Digital Manufacturing (Digital Factory) has become increasingly important as a network of methods, models and tools for planning and operating production systems since the turn of the millennium. It is currently indispensable to the daily production of serial production companies..

Digital Manufacturing supports interdisciplinary work and enables the cooperation of all competence bearers along the product life cycle. It provides the industrial engineer with a selection of coordinated tools and methods that provide comprehensive support for daily work through uniform access to planning content and integrated data management. The simultaneous processing by several departments leads to a significant acceleration of the overall planning process, in the sense of simultaneous engineering and agile planning concepts. Digital Manufacturing combines all planning aids such as discrete-event simulation, kinematic simulations or material flow analyzes and views them in integrated cooperation..

In addition to the methods of product and process data modeling, the core of the work in the field of digital manufacturing also includes knowledge of modern CAx systems (such as CAPP), the digital mapping of assembly processes (eg digital time management solutions) and process-driven standardization in production planning. With the expanded possibilities of Industry 4.0, the interface between planning and production area gains additional weight. Real-time data in production is available, conceptually and IT-integrated into existing IT landscapes. Functions such as process planning are being reoriented in the context of the extended databases, which have enormous potential for data-driven industrial engineering at the interface to Industrial Data Science.

Product data technology and process standardization are elementary components for the realization of simultaneous engineering from product development to production. With the help of industrial information technologies, these tools can be integrated to increase efficiency.

Accelerating the whole process through Simultaneous Engineering and Agile Planning Concepts implies passing on information to the next step for concurrent processing. In order to make this relevant information usable for interfaces and interdisciplinary department, the application of a product data technology has become established. The basic concept is based on the consistent processing of product data across all phases of the product lifecycle. Product data technology covers all aspects from the definition of the information that is relevant to a product during its development and throughout the product lifecycle, to the methods of the information description. In addition to consistent product data processing, Digital Manufacturing also focuses on universally applicable requirements for production processes.

Typical in this context is the demand for a decentralized, flexible and at the same time error-free and high-quality production. As an approach to overcoming these challenges, a simple and efficient approach is needed for consistent standardization of the processes and IT system landscape, which, in contrast to the widespread opinion of many individual solutions, is ideal. The lower the degree of customization, the more agile IT applications can be aligned. Adjustments can be made with minimal effort, which facilitates the transition to the smart factory and enables rapid deployment into existing systems.