Factory Acceptance Test made virtually
With real production equipment connected to AFRY’s digital twin, testing activities of the production line can be done virtually, enabling a shorter time-to-market.
Real Digital Twin (RDT) is a technology used in industries where a 100 percent accurate copy of a production cell is made in an virtual environment. Since the virtual copy is equal on signal-level to the real cell, a big part of testing activities such as the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) can be done virtually during commissioning or changes in the production line. This can reduce time and cost with up to 75 percent.
Last year, AFRY delivered this solution to a client in the Swedish manufacturing industry to create a digital copy of a new production cell that was to be built. The team at AFRY created a Real Digital Twin on signal level to emulate planned reality at 100 percent. They then progressed with extensive testing and debugging activities using the digital twin before any hardware was available.
The client was able to reduce the time needed for testing with approximately 20 days, with big cost savings. This was thanks to the fact that the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) could be done virtually on distance but with the real production equipment connected to the digital twin over a secured internet connection.
All the time saved by frontloading, usually needed for debugging later in the process, instead enabled the client to start their production much earlier. The digital twin also provides several other benefits such as possibilities for operator training and a strategic, technical overview of the systems for predictive maintenance.
Usually the process of setting up a new production cell or making strategic changes to an existing one, is a long and costly process which can conceal some expensive surprises. Due to this uncertainty, the concept of Real Virtual Commissioning using a Real Digital Twin has become a hot topic within the European industry.
-AFRY has extensive experience within the fields of real-time process control, analysis and industrial expertise. The RDT framework utilizes Siemens, ABB and in-house developed software components, giving AFRY a leading part in the area of Virtual Commissioning. Says Andreas Buhlin, Section Manager