Danish machine builder DISA uses virtual commissioning

Small steps sum up to huge benefits

Danish machine builder DISA implements virtual commissioning by gradual digitalization
Uptime is mandatory

Optimizing availability for foundries

Uptime is key for DISA’s customers in the foundry industry. Delivering machines for such critical plants leaves no room for delays or failures. It’s important that new molding machines work smoothly right from the start.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

DISA was facing different challenges with customers demanding completely optimized molding machines on the one hand, and the ongoing digitalization on the other hand. How to start with digitalizing machine building, and how to transfer the benefits into added value for the customer? The answer: Take it in small steps! 

 

After starting with simulating a certain aspect if the machine development process, this success was the foundation for the simulation of another small aspect and so on. This way DISA managed to minimize both risk and effort of digitalization and was also able to test new machines in a virtual environment. When the physical machine was built, many flaws and errors had already been eliminated and commissioning at the customer’s site took less time and corrections.

We are challenged always with lead times on machines and installation at customers, so therefore it has been important for us to establish a new way to test our software and equipment before going on the physics of machines.
Jan Hemmingshøj, Electrical Automation Department Manager at DISA Industries
About DISA

Industry-leading supplier of the foundry industry

Danish machine builder DISA is a leading provider of molding equipment and foundry technology.

From brake discs to kitchenware

With high quality solutions for molding machines in foundries, DISA has made its way to the top suppliers in the industry. Products that are made using DISA’s technology range from brake discs for cars to premium kitchenware. 

 

DISA’s focus has always been on higher quality and less energy consumption. Being a long-time user of Siemens technology, DISA integrated the Digital Enterprise solution portfolio step by step in order to implements virtual commissioning for new machines.

Virtual commissioning

From simulation to virtual commissioning

Reducing test times from two weeks to one – that’s one of many benefits DISA reaps from simulations. By successfully integrating simulations into their workflow, the company can offer virtual commissioning to its customers.

Simulations drive availability

Downtimes in foundries are extremely expensive. So, DISA was looking for new ways to test their software and machines before they are shipped to the customer. The company started with one part of a new machine, simulated it in detail, and then moved on to the next part. 

 

This way, DISA is now able to simulate the whole molding line. There’s a huge advantage over testing a physical machine in the real world: It sparks the creativity of the engineers, because they can try everything imaginable without having to be afraid of possibly damaging an expensive machine. It’s more like computer gaming and makes them more confident and more thorough. 

Integrating a digital twin

DISA relies on automation hardware and software from Siemens. Having everything they need from a single vendor is a huge benefit, which becomes even more important as the local Siemens subsidiary in Denmark support DISA can easily establish the contact between DISA engineers and Siemens experts. 

 

It all started with SIMIT, when DISA connected the physical PLC to the simulation. Now they also use PLCSIM Advanced to simulate the controller and to use higher processing speeds. DISA is able to create digital twins of their machines, which helps them to offer new business models like better aftersales support. In addition, it offers them the opportunity to present their technology virtually to customers and prospects, e.g. on trade fairs, thus saving them the need to transport heavy machines. The digital twin is just as functional and impressive.

It’s big for us to have all from the same supplier, so that you know everything works together.
Lukas Theisen, R&D Engineer Electrical Design at DISA Industries

DISA Innovation box

Implementing the digital transformation becomes easier when companies also change the ways their engineers work together. DISA built an innovation box right in the middle of the shop floor to push interdisciplinary collaboration. The idea was to have a workplace close to the assembly line to speed up the communication between the team working on the physical machine and the team that created and updates the digital twin. 

Digitalization benefits

Digital transformation as a safety net

Digitalization has enabled DISA to reduce the risks and time effort of commissioning new machines. It also helped to speed up development and increased the quality of their products.
Everything can be simulated. We had difficulties finding something that we couldn’t do.
Lukas Theisen, R&D Engineer Electrical Design at DISA Industries