Where do engineers believe digital twins hold the greatest value?

Digital twins have been one of the biggest recent developments in the world of technology. The virtual replicas of physical systems, processes or products provide a valuable real-time insight into how a physical asset is performing.

When it comes to digital twins, manufacturing has been one of the adoption front-runners – particularly the automotive sector. Businesses are increasingly using digital twin technology to evaluate the performance of given physical assets and then, identifying where improvements can be made to reach more favourable future outcomes.

A recent survey of 150 UK engineers (from a range of disciplines and positions, in terms of seniority) explored where engineering professionals believe digital twins hold the greatest value:

Digital Twins - What stage in the product life cycle do engineers believe digital twin technology provides the greatest value? - courtesy of https://www.rebootonline.com/

A ‘physical asset’ (71%) is the component engineers think is the most necessary for a digital twin, followed by both a ‘live data set’ and an ‘offline data set’ (52% and 47% respectively).

Interestingly, with a digital twin being a pairing of the virtual and physical worlds, just 45% of engineers rate ‘3D representation’ as a must-have variable for the technology. On a similar note, 31% state ‘2D graphic representation’ is needed for a digital twin to work properly.

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.

The survey also identified the stages in the product life cycle that engineers believe can gain the greatest value from the integration and use of digital twins:

Digital Twins - What stage in the product life cycle do engineers believe digital twin technology provides the greatest value? - courtesy of https://www.rebootonline.com/

‘Maintenance, repair and operations’ (77%) is the stage where the majority of engineers believe digital twin technology adds the greatest value, followed relatively closely by actual ‘manufacturing’ (70%).

Slightly less than two-thirds (62%) believe digital twin technology can be harnessed during the ‘simulation’ of a model that predicts the current and future behaviour of a given physical asset. Almost the same amount (60%) feel digital twin technology can be a highly practical for ‘quality control’ testing. Interestingly, 59% consider a digital twin to be impactful in the ‘design’ phase of a product/system.

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

Want to learn more about digital twins? 

Virtual Reality practical demonstration at Smart Factory Expo 2018 - image courtesy of The Manufacturer.Smart Factory Expo is Europe’s largest digital manufacturing show – presenting the most extensive free programme of presentations across seven stages, 150+ exhibitors, and thousands of digitally-savvy manufacturers.

It is the largest component of Digital Manufacturing Week, an annual celebration of UK manufacturing excellence that takes place every November in Liverpool – 2018 saw 5,322 visitors, up 36% on 2017.

Clear your diary and join us: 13-14 Nov 2019!


Both infographics courtesy of https://www.rebootonline.com/