Project: Plant Hybrid Model

The Plant Hybrid Model (PHM) project will provide the engineering world with a virtual factory model that is possible to keep up-to-date in a very cost efficient manner and with high accuracy. Today this is not manageable due to production system size, complexity, and change frequency. Our virtual factory will consist of a laser scanned three-dimensional "photo" of the real plant (Picture 1 in Appendix PHM Pictures). _x000D__x000D_The PHM-solution will include an automatically generated hybrid model combining the scanned plant with CAD models of specific objects and areas representing planned changes in the plant. This will result in an unprecedented visualisation and planning tool for manufacturing engineering, with extremely high quality, accuracy and usability. After initial data capturing and mapping to the production structure all future updates of the PHM can be incremental and performed when needed with a very limited effort compared to traditional technologies._x000D__x000D_The ability to deliver quality assured products at increasing tempo and with decreasing lead time has become critical for the success of many producing companies. For instance this demand is extremely visible in the automotive industry which is typically has high degrees of overcapacity and is highly competitive._x000D__x000D_In a car project, the development schedule is very much dependent on physical test objects built to verify desired properties and attributes of the product as well as the production process. The problem of traditional physical series of test objects is that they are expensive and require a relatively long lead time. This problem is addressed by using virtual test objects both for product attribute verification and for verification of production processes. For full implementation of virtual manufacturing engineering there are three key enablers:_x000D__x000D_1. Product structure, including the entire computer aided design (CAD), as well as a system to describe the multiple variants (e.g. motor types, left-hand/right-hand steering) a single model may have. _x000D__x000D_2. Assembly structure, describing the build sequence of the product including the production line._x000D__x000D_3. Plant structure, a correct and detailed representation of all physical parts of the plant. It includes the production line, tools and equipment, as well as material pallets and building constraints. _x000D__x000D_There has been extensive research in the first two areas and the work methodologies within the vehicle industry for working with both the product and assembly structure are well integrated into the current engineering model. However, there is currently one factor limiting full implementation of virtual engineering: it is the lack of a full plant structure, a virtual factory. There is a wide range of software available for modelling the virtual factory but none of them has solved the problem of keeping an up-to-date model of a whole plant over time. There are too many problems associated as models are very seldom fully complete. For instance:_x000D__x000D_• Level of accuracy of the model (geometry and position of parts as well as lack of electrical cables, pipes, etc.)_x000D_• Late changes that were not updated in the models (parts missing or wrong versions)_x000D_• Running changes of the plant introduced after start of production of the new product are not updated in the models_x000D__x000D_If all these shortcomings should be taken care of in a traditional manner, remodelled by engineers in front of computers, it would be extremely time-consuming to keep the virtual factory updated. Therefore, today, the virtual factory is not used for plant renewal projects to the extent that could be. The Plant Hybrid Model will solve this problem._x000D__x000D_The Plant Hybrid Model project is COly executed by ATS AB, the world leading company in accurate 3D scanning, and Pointools, developers of a uniquely powerful graphics engine and software applications that can handle the vast amount of data needed for the Plant Hybrid Model. The product development will be almost entirely performed by these two actors. The complete consortium gathered to deliver this new approach to virtual engineering also includes Ps that will deliver complementing expertise to the developing companies. Chalmers University of Technology has the latest broad knowledge about technology for virtual engineering and process development, including e.g. geometry assurance and PLM methodologies. Swerea IVF is a very important P with their profound knowledge of implementation of virtual engineering within SMEs. For a reference among the state of the art within virtual manufacturing engineering, VPV is also engaged as a P providing real world examples and continuous feedback about use cases and integration into a complete portfolio of virtual engineering tools.

Acronym PHM (Reference Number: 5623)
Duration 01/09/2010 - 30/10/2013
Project Topic Plant Hybrid Model will be a paradigm shift within virtual production development, using new cost efficient laser scanning technologies to replace old, cost and time consuming CAD modelling. This will provide all virtual engineering disciplines with a up to date and exact representation of the plant
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The project has shown the necessities to be able to produce a homogeneous and accurate point clouds to represent the real environment (Real Reality). Such a representation is the prerequisite to be used in the development of planning tools and other programs. This point cloud must be collected and hand- on in time with sustained integrity and accuracy in whole or in part, must be updated so that any revised relation is implemented correctly . At an early stage it was found that the coupling to the physical situation must be done in a flexible and time-efficient manner . Hence came the requirement arose to develop an effective reference system as the base for connecting the collected point clouds to each other and to the physical environment. Coupled with this hardware systems developed under the project complementary software products for quality evaluation of the results and distribute them on to subsequent processes .
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 4

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
5 Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Product and Production Development Partner Sweden
5 Bentley Systems (UK) Ltd Partner United Kingdom
5 Advanced Technical Solutions in Scandinavia AB Coordinator Sweden
5 Volvo Personvagnar AB Partner Sweden
5 Swerea IVF AB Partner Sweden