A practical, cost-effective approach for day-to-day digital twin decision-making in your organization
Digital twins are a hot topic. On paper, the prospect of real time monitoring and improved process efficiencies is exciting for businesses, but in reality, a high cost of technology and ongoing upkeep are a major barrier.
But digital twins don’t have to be out of reach. At SIMUL8, we’ve been enabling our users to build practical, accessible digital twins for 25 years with the power of simulation.
A digital twin is a dynamic digital model of any real-life process or whole organization that's used to:
Their real value is through delivering insights that prevent inefficiency and downtime, highlight new opportunities and help you make day-to-day decisions, as well as prepare for the future.
With roots in manufacturing, interest in digital twins has now rapidly grown across almost every industry, with Gartner listing digital twins in their Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019.
But you might be surprised to learn that the concept of digital twins isn’t totally revolutionary. In fact, simulation has already been delivering the same value as digital twins for organizations for more than 30 years.
Simulation offers the fastest, most practical route to digital twin insight
Most organizations don’t actually need to build full-scale, complex digital twins from the get-go to have a huge impact. Simulation allows you to start by building a digital twin that is focused on understanding a specific problem you’re trying to solve. What is the simplest abstraction of your process that you can create a simulation of to answer your question?
Thanks to its drag and drop nature, you can build your first digital twin in a matter of hours with simulation. That’s often enough to answer the question and other times it acts as a guide to tell you where you really need to dig deeper and add detail. We see SIMUL8 users iterate this process by building small, simple conceptual simulations to answer their most critical questions rapidly.
Simulation allows you to start small and after achieving concrete results, you can scale up your digital twin to maximize the benefits!
A key element of digital twins is their ability to be constantly kept in sync so that they are representative of the live system. That is what allows them to be used as an operational decision-making tool.
For example, being used to decide tomorrow’s optimum production schedule, or ensuring patients are in the right bed to minimize waiting times and outliers. In both examples, the ability to run forward allows today’s decision to be made more effectively.
With SIMUL8, you can pull in data generated from sources such as ERP systems or production schedules to continually feed your simulations with live data and monitor its performance.
Digital twins are designed to be used as operational decision-making tools. When a simulation tool is used to create a digital twin, the benefits of running scenarios and seeing how the system will perform going forward, or how the system would have played out had you made a different decision, brings a whole new level to the depth of understanding to your process as a whole.
Combining this with machine learning techniques will also help with decision-making from the simulation and give real insight into how things will play out in the future.
Digital twins require a high level of investment. Not just from the perspective of building out the technology and hardware needed, but also the ongoing maintenance and upkeep.
Although the Internet of Things (IoT) and other automated data collection devices have made incredible advancements in recent years, most organizations don’t yet have access to these devices. Even if they do, the data still needs to be tamed into a manageable streams. Process mining and other AI techniques are also advancing, but again, they’re not readily accessible right now.
Simulation offers a faster, affordable approach to uncovering the same benefits and actionable insights of a traditional digital twin but at a fraction of the investment.
Companies worldwide use the power of SIMUL8 to improve their processes, increase efficiency and reduce costs.