Why firms are using digital twin to bridge physical and digital worlds
- Posted on February 23, 2022
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Across every industry, C-suite leaders are always looking to their teams to accelerate business processes, optimize workflows, and ultimately produce the best quality product or service for their customers. Despite unpredictability and continual change, leading enterprises are rethinking how they can drive efficiency as well as profits from data-driven insights.
And yet, many organizations still struggle. According to IDC, in 2022, 47 percent of enterprise organizations still lack an enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy. In the consumer packaged goods space alone, common issues persist that could benefit from digital technology: losing time and money due to unforeseen issues and breakdowns in equipment and producing more scrap than end products due to undetected quality issues in production. From the manufacturing plant to the actual business buildings themselves, processes and transactions that take have always taken place in the real world are overdue for digital reinvention.
Reimagine what your business can do in the real world with digital twin
Simply put, a digital twin is a virtual representation of an actual, physical space or asset in operation – continually updated in real time to reflect changes or progression. A digital twin not only reflects the current spaces or assets conditions, but it also captures and records historical behavior about the asset to help predict, optimize and simulate its behavior.
The power of digital twins is how it scales far beyond any singular asset. In fact, digital twins can mirror any of the following:
- A component – like a machine in a factory or a fridge in a retail store.
- A system of components, like a factory or store buildings.
- A system of systems, like a city, a network of factories, or complete retail supply chain.
Digital twin models, populated with data from sensors, operational systems, back office systems or engineering diagrams, can model pumps, engines, manufacturing lines, a fleet of vehicles, an entire power plant, or even a network of power plants. By capturing and measuring process data, enterprise teams can unlock a vast number of opportunities to improve efficiency, optimize workloads, and reduce costs. Moving beyond Industry 4.0 by using the power of data and digital, Avanade helps our manufacturing clients redefine the products they make and how they make them is key to how our Industry X.0 practice develops new solutions.
A digital twin makes possible the full journey from the physical world to the digital world and back to the physical world. A digital twin can help decision-makers visualize and understand the context around business data – and how they might act on it. Consider an example of a manufacturing use case. Data captured across critical points in a manufacturing process can be used to model a digital twin of a production line. Using this digital replica, the business can understand, predict and simulate processes in the production line to optimize yield, increase quality levels, or calibrate machines to balance energy consumption.
Once the digital twin is in place, it could be scaled up to a collection of production lines, the entire factory or collection of factories. Through equipment monitoring alone, a digital twin approach can reduce costs of inspections between 10-20 percent and improve asset utilization by 10-15 percent.
How Avanade clients use digital twins to build business value
At Avanade, we have seen firsthand how digital twins can push enterprises to the next level in their digitization journey. We have worked side by side with our partners, Accenture and Microsoft, to design, build and implement digital twins in multiple industries.
For one of our clients, we helped develop a digital factory model to visualize and optimize packaging for one of their product lines – helping them capture $50 million in projected savings across global production lines. And we’re using digital twins and IoT solutions to reimagine the workplace of the future in a hybrid world.
With our global experience across multiple industries, we at Avanade have developed a digital twin accelerator to unleash the opportunities for organizations across industries including retail, manufacturing, supply chain, CPG and more to take their next step towards innovation with the digital world.
Watch how digital twin adds intelligence to real-world process to manufacturing:
Want to discuss how digital twins could bridge physical and digital worlds at your organization? Reach out for a brief no-obligation consultation with our specialists.