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Optimization of cycle times with the help of a digital twin

Portfolio: Automation, Digitalization
Industries: Automotive


A leading international company in the fields of variable camshaft adjusters and gear valves asked HEITEC to virtually commission an existing plant. The objective was to identify potential with the help of a digital twin based on a cycle time optimization measure and to initiate targeted retrofit measures. In addition, technologies from the field of special mechanical and plant engineering posed new challenges. These included bulk material separation with 3D image recognition, belt and film conveying, new drive and clamping processes, as well as software-in-the-loop with Siemens PLCSIM Advanced and Epson robot systems.


In order to be able to precisely adapt the digital twin to reality while keeping the operation highly dynamic, a concept was developed that allows all necessary parameters and configurations to be influenced during the runtime of the simulation. In order to increase customer interaction, all required functionalities were placed in an intuitive, web-based HMI panel which can be accessed and operated locally as well as from a decentralized location. This gives the customer the ability to fully intervene in the process and the cycle time in particular without having to stop and restart the simulation. In addition, parts of HeiVM were optimized for performance gain in such a way that they meet the requirements of special mechanical and plant engineering with increased material input and also meet the real-time criteria for the digital twin.


  • Test production optimization scenarios without interrupting them  
  • Cost savings through targeted analysis for necessary retrofit measures
  • Time savings thanks to direct intervention in the process without interrupting the simulation