Digital Twins for Optimal Production Scheduling


Digital Twins have garnered much attention lately as trends like Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and Smart Factories are coming into greater focus. However, the general perception seems to be that having a digital twin is expensive, usually entails large investments in all sorts of equipment sensors and controls, and usually requires more time and effort than it is worth for a manufacturing company.

In this paper, we will describe how OptProTM uses a digital twin to aid in optimal production scheduling (OPS), while we debunk a couple of myths about digital twins in this arena:

  1. That digital twins are too expensive for anyone other than the largest manufacturers to afford.
  2. That only processors with the most sophisticated ERP/MES systems – including equipment sensors and integrated process control systems – are able to make effective use of digital twins.

Our discussion starts with a definition of digital twins and description and debunking of myths that frequently prevent their use. From there, we discuss how OptProTM utilizes digital twins to produce optimal production schedules. We conclude with a real-world example of the recent use of OptProTM, with digital twins, to optimize production scheduling for a large Ecommerce print shop corporation, including the benefits of dynamic reoptimization to account for unforeseen changes in production supply or demand.

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