The global manufacturing industry has started adopting more reliable digital technologies in the recent years. These digital technologies are helping the companies to reduce their operational costs, and thus, increase their efficiency. The rising demand for digital technologies in the manufacturing industry is driving the next generation of factories called, smart factories. These digital technologies promote shorter production cycles, which improves the productivity of the plant.
One of the emerging digital technologies is digital twin and it is expected to shape the next-generation manufacturing capabilities. Digital twin is a simulation of the industrial system or a process, which could understand and predict the workflow of the plant by collecting the real-time data.
Digital twin performs several functionalities in a manufacturing plant namely:
a) Product designing and upgradation
b) Plant monitoring
c) Manufacturing operations management
d) Operations optimization
e) Lean manufacturing
f) Better decision management
Digital twin has a wide range of industrial functionalities as mentioned above. The digital twin technology helps manufacturing companies to trace unwanted downtime, which could happen in the future. This provides better decision-making capabilities to the manufacturers by providing enough time for maintenance. Thus, digital twin offers predictive maintenance capabilities to the users.
It also allows the users to design and run products in simulation using real-time values, which could reduce the wastage of resources in building a defective product. Further, it allows better plant monitoring facilities, and thus, helps in reducing operational costs by offering insights into the operational performance of the asset in real-time.
Thus, the digital twin technology is impacting the way products are designed, implemented, and maintained in a manufacturing unit. The increasing adoption rate of analytics, IoT, and sensor technologies in the manufacturing industry will further enhance the capabilities of digital twin.
So will digital twin change the face of manufacturing? With Global Digital Twin Market expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.7% reaching $29 billion during the forecast period 2017–2023, probably the answer is yes.