The automotive sector has been adapting in recent years to become a reference in the cutting-edge technological revolution. Concepts like cyber-physical systems, simulation and digital twins have been applied in several aspects of automotive field, from factories to vehicles. A further step towards promoting the digitalization and the impulse of Industry 4.0 within this sector consists in being able to develop a connection between the virtual and the physical world, developing both simulation and Virtual Commissioning (VC).
Considering the relevance of applying these concepts to existing manufacturing plants, this paper deals with the simulation and emulation of an Automotive Volkswagen (VW) Paint Workshop located in Navarra (Spain). The main objective of this paper is to replicate and emulate the behavior of several lines of the workshop based on a Digital Twin (DT) approach, considering mainly production features (number of cars and cycle time). The methodology combines numerical simulation with experimental validation based on both automotive performance guidelines and Workshop schedule. Several ad-hoc models have been developed within Plant Simulation software within Siemens portfolio to simulate the elements of the Workshop. The novelty of the article lies in the combination and integration of both simulation and emulation for analysis and optimization purposes in a real automotive plant. A complete design of experiments has been done to assess different combinations of the simulation.
Results extracted from the Digital Twin approach show a reduction of 66% in commissioning (emulation) and reduction of 16% in cycle time losses (simulation).