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Digital Twin: Trends & Opportunities

IOT IOT Application Digital Twin Technology November 2, 2020

Digital Twin: Trends & Opportunities
Thomas C

Content Developer

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By 2021, 50% of large industrial companies will use digital twin technology to drive the business impact of the IoT economy. This emerging technology offers a powerful way to monitor and control assets and simulate process virtually. 

Simply put, a digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. Sensors gather data from the physical object to reconstruct it in the digital space. Artificial intelligence and machine learning enable the analysis of operations represented by the digital model based on the big data generated by the IoT sensor network. 

This pairing of physical machines with virtual counterparts allows proactive data analysis and monitoring, thus saving companies precious downtime. 

Draup has analyzed the implementation of Digital Twin technology to within three major themes: 

  1. Predictive maintenance to improve and monitor an entire production line 
  2. Business optimization to drive user-centric design using advanced simulation 
  3. Operational efficiency to increase the reliability of equipment & production lines and thus reduce downtime 

Even though the technology has existed in some form since 2002, it was only in 2016 that use cases across industries began popping up. It was named as one of the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends in 2017. 

This title is well-deserved since enterprises have been deployed digital twins for diverse use cases such as 1. Medical diagnostics, 2. Factory maintenance, 3. Smart cities, 4. Digital machinebuilding and several others. 

Emerging Trends & Use Cases of Digital Twin Technology 

In the automotive, healthcare and aircraft sectors, digital twins are becoming essential tools for optimizing entire manufacturing value chains and innovating new products. While these sectors have always been at the forefront of adopting cutting-edge tech, digital twins have even found their way into consumer technology. 

For example, Panasonic has equipped their projectors with a proprietary algorithm that monitors for potential failures using sensors and automatically alerts maintenance staff, thus giving them a lead time to acquire spare parts.  

It is clear that Digital Twins, along with data from IoT, can play a key role in the health care sector from cost savings to patient monitoring, preventative maintenance and providing personalized health care. 

A digital twin promises an outcomedriven approach to handling the data deluge arising from the patient’s interconnected biology, provider interactions, and the environment. 

The technology focuses on identifying genetic reasons for diseases and deploys that valuable information to design pathways for personalized therapy. This, in turn, helps healthcare stakeholders to finetune their medical imaging capabilities, improve population health and deliver precision medicine thanks to cloud-based health care intelligence. 

Pioneers in this sphere include United Health Group who have leveraged IoT technology to develop and implement a digital twin for maintenance of patient healthcare dataThis digital twin provides each patient’s healthcare data for the past two decades and is accessible within the cloud-based system. The Digital Twin is also used to produce visual representation of patient healthcare.  

Pharma companies are also using digital twin technology to accelerate the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The exact process is currently proprietary; however, in the future, we can expect the utilization of the technology to pick up the pace.  

Another sector that has the widespread use of digital twin technology is manufacturing. Caterpillar is currently developing its own digital twin solution as part of its Digital Mines optimization. Boeing & Airbus have already integrated digital twin technology within their aircraft predictive maintenance operations. 

The vast scope of opportunities notwithstanding, digital twin technology also delivers options in allied technologies like Cloud, IoT hardware, & Connectivity solutions. 

Scope For Digital Service Providers In Digital Twin 

Draup’s extensive survey of the digital twin landscape (downloadable here) indicates surging adoption rates across automotive, aviation, manufacturing, healthcare and media & entertainment. 

Some key projects by service providers are below: 

  • Indian IT major Wipro is currently developing a new product enabling additive manufacturing vision ( 3D Printing) and Digital twin for Product/process as part of Industry 4.0 initiative.  
  • Tech Mahindra provides consultation services for digital transformation of new product development process and new generation smart manufacturing systems that leverage ML, blockchain & big data analytics to build digital twins  
  • TCS is currently engaged in building Digital Twin of Industrial Operations and Equipment, execution of field service excellence using Digital Twin, asset models to enable predictive maintenance and margin improvement.  

Double Your Investment & Efforts 

The Digital Twin market cap is expected to reach ~USD 50 billion by 2026. 

Cloudbased Platforms, Cyber Security, Sensor Application development, Additive Manufacturing, Predictive Analytics, Medical Imaging and connected product development are the key opportunity areas for Service Providers trying to gain a slice of the market pie.  

With newer opportunity areas in healthcare, digital media & manufacturing emerging each day, enterprises will require robust service providers to supplement their efforts.  

Digital Service providers with the right tech stack need to stay on top of industry signals to make the right move and win high-value deals. 

Draup tracks business intentions and digital themes across 30+ industries to proactively highlight the use of new-age, emerging technologies. Our proprietary Sales Intelligence platform provides live updates on market movements sector-wise and technology-wise. Users can monitor the dashboard to seize potential use cases arising in the Digital Twin ecosystem & allied technologies.  

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