10. February 2022

The explosive growth of digital twins in predicting maintenance and minimizing risk

Where physical meets digital – the technology that is unearthing new insights for asset-intensive organizations

Digitals twins are one of the hottest properties in the global technology market right now. The technology’s explosive growth is due to its ability to provide deep and invaluable insights into the inner workings and maintenance needs of key assets. In particular, there are mission-critical, high-cost, and often complex assets where digital twins can make a real difference through increasing predictability of future maintenance and thereby lowering risk for organizations in asset-intensive industries. Rick Veague, Chief Technology Officer, North America, IFS, examines the value for three industries characterized by costly and essential assets: energy, utilities & resources, manufacturing, and aerospace & defense.

In a recent analysis, Deloitte explains why digital twins have shown such phenomenal recent growth: “Digital twins are poised to transform the way companies perform predictive maintenance of products and machinery in the field. Sensors embedded in the machines feed performance data into a digital twin in real time. This makes it possible to identify and address malfunctions before they happen and to tailor service and maintenance plans to better meet unique customer needs.”

As a digital representation, a digital twin provides both the elements and the dynamics of how a connected asset operates throughout its lifecycle. A digital twin is an up-to-date and accurate copy of the physical object’s properties and states, including position, shape, status, and motion. Using this technology, an organization can increase predictability and lower risks.

While the technology has been discussed within industry circles for the last three to four years, it’s the next half decade which will truly demonstrate the power and value of digital twins.

Digital twins poised for explosive growth

Market&Markets’ research indicates that in 2020 the global digital twin market size was valued at 3.1 billion USD and is projected to reach 48.2 billion USD by 2026. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 58% during the forecast period.

This growth forecast has been fuelled by pandemic induced challenges, supply chain disruption, and changing maintenance approaches which have given rise to increased adoption of digital twins. The research highlights North America as the leader of the digital twins’ market share with asset-intensive organizations among the key end-users of digital twin technology.

In my experience with IFS, down at the asset level is where our customers are really exploring the value of digital twins right now. In particular, there are three industries where digital twin technology is really taking hold—energy, utilities & resources, manufacturing, and aerospace & defense.

Manufacturing – digital twins means it’s time to take Industry 4.0 to new heights

Digital twins are also at the forefront of Industry 4.0 manufacturing, which brings advanced technologies onto the factory floor. Supported by the growth of IoT in the manufacturing industry, digital twins will be used to increase productivity and reduce costs. A recent study by Research and Markets indicates up to 89% of all IoT platforms will include digital twins by 2025.

TEST-FUCHS, a leading manufacturer of test systems and components for aerospace & defense organizations, is an IFS customer utilizing digital twins. TEST-FUCHS has a dedicated digital twin approach for ground support assets and test equipment.

As a manufacturer of the assets, TEST-FUCHS looks at the engineering, design, and procurement data of the asset it is selling. TEST-FUCHS also has full control of an IoT-enabled test facility to provide maintenance data in real-time and then execute that maintenance in its repair shop. This gives the company a deep view of the data which builds up in an asset’s lifecycle and provides visibility across the entire digital twin landscape around every asset. IFS Applications plays a prominent role in this environment—enabling TEST-FUCHS to build up an enterprise-wide picture of their business processes to put the digital twin strategy into action.


Articel IFS