We use cookies to improve your experience on our site. To find out more, read our privacy policy and cookie policy

Plant & Process: in-depth

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
Save $360,000
by predicting a power outage in a gas plant1
50% reduction
on average, in time-to-market for new products2
40% reduction
of maintenance costs3
10% increase
in company profits, as a result of increased product yield, shortened lead times, increased throughput, and improved quality with fewer rejects4
90% reduction
in false starts
87.56% reduction
in downtime
54% reduction
in production and development costs
30% savings
in operational and maintenance costs
6.01% increase
in commercial production line efficiency5
95% virtual
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
MacBook mockup

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 quality
Fewer rejects
Improved productivity
Improved OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness)
Mapping of the production process to codify knowledge and identify bottlenecks
Predictive maintenance
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
Improved profits
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

Business buy-in.
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.
Data availability.
Location/’owner’, data security, undocumented processes, information gaps, non-digital record-keeping, ease of data export, data maintenance.
Data quality.
Reliability, accuracy, consistency of a source and across sources, completeness.
Data interoperability.
Multiple assets, machines, systems, specialist data formats.
Data relationships.
Availability of experienced staff.
Digital twins are a journey. Start small and layer towards complexity.
  1. “Industrial Digital Twins: Real Products Driving $1B in Loss Avoidance” by GE
    Visit link
  2. “Digital twins: The art of the possible in product development and beyond” by McKinsey & Company
    Visit link
  3. “What is a Digital Twin in manufacturing?” by BrainCube
    Visit link
  4. “Digital Twin Reference Model Development to Prevent Operators’ Risk in Process Plants” by MDPI
    Visit link
  5. “A Digital Twin Case Study on Automotive Production Line” by MPDI
    Visit link
  6. “Digital twin in manufacturing: conceptual framework and case studies” by Taylor & Francis Online
    Visit link
  7. “Visualizing BMW’s self-driving future” by Nick Davis, Unity
    Visit link
  1. “Digital Twins and AI: Transforming Industrial Operations” by Ron Beck, Reliable Plant
    Visit link
  2. “Equipment Systems Integration” by Cliff Saran, SL Controls
    Visit link
  3. “The Importance of Transforming Remote Support and Collaborative Working Across Companies” by SL Controls
    Visit link
  4. “How Industry 4.0 Supports Flexibility and Mass Customisation” by SL Controls
    Visit link
  5. “The ROI of Digital Twin for Industrial Companies” by Colin McMahon, PTC
    Visit 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.

Our platform

Data-first digital twins built on Nextspace are customizable and extensible. Our platform helps you integrate, federate, and futureproof valuable data.

Recommended reads

There’s so much information out there, so we’ve collected our favourites