63 percent of German industrial companies are convinced that Digital Twins in production are indispensable in order to survive in international competition, according to the results of a representative survey by the digital association Bitkom. However, between knowledge of the key role of this technology and implementation in one's own company, there is a large gap between theory and practice: Many companies are still in the phase of building up understanding, there is a lack of strategies and concepts, budgets and concrete application examples. Yet the economic and ecological potential of the Digital Twin is enormous - and can be transformed into real added value more easily than most companies think.
I would like to provide you with important impulses and present ten application scenarios for the Digital Twin in production - from quick wins to visionary business models.
Status Quo of the Digital Twin in Manufacturing
Digital Twins are virtual, dynamic, real-time models of physical objects and thus integrate non-digital assets into the digital world of Industrie 4.0. For the most realistic modeling possible, the Digital Twin in production networks and synchronizes heterogeneous data sources, from engineering data to sensor data from machines and environmental parameters to process and operating data from ERP, MES, and QA systems - or even data from external partners.
The concept of the Digital Twin is not new, but with the practical maturity of a data standard - the current version of the "Asset Administration Shell" - an important prerequisite for the breakthrough of Digital Twin applications in IIoT environments was created in mid-2023. Digital Twins in production based on the Digital Asset Administration Shell (AAS) can exchange data across system, department, and company boundaries thanks to a uniform standard. Standardization not only lowers the technological hurdles but also paves the way for new value creation ideas through interoperability.