In manufacturing, you should be comparing manufacturing runs. That helps you identify any issues, defects or variability within that process. When you have all that data, it’s difficult to do something meaningful with it. Now, though, there’s the concept of a ‘digital twin’. What is that, and how can you benefit from it?
What Is a Digital Twin?
Firstly, what exactly is a digital twin? The name refers to any digital replica of a process, system or physical asset that you’ll use during the manufacturing process. That could be specific production lines, end products, assets, and so on in your work.
These are something that can be built using the data that you have on your current manufacturing process. They’re great if you have a ‘golden run’ that you have data on, that you’d want to replicate in future runs. The digital twin of that run can be used in both simulations and in the creation of new runs.
Having that digital twin is also something that companies are using to examine just why these runs are successful. Having that digital representation of it allows you to see it from all angles, and understand how you can build on that success in the future.
Why Should You Consider Using a Digital Twin?
In manufacturing, digital twins are highly valuable. Once you have all that data and have created a digital twin from it, you can use it to solve any challenges that you’re experiencing during the manufacturing process.
One of the biggest advantages is that they automate a lot of the analysis work for you. You’ll get automatic data pulling, structuring, cleaning, and so on. That way, your team gets the data they need without having to do all that time-consuming legwork first. Instead, they can get right into problem-solving.
Having that data allows you to examine the process from every angle. What was it that made this the ‘golden run’? When you have that data to hand, you can start replicating it in your manufacturing process. Being able to examine and refine will help you improve on your processes all the time.
Where to Start with Making Digital Twins
Now you know the benefits, you’ll want to start making digital twins for your business. In manufacturing though, the amount of data you have will be overwhelming. Where do you start with creating one for your processes?
The way to start is to consider what you need information on. Have you got a ‘golden run’ that you want to be able to replicate? That’s typically the best place to start. When you build a digital twin of it, you’ll be able to see what makes it the gold standard.
Having that digital twin in place can have a massive impact on your ROI, so ensure that you choose wisely before you start building.
It’s important that once you have the model in place, you’re empowering those using it to makes changes as needed. A data scientist needs to be able to bring their findings to the manufacturing team, and they should work together to make the changes needed. Otherwise, both teams will be working alone and not getting as far as they should in enacting change.
What Changes Can You Expect in Manufacturing with a Digital Twin?
Once you start using a digital twin in your manufacturing process, you’ll find there’s a wide range of benefits that you can get from them. For example, you’ll be able to optimize production, reducing any waste in the process, and improve the quality of the finished product. That will ensure you’re creating the best product every time you make a run.
Plus, having that data enables you to personalize new products, create new revenue streams, and even predict when you’ll need to perform maintenance. If you’re paying attention to the data, it’ll tell you more than you realize.
Digital twins are becoming one of the most useful tools in manufacturing right now. You’ll be able to examine why your ‘golden run’ did so well, and replicate it. There are plenty of extra benefits that you’ll get too. As such, start looking into how you can use digital twins in your manufacturing processes now.