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4 Impacts Digital Twins Makes on Manufacturing

By Enterprise Technology Review | Thursday, July 09, 2020

Digital twins are significantly improving sustainability in manufacturing with improved product designs and affordable design costs.

FREMONT, CA: Digital twins has immense potential to revolutionize manufacturing and enhance the lifespan of assets and equipment. The technology is being eyed as a major advancement towards sustainable development. Currently, it’s financially challenging for the manufacturers to keep up with the business demands. Further, manufacturing firms need to test the products on a regular basis. Digital twins can offer an affordable platform for manufacturers to test as well as proactively modify their products. Thus, the digital twins will not only enable the manufacturers to save on testing but also lead to the development of sustainable products with a longer life cycle.

Manufacturing firms can use digital twins to experiment with product design. Innovative product designs with the aid of digital platforms allow the manufacturers to market their products to the retailers while adding diversity factors to the product design. Companies that were finding it difficult to achieve sustainability goals due to pressure from investors, consumers, clients, and regulators are now able to adopt sustainable business practices with the incorporation of digital twins. Here are the key manufacturing aspects where digital twins can impact businesses. 

Product Analysis

Manufacturing companies can save a significant amount of money and offer better products to customers with the help of digital twins. The digital twins can provide an idea to the marketers over how well the product performs, and what enhancements can increase the product’s popularity among the users. Such data-rich statistics are fed into the manufacturing and product development processes to boost product margins and enhance market share and customer satisfaction levels. Thus, digital twins allows the manufacturers to scrutinize their product design based on data-driven insights and enhance product sustainability in the market space.

Visualization

Product visualization is a key component in manufacturing. However, there are massive data sets generated in and around the manufacturing space. Sometimes, it’s difficult to effectively utilize the data sets and decide upon a particular call for action. Industrial digital twin supports visualization that offers visual information using historical as well as real-time data. Such a hybrid visualization capability offered by digital twin allows managers, supervisors, and workers to have a better understanding of the product as compared to the conventional visualization. An improved product understanding also contributes to product sustainability due to improved decision-making capabilities.

Experts’ Collaboration

The visual aspect of industrial digital twins enables a higher degree of collaboration. The digital presence of the product model allows the stakeholders to monitor the manufacture proceedings better. For instance, product designers, data scientists, and designers can gain a better understanding of the manufacturing process as a whole.

Product Line Engineering

Visualization and collaboration with the help of digital assets result in a very powerful engineering conceptualization known as product line engineering (PLE). Conventionally, multiple teams work on multiple iterations of a product during a complex manufacturing process, which can result in confusion and human errors. Alternatively, an industrial digital twin allows several versions of the product to co-exist. Thus, the product versions can be divided into iterations for each department. In this way, each team can test and modify its version of the product based on its specific requirements. Thus, digital twins enable an integrated platform for product testing with minimal chances of errors to proliferate across the teams.

Thus, digital twins offers a unique opportunity for the manufacturing units to enhance the quality as well as the sustainability of their products.

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