Industry 4.0 Foundations: Simulation


simulation.jpgIn last week’s Industry 4.0 Foundations blog, we explored how Additive Manufacturing can help manufacturers solve challenges related to prototyping, equipment repair and more. In a similar way, manufacturers can more easily improve parts and processes with the help of Simulation.

When it comes to the design of parts or production processes, there is always room for improvement. The challenge for manufacturers is to figure out what to change in order to get the best results. Simulation software can assist with this process. Using simulations, manufacturers can create virtual representations of a part or process on a computer. This allows businesses to validate a product, process or improvement idea without needing to incur the full expense up front.

Is your business: Tired of moving around heavy equipment and machinery to improve production, only to discover no improvements have been made? Looking to increase productivity, shorten lead times and minimize motion and transportation waste in your facility? Seeking a new way to test parts or situations?

Simulation can help by:

  • Making improvements in the facility, without having to unnecessarily move heavy machinery. With simulation, manufacturers no longer have to disrupt production and move heavy equipment to find out if productivity can be improved. Instead, simulation software enables manufacturers to virtually test out different arrangements of their facility to determine which layout is optimal. Real-world conditions can be tested as well to simulate situations that may arise in production and analyze how they would unfold.
  • Enhancing overall production effectiveness. Once manufacturers have reorganized equipment according to the simulation to optimize processes, they will quickly begin to notice improvements in lead times, productivity and waste. These are advancements that otherwise would have been much more time consuming, expensive or even impossible to achieve without the help of simulation.
  • Testing new parts before investments are made. Similar to 3D printing, simulation allows manufacturers to develop and perfect designs for new parts prior to investing unnecessary resources. This results in cost savings as well as provides higher confidence and quality in designs.

Simulation makes it easy for manufacturers to improve productivity, without having to disrupt production or invest resources unnecessarily. For more information on how to get started with simulation, contact us at and stay tuned for next week’s blog where we’ll explore Cybersecurity.

Whether your company is well into its Industry 4.0 journey or just getting started, The Center’s experts can help ensure you achieve the maximum return on all investments. To assist Michigan’s manufacturers with understanding and adopting Industry 4.0 technologies, The Center has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Automation Alley to drive awareness of the many uses and benefits of these innovations. From conducting an initial Technology Opportunity Assessment to identifying and applying relevant technologies, The Center guides manufacturers through technological implementations in a way that makes sense for their businesses.

Learn more about how The Center can support your company’s Industry 4.0 journey by contacting or visit




Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

Categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, Innovation, Technology