open access publication

Article, 2024

Agile digital machine development

Computers in Industry, ISSN 0166-3615, 1872-6194, Volume 155, Page 104061, 10.1016/j.compind.2023.104061


De Oliveira Hansen, Jesper Puggaard (Corresponding author) [1] Da Silva, Elias Hans Dener Ribeiro 0000-0002-6608-0993 [1] Bilberg, Arne 0000-0002-4780-8459 [1]


  1. [1] University of Southern Denmark
  2. [NORA names: SDU University of Southern Denmark; University; Denmark; Europe, EU; Nordic; OECD]


In mechatronic machine design and development, it is no longer enough to think about machine functionality and integration as machines are increasingly digitalized. Virtual upgrades are being made to manufacturing systems to keep up with the need for faster product cycles, higher quality, and the introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies. The design and development of new mechatronic discrete manufacturing machines (MDMM) should thus include these characteristics in their design. However, most machine builders do not have the capabilities and resources to do virtual engineering (VE) at the required level, which means these machines are made with limitations or sometimes without their virtual counterparts. Reusable VE MDMM modularization allows machine builders to obtain these competencies quickly and with fewer resources. This research proposes developing adaptable digital twins (DT) by modularizing all virtual and physical mechatronic machine aspects. DTs are well-explored in literature, but re-engineering them requires massive resources and is often unviable. We introduce a new DT-based approach that allows machine builders to quickly re-engineer, adapt, and test machines, given its modular confined approach. Although VE on different abstraction levels still must be developed, confined modularization allows hiding the complexity into modules rather than addressing the entire machine simultaneously. Building machines through modularization is thus an investment, as machine builders and other stakeholders will be able to use and reuse them later for other machines, reducing the overall resources that go into the development. The paper shows how to develop adaptable DT machines using Siemens tools related to virtual engineering.


Abstract, DT-based approach, Siemens, abstraction levels, approach, aspects, builders, building machines, capability, characteristics, competence, complex, confinement approach, counterparts, cycle, design, development, digital twin, engineering, function, high quality, industry, integration, introduction, introduction of Industry, investment, levels, limitations, literature, machinability aspects, machine, machine builders, machine design, machine development, machine functions, manufacturing, manufacturing machines, manufacturing systems, massive resources, modularity, modulation, production, production cycle, quality, re-engineering, research, resources, stakeholders, system, technology, testing machine, tools, twin, upgrading, virtual counterparts, virtual engineering

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