in applying their expertise. This is exactly what FASTSUITE Edition 2 does."
For the future project, CENIT's enterprising qualities are also a plus point: “If we as a globally active supplier incorporate further locations, CENIT can accompany us on this path as our partner offers the necessary resources and internationality.”
HIROTEC supports car manufacturers worldwide with high quality and lean body-in-white closures, exhaust systems and closure manufacturing equipment. The company offers an integrated production system utilizing advanced technology. Founded in 1932, the supplier today has 27 locations in nine countries and around 1,700 employees. In 2016, the company reported a sales volume of EUR 525.5 million (sales volume 68,400,000,000 JPY). Their products and services include the design and manufacture of body doors and exhaust systems for motor vehicles, punching tools, assembly systems and folding systems for body-in-white closures.
THE ENTIRE ENGINEERING PROCESS IN ONE SOFTWARE
- FASTSUITE Edition 2 contains predefined simulation components that are already in the form of mechatronic models. The employee generates the system layout on the basis of the production or assembly sequence planning by selecting the required components and arranging them by drag & drop.
- CENIT offers a direct integration to CADENAS PartSolutions. If required, additional "smart components" can be added from the extensive 3D manufacturer catalogs and used immediately in the simulation.
- For each available manufacturing technology, CENIT's digital factory software offers specific, well-engineered software modules which are constantly updated.
- The user thus automatically uses the latest methods such as semantic and vendor-neutral robot programming.
- The process-specific generation of robot toolpaths is also linked to the definition of the required process parameters and control commands. This way, a consistently high program quality is guaranteed, regardless of the user's experience and the type of robot used.
Test phase, PLC validation and virtual commissioning
- The software contains a virtual, mechatronic model of the entire system.
- The virtual system behaves identically to the real hardware, including all I/O signals, sensor data, etc.
- This makes it possible to test and optimize the control software (PLC) in FASTSUITE Edition 2 already in early project phases before the actual construction of the plant. This drastically reduces project runtimes and allows possible errors to be detected and corrected much earlier.
- Finally, the simulation environment of FASTSUITE Edition 2 can be used for PLC validation and virtual commissioning.
- By connecting the virtual robot controller, the robots can also be simulated exactly as in reality, based on a backup of the real controller. The complex, expensive and not always available connection of RCS modules can be omitted.