Revealed: The Impact Of Digital Twin Technology On Product Development And Innovation

One of the biggest developments in the world of technology over the last few years has been that of digital twins. A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical system, process or product. The technology essentially provides a real-time look at how a physical asset is performing. 

Digital twin technology is already being adopted in industries such as manufacturing, automotive and construction. Organizations are therefore able to evaluate the performance of given physical assets and then, identifying where improvements can be made to accomplish more favorable outcomes for the future. 

  • ‘Maintenance, repair and operations’ (77%) is the stage in the product life cycle where majority of engineers believe digital twin technology provides the greatest value
  • Contrastingly, ‘finance and procurement’ is the operation experts think will benefit the least from the use and integration of digital twins 
  • Engineers rank ‘physical asset’ (71%) as the essential component for digital twin technology
  • Thereafter, ‘live data set’ is viewed as the next most necessary feature for the functionality of digital twins

Interested in emerging technologies, digital marketing specialists  Reboot Online analyzed findings from research facilities provider Catapult, who surveyed engineers to better understand the components they believe are the most necessary for digital twin technology to function effectively. 

Reboot Online found that a ‘physical asset’ (71%) is the component engineers think is the most necessary for a digital twin. Thereafter, 52% of the experts view a ‘live data set’ as an essential feature for the functionality of digital twins. 45% also believe an ‘offline data set’ and ‘3D representation’ as very important components for the technology. 

On a similar note, 31% state ‘2D graphic representation’ is needed for a digital twin to work effortlessly.  

Only 39% place ‘trend analysis of historical data’ as a vital attribute for a digital twin. Even less feel ‘prediction of future events’ (32%) is a critical aspect that can push the technology to achieve desired objectives

Furthermore, Reboot Online wanted to identify from their analysis of Catapult’s report the stages in the product life cycle that can gain the greatest value from the integration and use of digital twins. 

Reboot Online discovered that ‘maintenance, repair and operations’ (77%) is the stage in the product life cycle where majority of engineers believe digital twin technology adds the greatest value

Thereafter, engineers view ‘manufacturing’ (70%) as the next most likely process to benefit.  

62% of engineers think digital twin technology can be harnessed during the ‘simulation’ of a model that predicts the current and future behaviour of a given physical asset. Slightly below, 60% feel digital twin technology can be of most value for ‘quality control’ testing. Interestingly, 59% consider a digital twin to be impactful in the ‘design’ phase of a product/system

Contrastingly, only 19% of engineers place ‘sales and marketing’ as a key operation which can experience significant gains from deploying digital twins. Thereafter, ‘finance and procurement’ (13%) is the phase in the product life cycle which engineers think will be of least value from the capabilities of digital twin technology.

Naomi Aharony, the Managing Director of Reboot Online

“We are in an era of rapid technological developments. At the forefront of that has been the rise and evolution of digital twins. With the technology having the ability to cover the entire life cycle of a physical system, process or product; it provides businesses with a powerful analytical tool which can thoroughly assess key performance indicators and provide insights as to where enhancements can be made. In the long-run, the lessons and suggestions taken from digital twins will drive various opportunities for innovation and growth”.    

Data courtesy of https://www.rebootonline.com/

For the study, 150 engineers from a range of disciplines and positions (in terms of seniority) were surveyed by ‘Catapult’

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