This is Part 12 of our 12-part blog series based on the LNS Research eBook,“Forging the Digital Twin in Discrete Manufacturing: A Vision for Unity In the Virtual and Real Worlds”.
Previously in Part 11 we discovered pragmatic considerations for the Digital Twin. Now let’s look at recommendations for getting started Digital Twins in manufacturing.
Today is the ideal time to start looking at digital twin technology to decide which use case to begin with, and how it will impact your company’s or products’ performance. Even though 25% of survey respondents say they have no plans to start a Digital Twin program, we believe that the posture will rapidly change for many as their own customer base begins to ask for a twin along with the real product or process.
As understanding and attitudes about twin technology matures, the relationship between supplier and customer will likely become more collaborative. Because the Digital Twin will deliver much more intellectual property about the product and how the compa- ny makes it, the time to take action is now.
First, de ne where to apply a digital twin across product and process:
- If your organization already has PLM, start with de ning the product in 3D and an environment for product simulation.
- If the company already has an industrial transformation ini- tiative, de ne a digital twin project as part of that effort.
- If there is no formal industrial transformation initiative, then choose a limited product or manufacturing business process that would bene t from the detailed view a digital twin can provide.
Partner with customers and upstream suppliers to:
- Develop a Digital Twin project to deliver better customer service, faster NPI, and higher quality with continuous com- munication and experimentation.
- Use digital twins to gather in-use product information for product improvements.
- Get ahead of the game and anticipate that customers might ask for or insist on a digital twin if they’re outsourcing manufactur- ing to you. It’s easy to include a fairly “lightweight” twin during negotiations. Express and demonstrate your ability to deliver digital twins with more delity as the program progresses.Whichever path your company takes, the key is to learn about the bene ts now, and distribute that information throughout your organization today so that the entire staff can start thinking about how they can put the Digital Twin to work in their role.
Before getting starting with a Digital Twin, here are a few questions that must be addressed:
- What is the maturity level of my company?
- Are we ready to engage in business transformation?
- What are the pain points a Digital Twin will help to solve?
- What is my capacity to innovate?
- How am I going to protect my Intellectual Property?
Business challenges vary between OEMs, operators, and services companies.
OEMs will benefit from a Digital Twin if they are able to monitor the installed-base of assets operated by their customers. By capturing the operational conditions of the assets through the Internet of Things (IoT), OEMs will be able to capture the user experience of their customers. Data will help them to better understand the behavior of their assets in operations. Machine learning will help to anticipate failures, resulting in reduced unplanned downtimes and improved availability. OEMs can prepare maintenance activities upfront in order to enhance after-sales services. Looping field information back into design will help to optimize future assets, making them more and more reliable. By improving the overall processes, ultimately the OEM can transform its business model from asset-selling to selling assets-as-a-service.
This vision can quickly become reality using recent assets that are potentially “IoT ready.” However, because of the significant effort required to integrate legacy systems into the building of a Digital Twin, it is essential to carefully analyze the expected payoff before engaging.
Here are some best practices around Digital Twins that should be considered as you plan your company’s deployment. Collaboration is a key aspect and should be considered the backbone of any Digital Twin.
So, where to start, and how?
Creating the data referential of the overall installed-base of assets is a huge effort, considering that it has to be totally “clean” before delivering it to the users. We recommend adopting the crowdfunding principle.
The information revealed will not be error-free at the beginning, but the collaboration process remedies this. Using the EXALEAD 360 Customer Support user interface on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, people can simply send a notification to the owner of the relevant data source and request a correction, attaching all the necessary context and information to the request in one click. By sharing a single source of truth and asking all stakeholders to notify the proper source when they encounter errors or inconsistencies, companies can ensure accuracy.
Being very pragmatic, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps OEMs to create a digital mock-up of their installed-base, without the need for 3D representation of the assets in operation, and manage the configuration and the versioning of the assets.
EXALEAD 360 Customer Support on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides smart support for maintenance and after-sales organizations by establishing links and relationships between multiple events and data across many siloed information systems, thus revealing at a glance the full overview of the customer’s situation. People in charge of customer relationships will immediately access the “asset identity card” presenting all relevant information on one single screen, without the need to crawl into emails, search for information in shared folders, or worry about version-control issues on shared spreadsheets. EXALEAD on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform makes all the information available in one unique user interface and presents it in an organized manner.
Part 12: Recommendations for Getting Started with Digital Twin
Read LNS eBook on Forging the Digital Twin in Discrete Manufacturing