SMEs can touch Industry 4.0 in the Smart Learning Factory

David Grube Hansen*, Ali Ahmad Malik, Arne Bilberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review

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This paper describes how a Smart Learning Factory enables manufacturing SMEs of capturing the benefits of highly complex tools and enablers such as virtual simulation and the Digital Twin. The collaborative factory design approach is enabled by embedding the use of discrete event simulation connected with physical objects placed on a Digital Twin Module (DTM). The users can manipulate the physical objects as physical counterparts to the machines and equipment in the virtual space and visualize the designed factory and make further analysis. The method combines the use of dynamic discrete event simulation seamlessly connected with physical objects placed on the DTM to enable collaborative design. The bridging between simulation and physical objects is done by using a digital integration platform. Using physical artifacts as counterparts of the virtual objects in the simulation, participants confidently interact with the simulation regardless level of skills and competencies. The Smart Learning Factory is helping SMEs to get inspired using physical and virtual simulations for factory design and re-design, and develop solutions in a collaborative environment. This is in-line with the theory of lean automation, that suggests making simple and cheap automation and automating the correct value-adding processes. A demonstration case of designing a production setup in cooperation with a SME is developed and documented.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
Pages (from-to)219-224
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event9th Conference on Learning Factories - Braunschweig, Germany
Duration: 26. Mar 201929. Mar 2019


Conference9th Conference on Learning Factories


  • Collaborative simulation
  • I4.0
  • SME

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