DSC Software AG at the SAP partner booth on the HANNOVER MESSE 2019

True to the motto “Design-to-Operate – The Power of SAP Digital Supply Chain”, DSC Software AG teamed up with its partners  SAP SE, CIDEON Software & Services GmbH & Co. KG on the HANNOVER MESSE 2019 to showcase SAP ECTR – the engineering cockpit for SAP PLM.

Connect Digitally to Perfect Reality with SAP Product Lifecycle Management and SAP Engineering Control Center

Making the digital transformation of industry a tangible experience – this was the promise made at the outset of the HANNOVER MESSE 2019, which was inspired by the lead theme “Integrated Industry – Industrial Intelligence: Digital networking between humans and machines in the age artificial intelligence”. The focus of the approx. 6,500 exhibitors from over 70 countries was on the use of artificial intelligence in industry and robotics, the potential of the new generation of 5G mobile phones in industrial applications, lightweight construction and the future of work in times of increasing digitization. Almost 215,000 visitors showed up on the exhibition space as large as about 50 soccer pitches (395,800 m²) to find out about the latest developments in these fields.

“Design-to-Operate” at the SAP partner booth

DSC and its partners attracted particular interest from the visitors as they demonstrated the provision of digital end-to-end processes at their booth A02 in hall 7, which was themed “Design-to-Operate”. For the first time, visitors were able to observe in real time a continuous end-to-end showcase across the entire value-added chain – from the initial idea to development, production and operation – on the basis of an intelligent workpiece. This showcase experience was made possible by creating a Digital Twin, which provides real-time information on the current state of the workpiece at each stage.

SAP ECTR as a basis for the realization of the Digital Twin

The strategic integration platform SAP Engineering Control Center – SAP ECTR provides the detailed design in the “design-to-operate” process. Combining mechanical, electrical and electronic design data with an intuitive user interface on a single platform facilitates not only the handling of product structures and variants, but also interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition, business data from the SAP system can be enriched with data from different authoring systems (MCAD, ECAD, MS Office) – this is how the Digital Twin is created on the basis of the enriched 3D model.

Direct interfaces are available for all common MCAD and ECAD systems, such as SAP ECTR interface to NX or SAP Engineering Control Center interface to ECAD. The direct interfaces of the individual MCAD programs were shown in live demonstrations at the DSC booth and the partner booths. Thanks to the seamless integration of MCAD/ECAD documents, locally generated pieces of product data become available company-wide and can be managed, classified, versioned and linked to SAP objects in a structured manner.

From a 3D model to a physical prototype

Thanks to the 360-degree product view in the clear cockpit of SAP ECTR, the mechanical head of a valve could be replaced with an electronic head in just a few operating steps in the CAD tool. The valve was repeatedly adapted and enriched with new information until completion of production. Particular emphasis was placed on the collaborative workbench “Intelligent Product Design” – IPD, which gives all employees involved in the product the opportunity for sharing information and close collaboration. In this early development phase, the employees were also able to create a precise cost calculation and simulate the functionality of the now smart valve using the Digital Twin.

Live operation with SAP Analytics Cloud, IoT and Machine Learning 

With the cloud-based analysis tools available in SAP Leonardo, SAP Business Intelligence brings together planning, simulation and predictive monitoring and maintenance on a single platform in the cloud. Thanks to the real-time IoT data and integrated machine learning, the monitoring of the valve and all its technical parameters can be carried out in a consistent system. The virtual image of the valve was made available via the SAP Asset Intelligence Network on a joint platform for both the manufacturer and the operator. In this way, the manufacturer gains valuable insight into the performance of the component during operation. This information allows for predictive maintenance as well as real-time optimization during operation. The knowledge gained flows directly back into the development and production of future valves.

Prime takeaway of the HMI: SAP is currently the only platform with true end-to-end functionality

With many new direct integrations and cloud-based add-on solutions, SAP expands its already rich SAP ERP portfolio with new functionalities and thus offers its customers of discrete manufacturing new potential for digital transformation. In SAP PLM, the strategic engineering platform SAP ECTR forms a central digitization module for the realization of the Digital Twin as the basis for a continuous design-to-operate process.