Industrial companies are continuously confronted with new challenges such as shorter product life cycles, higher process complexity due to the individualisation of products and an increasing need for a sustainable business. A Digital Process Twin (DPT) can help companies to remain competitive and overcome these challenges. The DPT collects real data in production, e.g. with the help of a traceability system, which is then digitally evaluated. In this way, occurring problems can already be detected in the emergence phase and corresponding countermeasures can be initiated promptly. In this way, negative effects on quality, delivery times and resource efficiency can be avoided. Currently, the DPT is only used sporadically in industry. In earlier years, this was mainly due to the lack of available data and existing technologies. Currently, the lack of digital skills among employees and an insufficient integration into existing organisational structures are the main reasons for this. The LeaDTchain project addresses this issue using an HTO approach.
The aim of the project is the development of digital and competence-oriented learning units for shop floor managers and decision makers to address the impact of DPT on humans, technology and organization. The first learning unit deals with the technical implementation of a Digital Twin for an entire value stream. After successfully completing this course, shop floor managers and decision makers will be able to follow a structured procedure for the implementation of a DPT in their own company. The focus of the second learning unit is the integration of the DPT into existing organizational structures as well as daily processes. Against this background, shop floor managers and decision makers will know about potential challenges and how to overcome them. The third learning unit is about the training and preparation of shop floor managers and decision makers for the correct application of the Digital Twin for an entire value stream. By this, they will be enabled to use the DPT in the company correctly to support the continuous improvement process.
The work plan is divided into five work packages. In the beginning, current research and existing technologies for Digital Twins representing entire value streams are analysed and an overview of different areas of application is created. On that basis, required competencies to introduce Digital Twins of an entire value stream are determined and skill gaps in the training of shop floor managers and decision makers will be identified as well as visualized in a competence map. The third work package will then consider the previously created status quo analysis and the competence map for the creation of learning units in the fields of technical implementation, organizational integration and successful usage of a DPT in regular operations. In a next step, these learning units will be validated with industrial partners in the context of their practical application. Finally, the last work package is about designing and implementing a roll-out plan to enable a successful dissemination of the validated learning units.
This project is funded by the EIT Manufacturing. We thank for the opportunity to work on this project.