Autodesk has been helping manufacturers to create intelligent, data-rich digital prototypes of physical assets for over three decades for their products and facilities that exist or will exist in the real world. Today, we’re using the same technology and expertise to help businesses like yours make Digital Twin a reality.
Digital twin is an up-to-date digital representation of an object or system with contextual & operational awareness. It allows you to mirror the real-world systems through their visual representations along with their physical behavior.
The visual representation typically comes from the design data (CAD or BIM) or other sources such as photogrammetry, laser scans, and even schematics. The physical behavior can be covered through operational data pulled in live from sensors or predicted using mathematical models or a mix of both. Based on the expected uses of the digital twin, other data sources (such as ERP or CRM) can be accessed via the same digital twin. In its most mature form, a digital twin hence should give seamless access to any information pertaining the asset represented by the digital twin.
The main benefits of a digital twin can be summarized under the headings of:
Time reduction while looking for information
Increase in operational efficiency with a higher level of automation
Enabling new workers by embedding “expert’s knowledge” & contextualization of data within the real environment (call it gamification or AR/VR)
Digitizing customer experience
As evident from the definition above, connecting different information & corporate silos is one of the biggest value propositions of a digital twin. Timely actionable insights to act upon, ease of collaboration & automation of processes through a digital twin platform can radically reduce the time spent by a collaborative worker (that forms almost 60% of a collaborative worker’s as stated by a McKinsey report).
With the contextualization of data in “real-life” like context (from 3D to AR/VR), digital twin augments the work of less experienced workers. This is key to increased productivity and also to the professional fulfillment & accelerated learning the path and hence the retention of the new generation of talent who are “digital natives”.
According to a McKinsey report: “a searchable record of knowledge can reduce, by as much as 35 percent, the time employees spend searching for information. Additional value can be realized through faster, more efficient, more effective collaboration, both within and between enterprises.”
Defining Your Digital Twin Strategy
START BY DEFINING THE DESIRED BUSINESS IMPACTS
The foundation of a Digital Twin strategy is to start with the end in mind in terms of business outcomes. Once identified, the business outcomes help to identify the use cases to focus on. This helps to delimit the source data that will be required to ‘inform’ those use cases and make the creation of a digital twin an incremental process.
Although the use of a digital twin to optimize operational efficiency is a common one but there can be other less democratic common yet impactful business outcomes.
They usually fall under three big categories:
Digital Twin for improved customer experience (product catalogs, configurators…)
Digital Twin for operational efficiency (monitoring, maintenance, facility management…)
Digital Twin for new business models (supporting transition to services business)
In a data-rich environment, the application span of a digital twin is much broader. To maximize the business benefits, digitally mature organizations use digital twins to digitalize specific use cases of key personas to influence the decision-making process. Start by defining the priority of use-cases & personas can help define an incremental approach that has much higher chances of success & adoption.
The examples of persona-based use cases can vary from enabling customers’ experience through digital catalogs to guide physical installation & eventually to operations & maintenance of field workers. Based on the targeted persona & use-case, the digital twin itself can be less or more complex and can link to other information & operations systems such as ERP, MES, BMS or even product information and training instruction. In an industrial environment, this translates into timely and visual insights for quicker diagnostics, and higher efficiencies with augmented user experience. For example, a digital twin of a process plant or a factory can enable simple use cases such as real-time monitoring by displaying operational data from MES on a virtual plant model interactively while the most advanced applications may predict the behavior of the plant for any changes that we may want to bring with links to machine learning algorithms.
Infographic: Dialects of a Digital Twin
Have a look at our infographic to find out the new possibilities and solutions for manufacturers – at every stage of the lifecycle of a product or project. As mentioned above the Digital Twin can have multiple dialects or flavors based on the focus use-cases. The level of details and features offered by a digital twin will vary based on the purposes the digital twin is supposed to serve dictated by the business outcomes sought.
Live-Webinar: Unlock the power of Digital Twin through an integration platform
This webinar is focused on how you can connect collaborative workflows and do more with design, operational and non-engineering (meta) data. Autodesk Forge platform unlocks the power of data so you can connect teams, workflows, and build new services to address today's connected customer… through accelerated development of applications.
Whether you are interested in digitalizing your current customer experience or brining new services to them or digitalizing your own operations, your data holds the key to creating these types of experiences. Autodesk Forge can help you tap into that potential by connecting the existing digital islands among them and automating the workflows rather than chasing the dream of a single and giant database that could replace all other time-proven specialized information systems.
EMEA Session: November 27 | 04 pm - 05 pm CET | 10 am - 11 am EST | REGISTER NOW AMER Session: November 27 | 10 am - 11 am PST | 01 pm - 02 pm EST | REGISTER NOW
Discover Community Success Stories
From artificial intelligence to virtual reality, from smart manufacturing to the connected job site — the Digital Twin community of customers and partners are using Forge to innovate in their industries.
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Leave your details and we will contact you for a consultation or get in touch with our experts if you’d like more information about how we can help you enable better industrial outcomes by applying a digital twin to support your business objectives.
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