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Mercedes-Benz Takes Factory Planning Into the Omniverse

Automaker is building a full-scale digital twin of its factories for new electric vehicle platforms with NVIDIA Omniverse™.

Automaker is building a full-scale digital twin of its factories for new electric vehicle platforms with NVIDIA Omniverse™.

Mercedes-Benz is building factory-scale digital twins using NVIDIA Omniverse™. Image courtesy of NVIDIA and Mercedes-Benz.

Retooling a production plant for a new vehicle is a resource-intensive and often disruptive undertaking for auto manufacturers. Vehicle production involves the coordination of thousands of parts and workers, along with robotic assembly systems and a complex logistics infrastructure. 

To prepare for the launch of its new electric vehicle platform, which will be manufactured in 2024 at its site in Rastatt, Germany, Mercedes-Benz is building a digital twin of the factory using the NVIDIA Omniverse platform. By designing and planning manufacturing facilities in Omniverse, the automaker will be able to rapidly simulate new facility configurations virtually and, in the process, reduce waste and continuously enhance operational quality.

Mercedes-Benz and NVIDIA announced the project at CES 2023 earlier in January.

According to an NVIDIA blog, Mercedes-Benz is establishing a digital-first planning process that will enable them to design and to test the complete production lines without disrupting ongoing production at the current site. They will then roll out the process to other parts of the production network to create a more agile manufacturing ecosystem.

According to the blog:

“With Omniverse, Mercedes-Benz planners can access the digital twin of the factory, reviewing and optimizing the plant as needed. Every change can be quickly evaluated and validated in the virtual world, then implemented in the real world to ensure maximum efficiency and ergonomics for factory workers.”

Omniverse is a scalable, end-to-end platform enabling enterprises to build and operate metaverse applications.. Omniverse allows users to create custom 3D pipelines and simulate large-scale virtual environments quickly and collaborate with team members at any location, regardless of what design and simulation software they use locally.

In addition to Mercedes-Benz, a number of major end users across industries are leveraging Omniverse for large and complex design and simulation projects. Deutsche Bahn, for example, is using Omniverse Enterprise to build a country-scale digital twin of its rail network. Siemens Energy is using Omniverse to predict corrosion progression in power plants, while the UK Atomic Energy Authority has tapped Omniverse to help design and develop a fusion reactor power plant.

Update to Omniverse Enterprise

At CES, NVIDIA also rolled out the latest update of Omniverse Enterprise, which includes improvements in real-time NVIDIA RTX™ ray and path tracing, new deployment options, and new Omniverse Connectors, plugins to popular 3D tools, to enterprise customers.

The release includes support for the new NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architecture, which can deliver up to a 3X improvement in performance when coupled with the NVIDIA RTX™ 6000 Ada Generation GPUs.

New Omniverse Connectors (which enable seamless workflows with third-party software platforms) include Adobe Substance 3D Painter, Autodesk Alias, PTC Creo and Kitware Paraview. There have also been improvements to the core Omniverse platform components, new cloud containers, and other new features.

You can read more about the Omniverse Enterprise updates here.

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