A digital thread-driven distributed collaboration mechanism between digital twin manufacturing units


The trialing of new products in production typically suffers from quality and productivity problems because of immature manufacturing processes. As an efficient virtual-real interaction technology, digital twin technology can optimize the manufacturing process adaptively in a single station. However, existing digital twin systems lack an effective collaboration mechanism between manufacturing units, thus failing to optimize the overall manufacturing processes dynamically. This paper proposes a practical collaboration theory and methodology between digital twin manufacturing units. To overcome the above challenges, this digital thread-driven method models the manufacturing tasks by heterogeneous information network to analyze the product quality information during the manufacturing process, and adjusts the subsequent manufacturing tasks according to the analysis results. The collaboration between manufacturing units forms a stable and reliable operation mode for improving production efficiency during the whole manufacturing process. The graph-based manufacturing task model can help analyze the machining and assembly process based on the digital thread, distinguish the error sources of products, and dynamically reconstruct production tasks. Finally, the feasibility of the proposed method is verified by a case of a crank and connecting rod mechanism in a manufacturing workshop. © 2023 The Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Journal of Manufacturing Systems
Yuqian Lu
Yuqian Lu
Principle Investigator / Senior Lecturer

My research interests include smart manufacturing systems, industrial AI and robotics.