Industry 4.0 report - What are companies focusing on now?

Key finding 7: Using Digital Twins for product design is gaining importance

34% of the companies are using the technology of digital twins, and nearly half of them are using it for product design validation. More than 1 in 4 of them relies on digital twins for maintenance support and scenario analyses. It’s high time for our companies to further embrace this disruptive technology!

Digital twins will change how systems and products are engineered and operated. Individual virtual representations of assets help to develop, maintain and change single components or whole factories. Flanders Make can boast a long journey on the pitfall-strewn road of digital twins. Ten years ago, we helped companies to make the step towards model-based engineering. The next step will be developing digital twins, a new approach with partial use of models but extended with multiple new elements to make sure that the physical product stays tuned with the digital twin and thus is a dynamic model over its entire lifespan, and not a static one, i.e. a linearized representation at a certain operating point or multiple operating points. We are increasingly helping companies to take the next step: connecting systems and collecting and storing the corresponding data.

We see that only 34% of the companies believe that the technology of digital twins will have the most impact on their business. But among all companies that are already using digital twins, up to 45% are using it for design validation to speed up the product design. Another use of digital twins is supporting maintenance, which is the case for 28% of the companies, resulting in a longer product lifespan and thus in a decreased TCO. Over 31% of the companies don’t use digital twins at all.

Applications for which the concept of digital twins is used


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