Plant & process is a broad label covering equipment or facilities used in any process or system for industrial production.
Common focus areas therefore include asset management, process efficiency, and production quality, reliability and optimisation.
Digital twins are becoming a business imperative, covering the entire lifecycle of an asset or process and forming the foundation for connected products and services. Companies that fail to respond will be left behind.
— Thomas Kaiser, SAP Senior Vice President of IoT
Evidence of ROI
As with all industrial digital twins, exact ROI data can be tightly held by companies wishing to keep both their issues and innovations confidential, but some quantified highlights have been published.
From 93% to 99.49%
reliability increased markedly in less than two years
A reduction of 40%
for reactive maintenance in less than one year
by predicting a power outage in a gas plant1
on average, in time-to-market for new products2
of maintenance costs3
in company profits, as a result of increased product yield, shortened lead times, increased throughput, and improved quality with fewer rejects4
in false starts
in production and development costs
in operational and maintenance costs
in commercial production line efficiency5
product development and testing, instead of physical
of several process bottlenecks6
At BMW, we believe simulation is key for developing autonomous driving … helping our team create, visualize, and evaluate the millions of virtual road trips needed to help us achieve our AD ambitions.
— Nicholas Dunning, BMW Group7
Nextspace digital twins
Nextspace’s platform provides the data interoperability that brings multiple technologies together in one data model for analysis and visualisations to help teams understand complex situations at a glance—more informed and faster decision making.
With the present market uncertainty, volatility and questions around future economic outlook, every industrial organization is looking for new ways to drive efficiency and be more profitable but, most importantly, to ensure safe operations. With plants running in unfamiliar low-turndown situations, technology is the gateway to that goal.
— Ron Beck, AspenTech8
Common benefits of digital twins applied to plant & process—
Increased product yield
Shortened lead times
Increased throughput, faster production
Improved OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness)
Mapping of the production process to codify knowledge and identify bottlenecks
Real-time remote monitoring
Manufacturing process optimisation
Enhancing product traceability
Virtual testing and validation
Increasing integration between unconnected systems9
Remote troubleshooting of equipment10
Increased reliability of equipment and production lines
Reduced risk in various areas, including product availability, marketplace reputation, and more
Better processes enabling new opportunities including mass customisation, mixed manufacturing, small-batch manufacturing11
Improved customer service
More efficient supply and delivery chains
The ability to fix equipment before it breaks is crucial to maximizing revenue and productivity. Digital twins provide that insight by granting an unprecedented level of transparency and visibility into hardware operation.
— Colin McMahon, PTC12
Issues to be aware of
Strategic priority, required capital, roadmap, cross-functional team, digital maturity, understanding users and value/ROI to deliver
New technology required.
Installation and implementation could be costly, and unproven.
Operational compliance and privacy regulations need to be considered and applied.
Location/’owner’, data security, undocumented processes, information gaps, non-digital record-keeping, ease of data export, data maintenance.
Reliability, accuracy, consistency of a source and across sources, completeness.
Multiple assets, machines, systems, specialist data formats.
Availability of experienced staff.
Digital twins are a journey. Start small and layer towards complexity.
- “Industrial Digital Twins: Real Products Driving $1B in Loss Avoidance” by GEVisit link
- “Digital twins: The art of the possible in product development and beyond” by McKinsey & CompanyVisit link
- “What is a Digital Twin in manufacturing?” by BrainCubeVisit link
- “Digital Twin Reference Model Development to Prevent Operators’ Risk in Process Plants” by MDPIVisit link
- “A Digital Twin Case Study on Automotive Production Line” by MPDIVisit link
- “Digital twin in manufacturing: conceptual framework and case studies” by Taylor & Francis OnlineVisit link
- “Visualizing BMW’s self-driving future” by Nick Davis, UnityVisit link
- “Digital Twins and AI: Transforming Industrial Operations” by Ron Beck, Reliable PlantVisit link
- “Equipment Systems Integration” by Cliff Saran, SL ControlsVisit link
- “The Importance of Transforming Remote Support and Collaborative Working Across Companies” by SL ControlsVisit link
- “How Industry 4.0 Supports Flexibility and Mass Customisation” by SL ControlsVisit link
- “The ROI of Digital Twin for Industrial Companies” by Colin McMahon, PTCVisit link
When implemented correctly, digital twins deliver significant ROI. This is why more industries are building digital twins into their core asset and operational management processes.
Data-first digital twins built on Nextspace are customizable and extensible. Our platform helps you integrate, federate, and futureproof valuable data.
There’s so much information out there, so we’ve collected our favourites
Siemens content team
An fairly generic introduction to Siemens thinking around digital twins—focused on product, production, and performance.
Maurizio Bevilacqua, Eleonora Bottani, Filippo Emanuele Ciarapica, Francesco Costatino, Luciano Di Donato, Alessandra Ferraro, Giovanni Mazzuto, Andrea Monteriu, Girogia Nardini, Marco Ortenzi, Massimo Paroncini, Marco Pirozzi, Mario Prist, Elena Quatrini, Massimo Tronci, Giuseppe Vignali
The paper proposes a reference model for risk control and prevention using a digital twin.
Rana Khallaf, Lama Khallaf, Chimay J. Anumba, Obinna C. Madubuike
With the advent of Industry 4.0, there has been an increasing trend toward interconnectedness. Within this trend, the recommendations in this article position digital twins as a critical, connecting force.
Ferry Grijpink, Natalya Katsap, Francesco Verre, Richard Ward
McKinsey & Company
This article outlines how making use of advanced connectivity to optimize oil & gas drilling and production throughput and improve maintenance and field operations could add up to $250 billion of value to the industry’s upstream operations by 2030.
This article outlines digital twin benefits with a case study of a company deploying warehouse automation software.
Dr. Michael Grieves
Digital Twin - F1000 Research
This article presents a discussion on how Intelligent Digital Twins (IDTs) will evolve and assist in developing and managing complex systems.