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Lorenz Lachauer Jun 9, 2020 2 min read

How a digital twin supports Siemens manufacturing through COVID-19

Learn how a digital twin of the Electronic Works Amberg, powered by NavVis, formed an integral part of Siemens' strategy to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

In 2017, Siemens began a project with NavVis to implement a fully immersive digital twin of the Electronics Works Amberg (EWA), an advanced factory that specializes in digitization initiatives to drive efficiencies and shorten time to market. You can download the full case study here.

We spoke to Peter Krause, Simulations Expert at Siemens EWA, to explore how their NavVis digital twin was able to support Siemens in times of COVID-19. His answers were illuminating; since implementing coronavirus physical distancing measures, for example, the usage of the digital twin at Siemens had increased by almost 300%.

Presented below is the interview in full. To learn more about how NavVis technology can support enterprises with remote factory planning, contact us to book a demo.

Q: How long have you been using NavVis technology?

Siemens has been using NavVis technology since 2017, first at the Electronics Works Amberg (EWA), and then at our sister plants in Fürth and Chengdu, so we are happy to have it in place as part of our strategy to cope with the Corona crisis. We were well prepared to support COVID-19 countermeasures.

"NavVis IVION allows us to virtually continue with guided tours for customers, which are an important element of our pre-sales, so that interaction is still possible despite the need for physical distancing."

Q: How does the current situation with COVID-19 affect operations at SIEMENS EWA?

The need for travel restrictions and physical distancing has both external and internal repercussions. All guided visitor tours – of which we usually host hundreds per year – have been canceled. And we've introduced special measures to protect employees at risk, including strictly separated shifts and minimum distances between employees. And we're striving to keep the number of Siemens employees who must enter the factory to a minimum.


Q: How did you adapt to the canceled visitor tours?

NavVis IVION allows us to virtually continue with guided tours for customers, which are an important element of our pre-sales, so that interaction is still possible despite the need for physical distancing. By virtually walking through the factory floor, we can convince potential customers of the high quality of our production processes. And the integration of live data from production-related systems like key performance indicators and production volumes boosts confidence even further.

"Since implementing COVID-19 physical distancing measures, the usage of our NavVis Digital Twin has increased roughly 300%. Many tasks in Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), layout planning, and operations can be done remotely from home."

Q: How were you able to reduce the number of employees entering the factory without winding down production?

For a wide range of activities we usually carry out on the shop floor, we've been able to complete these remotely thanks to NavVis IVION. From the home office, for example, we're able to accept new machines after a risk assessment by our Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) colleagues. Plus, our colleagues can reliably assess and plan all topics related to layout planning and product relocation, e.g., from Amberg to Fürth, without needing to enter the factory. 

Download the case study for the full story; Siemens radically improves factory planning and operations with the NavVis digital factory solution.