3 ways intelligent digital twins reveal new value for manufacturers
- Posted on April 7, 2023
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
In today’s climate of rising costs and supply chain uncertainty, future innovation is too far away to drive your priority business outcomes. Time to value is key, you need fast results that rapidly impact your bottom line. By investing in secure digital technologies that drive new revenue streams, optimize production and advance your ESG goals – you can transform your operations at scale and fast-track your ROI. As you’d expect, a smart investment pays-off when you’re looking for real world results.
Smart investments that produce ROI in weeks
Investing in digital twins and smart manufacturing transforms your operations, so even as margins shrink and costs rise, you can see a positive impact on your bottom line – and it takes only weeks, not months.
How smart technologies generate value
While smart IoT sensors gather data, digital twins enable decision-makers to visualize and understand the data they collect. Using a digital twin, manufacturers can test and experiment across virtual scenarios – revealing new insights and approaches to increase plant efficiency, reliability and profitability.
These recommendations can then be rolled out on the factory floor for rapid operational impact and better business outcomes – creating an immediate digital foundation for ongoing scalability. Here’s the effect you can expect to see:
1. Transforming operations to reduce waste
Using digital twins to aid problem-solving, manufacturers can uncover new ways to measure and reduce waste and carbon emissions, resulting in significant time and cost savings, as well as accelerated sustainability initiatives. Manufacturers using digital twins can achieve:
- 10-20% reduction in operations costs
- 10-20% reduction in material waste
- 10-15% lower greenhouse gas emissions
Source: Accenture Client Research (2020)
For example, one of our clients in the consumer goods sector was struggling with defects in their plastic parts. Using digital twin visualization, Avanade was able to reveal new insights into the plastic injection molding process, which helped to reduce flaws. By improving the quality of the plastic parts, the company reduced waste, increased yield and realized $15-20 million in projected savings.
2. Optimizing output to increase revenue
Every year, manufacturers lose millions of dollars to “giveaway” – accidentally putting too much product into packaging. For a client working in confectionary production, we developed a digital twin model to visualize and optimize packaging for one of their product lines.
This helped increase yield, gaining $50 million in projected savings.
Digital twins can help manufacturers across all sectors increase their margins, optimize their machine usage and scale their output to drive greater revenue. Based on our previous client results, digital twins can improve asset utilization (OEE) by 10-15% and production yield by 5-10%.
One petrochemical producer increased revenue by $100 million by increasing plant output by 2%. While an equipment manufacturer boosted their profits by $200 million a year by increasing their margins on product sales.
3. Encouraging employee development with virtual guidance
The war for talent in manufacturing is real. Using innovative technologies, including digital twin solutions, you can enable collaboration, knowledge transfer and reskilling, so that every worker can achieve their full potential.
We helped a client that was operating a thermal power plant to upskill their less experienced workers through virtual guidance. This was achieved by combining Microsoft Azure IoT Digital Twins, Microsoft Mixed Reality and Azure Spatial Anchors, and resulted in:
- Significant reduce in workers’ initial training time
- Improved reliability and quality control on maintenance tasks
- Highly skilled experts had more availability as there was less demand on them for training
Similarly, we helped an engineering client reduce downtime, speed up time to repair and encourage employee learning and collaboration. Using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 – an immersive mixed reality device that blends cloud and AI services – field engineers could immediately connect with experts to find which tools and parts they would need to solve an issue.