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Düsseldorf, May 22, 2019

Prepared for Industrie 4.0 - The role of digital twins

SMS group combines classical mechanical engineering and innovative digital services, thus creating added value for its customers along the entire value-added chain. Essential factors here are embedded systems, digital service platforms, real-time networking of plant data, big data analytics, cloud computing for self-optimizing and autonomous process control.

A learning steelworks features an intelligent and largely autonomous production process. But how can a plant learn? This is very simple to answer. It uses data and derived information as a basis for decisions relevant for process control and operations. The proven solutions SMS group offers in the field of electrical and automation systems are summarized under the term X-Pact® (process, automation, control, technology). The X-Pact® packages offer tailor-made solutions for complete automation and digitalization.

The system ensures the systematical networking of knowledge and data and is the central basis of the vision of the “learning steelworks”.

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Digital twin
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Real plant at Big River Steel, Osceola, USA
Digital twins

Digital commissioning of the customer’s automation systems takes place as early as during the Plug & Work test. The Plug & Work concept developed by SMS group permits valuable time to be saved already in the forefront of the plant erection and commissioning. A new automation system is completely installed, tested and preoptimized in the test fields of SMS group a long time before erection work on site is going to start. This is possible thanks to a realistic 3D real-time plant simulation reproducing a digital twin that features the same functions and technology as the plant for the specific customer. Within the scope of the Pug & Work test, this simulation is connected to the automation system of the plant to be tested and serves as substitute of the real plant. On that occasion, SMS group employees can train the future operating staff at the original control desks. In the virtual production process, the customer’s staff has the opportunity to familiarize with and master the functions of the plant and its handling in realistic operational situations. Using Plug & Work can cut the time needed for commissioning by up to 30 percent compared to the conventional proceeding. SMS group’s Plug & Work is a concept that has been tried and tested over a long term and is continuously improved to meet the requirements of the new industrial age.

Find out more in the current issue of the SMS group customer magazine.