In his recent Forbes blog post, “Demystifying Digital Twins: Your Top 5 Questions Answered”, Thomas Ohnemus described the digital twin as “a virtual representation of a real-life physical product. It could be a car, a chair, a desk, a lamp. It could even be a person. Anything that exists in the physical world can be replicated as a digital twin.”
If you can attach an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor to a physical object, you can create a digital representation that enables connectivity, communication, and collaboration across the supply chain — from R&D and design through manufacturing, operations, and logistics.
The case for a network of digital twins
I wrote a blog earlier this year that posed a question: Should businesses be scared to meet their digital twin?
I’ll save you the trouble of reading that post — the answer is a resounding “no.”
Because a network of digital twins offers your organization the ability to:
• Connect with customers, products, and assets and leverage data to improve business processes
• Communicate with everyone in the supply chain about the status and working condition of products or assets
• Collaborate through shared ecosystems and business networks to improve products, maintain assets, serve highly competitive global markets, and create new business models
Above all else, IoT-powered digital twins provide improved visibility. They allow you and your partners to see everything that’s happening with your products and assets in real time. They even help you anticipate problems before they occur.
With real-time data on your side, you can:
• Conduct ongoing analysis
• Respond to demanding customers faster
• Enhance product designs
• Perform proactive and predictive maintenance
• Carry out condition and environmental modeling
And since you can create digital twins of virtually anything, the insights you can gain are limitless. You can collect in-the-moment data about a single production line or an entire production plant, an individual forklift or a whole warehouse, one truck engine, or an extensive vehicle fleet.
The future of digital twin networks
By 2020, there will be 30 billion connected things, according to IDC. IoT-powered digital twins can help you capitalize on the wealth of Big Data these things create, enabling “perpetual innovation, within your enterprise, and across your business network.”
Companies are beginning to catch on to the innumerable benefits of digital twin networks. But in the next few years, the use of digital twins will explode. (Register to read Network of Digital Twins, a brand-new IDC InfoBrief sponsored by SAP to learn more.)
IDC predicts 65% of manufacturers will be using digital twins to operate products and/or assets by 2020, giving them the opportunity to reduce the cost of quality defects and service delivery by up to 25%.
Don’t get left behind. Discover how digital twins can provide your organization with remarkable business results and future opportunities.
Learn more about how technology is powering commerce here.
This post was originally featured on SAP Innovation Spotlight, and is republished here with permission.