Digital Twins: The Most Important Developments in Manufacturing for the Next Decade

Real-time information availability, predictability on the shop floor, and data-driven decision making are crucial elements to improve efficiency and respond quickly to changing market needs. Manufacturers are adopting immersive technologies like digital twins, virtual reality, and real-time 3D models to change the way they design, construct, and operate facilities.

Building a digital twin is one of the most tangible options to not only drive digitization but also realize faster ROI with more resilient business models and processes. Digital twins offer real-time digital replicas that allow manufacturers to visualize, predict, and optimize plant operations with reduced risk and improved reliability.

In fact, according to a Deloitte study, “digital twins” are expected to grow by up to 38% and reach a whopping $16 billion by 2023 with whispers of the “industrial metaverse” on the horizon.

Advantages for Manufacturers

Data plays a major role in this new manufacturing paradigm. Facility operators can make decisions based on data rather than assumptions to analyze multiple “what-if” scenarios at once. This provides powerful insight that helps manufacturers determine the best course of action.

  • Predictive Performance- Predict how a system will behave by analyzing historical data and simulating future scenarios. By doing so, they reduce the need for trial-and-error testing or expensive trials
  • Optimizing Performance—Optimize the use of resources by monitoring their availability and using simulations to determine how best to utilize at any given moment.
  • Improving Quality—Digital twins make it easier for manufacturers to identify flaws in products or processes before they are manufactured providing ample time for corrective action

Accelerated risk assessment and production time

The speed at which you can make changes to your production process is directly related to how up-to-date your data is; digital twins provide up-to-date information so that you can make changes faster than ever before.

Real-Time Analytics

The most obvious use of real-time analytics is stopping failures before they happen. With continuous real-time monitoring, manufacturers can be proactive about maintenance and eliminate unexpected downtime costs that come with sudden repairs.

By analyzing machine performance over time, digital twins allow companies to predict when parts need replacing before they fail altogether so that measures can be taken early enough to avoid serious problems down the line. This is valuable information when deciding what investments should be made into new machinery versus retrofitting existing infrastructure.

Improved Monitoring & Diagnostics

Using high-cost equipment provides a great deal of risk for businesses in manufacturing. If a malfunction occurs, repair costs can be quite costly. Get detailed information about what’s going on inside your equipment or machinery, from anywhere. Digital twins give manufacturers the ability to monitor, diagnose, and remedy problems remotely to ensure that the most important processes are running smoothly.

Looking ahead, manufacturers should be thinking about how to finally achieve their digital transformation goals. It’s up to manufacturers to determine what level of investment is necessary for digitizing their production processes and operations. The capabilities of digital twins are being expanded as technology develops, adapting to this change as early as possible can significantly increase the payoffs.