Smart Manufacturing advances have recently emerged, focused on the integration of Digital Thread (DTh) and Digital Twin (DT). DTh-DT has been explored in additive manufacturing, aircraft production, and weapons. However, there is still an area of opportunity to explore DTh-DT in collaborative manufacturing cells, layouts, and specifically, in the creation of a system to make an intelligent robotic cell.
This work provides a novel approach of a DTh-DT developed to function within a manufacturing robotic cell. A discrete event simulation (DES) was created with open-source programming software, representing the cell. Information is collected from the physical process and sent to a cloud service. The DES request the data from the cloud is executed and the results are received by a database, which works with a Server (Ignition 8.0). The Server receives data and displays results, working as the link between the DT and the Product Lifecycle. This work presents a quick look at a DTh applied to a robotic cell, an approach to a DT, and the use of different types of communications and platforms. The potential benefits of applying this type of configuration in an Industry 4.0 environment are described and critically reviewed.