Digital manufacturing is a production method in which computer technology creates a product in a desired style or quantity using little or no human involvement. Digital manufacturing uses digital tools to combines and connect all manufacturing processes.
What is Digital Manufacturing?
Digital manufacturing is a computer digitized system used integrate all processes used in product development, manufacturing, and supply chain operations. It uses 3D visualization, simulation, and analysis to coordinate all manufacturing from design and production to final product service.
Many long-term benefits involving product lifecycle management (PLM) cannot be realized without a comprehensive digital manufacturing strategy, so digital manufacturing is a key integration point between PLM and factory applications and equipment. In addition, 3D modeling and 3D simulation of production processes can improve the quality of manufacturing decisions, while improving processes, saving costs, shortening time-to-market, and achieving accurate yield targets.
Digital manufacturing is a production method in which computer technology creates a product in a desired style or quantity in a mode with little or no human involvement. Direct digital manufacturing, rapid manufacturing, just-in-time manufacturing, and on-demand manufacturing are included. The technologies used in digital manufacturing provide businesses with the ability to develop prototypes and plan and customize the production process from start to finish. Products created through a digital manufacturing model are used by companies in a wide range of industries. It is particularly popular with toolmakers as it allows direct production of tool inserts on demand.
Advantages of Digital Manufacturing:
- Instead of producing large quantities of products, digital manufacturing ensures that only predetermined quantities are made.
- Helps maintain efficient energy usage levels and ensures material waste is kept to a minimum.
- By allowing manufacturers to set the exact amount of product to build, businesses can better control everything from production costs to product quality.
- Products created by digital manufacturers complete the production process faster.
- Unnecessary steps and supplementary procedures can be completely reduced or omitted from the manufacturing process.
- This helps products to be delivered to consumers in a timelier fashion and, in some cases, reduces production costs.
- Digital fabrication also has systems capable of processing and improving complex designs in a short period.
- Digital devices can quickly build and enhance products. This automatically condenses the process into allowable steps by simplifying existing designs and geometries.
- Unify all manufacturing processes, reduce the possibility of errors, and reduce the cost of experimentation through the simulation of virtual technology and automated procedures.
- It provides an immediate view of production data, including product information, technology applications, factory capabilities, and resource information for the consistent execution of production.
- The manufacturing process of parts can be optimized in a managed environment, and flexible work orders (displaying 2D or 3D parts), as well as machining and tooling orders, can be generated.
- Helps to quickly model the factory and ensure that the manufacturing process is running with optimal layout, material flow, and throughput before starting production.
Main Areas of Digital Manufacturing:
Digital manufacturing can be broken down into 3 areas: product life cycle, smart factory, and value chain management. Every area is related to manufacturing execution, from design, product innovation, enhancement of production lines, and optimization of resources, all for better product and customer satisfaction.
- Product life cycle: Beginning with engineering design, including subsequent procurement, production, and service life, design specifications can be modified at any time during the manufacturing process if digital data is used at each step.
- Smart Factory: Involves smart machines, sensors, and tools. To provide instant feedback on processes and manufacturing technology, operational technology and information technology will be combined. This digital transformation can optimize factory processes and controls. thereby improving performance.
- Value Chain Management: Focus on reducing resources, creating optimal processes, and maintaining product quality and customer satisfaction while reducing inventory.
Applications of Digital Manufacturing:
Digital manufacturing takes a holistic view of the product and the design process and facilitates collaboration throughout the production process, so it is used in a variety of industries. For example, an automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) can digitally design the entire manufacturing process (tooling, machining, assembly sequence, and factory layout) as designers prepare to design their next automotive project. And manufacturing engineers can immediately react to designers when they discover part limitations.
Suppliers can use digitally fabricated systems to build a complete 3D simulated production line and analyze different production variations and concepts as part of the quoting process. The transparency and precision of using this approach to planning and proposals help companies gain greater confidence from clients. Digital manufacturing has quickly become widely practiced in aerospace, spare parts, and other industries. This technology can be perfectly integrated into automated processes such as additive manufacturing (3D printing), laminated object manufacturing, and CNC cutting and milling.
Looking to the Future of Digital Manufacturing:
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on global supply chains and market sales, the global manufacturing industry has undergone rapid transformation. Even small and medium-sized enterprises are trying to find ways to digitally transform to keep up with the new trend of digital manufacturing.
The drive to digitize can boost the need for a digital manufacturing plant: one that offers the highest flexibility while reducing production costs. Providing a secure flow of data across the enterprise and supply chain enables companies to dramatically increase productivity, quality, and profitability. Through digitization, manufacturers can quickly and easily adjust to changes in customer needs, drastically reducing lead times and improving customer satisfaction.
With the digitization of production processes in all walks of life, processes will become more and more automated. Digital manufacturing will continue to be developed in the future, and as various systems interact with each other, they will continue to promote integrated production. This will not only increase the competitiveness of enterprises, but also improve and simplify the entire manufacturing process, creating a more efficient and advanced future.