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Digital twin for agile manufacturing: challenges from the offshore wind turbine industry

  • Henrique M. Gaspar
  • Mehrnoosh Nickpasand
Published in:

(2023). ECMS 2023, 37th Proceedings
Edited by: Enrico Vicario, Romeo Bandinelli, Virginia Fani, Michele Mastroianni, European Council for Modelling and Simulation.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.7148/2023
ISSN: 2522-2422 (ONLINE)
ISSN: 2522-2414 (PRINT)
ISSN: 2522-2430 (CD-ROM)
ISBN: 978-3-937436-80-7
ISBN: 978-3-937436-79-1 (CD) Communications of the ECMS Volume 37, Issue 1, June 2023, Florence, Italy June 20th – June 23rd, 2023



Citation format:

Henrique m. gaspar, Mehrnoosh nickpasand (2023). Digital Twin For Agile Manufacturing: Challenges From The Offshore Wind Turbine Industry, ECMS 2023, Proceedings Edited by: Enrico Vicario, Romeo Bandinelli, Virginia Fani, Michele Mastroianni, European Council for Modelling and Simulation. doi:10.7148/2023-0442


This paper highlights technical and practical challenges that  the authors have faced to create a digital twin (DT) of a piece of manufacturing system, that is production process (i.e., assembly process) to serve system responsiveness (i.e., agility) in an offshore wind turbine manufacturing. It discusses the elements and architectural parameters in development of an agile manufacturing system, where DT of shopfloor and its practical setup is seen as a design element enabling agility in an industrial system. Currently, there is no detailed framework to describe how industries can practically benefit a DT of their production process in a way that their manufacturing systems becomes responsive to perturbations, and ultimately agile. More importantly, there is no detailed study to show potential challenges and their implications during deployment of such a DT. In absence of such a study, this paper proposes a configuration and practical architecture, customized for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s (SGRE’s) offshore wind turbine (OWT) manufacturing system, that denotes the logic behind such framework for reuse of DT in any typical manufacturing system along with its practical implications, helping other industries to predict potential challenges and estimate realistically the required budget for such implementation. The proposed model-based structure is built up based on the benchmark commonalities and differences of the known developed DT models in manufacturing and production context, incorporating the existing physical and virtual spaces in SGRE’s OWT manufacturing system, complemented by supplementary systems and software applications from existing technologies in market. The paper concludes with thoughts on a pilot project in production line of an OWT’s generator unit that is under development to verify such a design.

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