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An increasing interest in digital twins as an emerging technology trend with a transformative potential continues to attract enterprises that strive to reach their business goals. The Digital Twin concept, which originated at NASA to improve the physical-digital simulation of spacecraft, is now widely adopted as one of the guiding principles of digital transformation across a variety of industries. However, in many cases, the initial excitement leads to confusion when it comes to the implementation of this powerful idea. The sixth panel discussion of the executive webinar series organized by AMC Bridge sheds light on the factors that help separate hype from reality on the path to digital twins.

Moderated by Jim Brown, Founder and President of Tech-Clarity, the event featured industry experts, including Jonathan Girroir, Director of Marketing, Tech Soft 3D, Neil Garnett, Ericsson Service Transformation, Ericsson, Robert Bray, Vice President & General Manager of Autodesk Tandem, Sameer Kher, Senior Director, Ansys, and Igor Tsinman, Co-founder and President of AMC Bridge. While discussing the goals, challenges, components, and business value of digital twins, the panelists also shared their opinions and observations on how to break through the hype to create practical and achievable digital twins. 

The insightful highlights shared during the webinar are summarized below. The full recording of the event is available at the link.

Goals of implementing digital twins

Analyzing the experience of implementing digital twins, the panelists agreed that one of the real benefits digital twins can bring is business efficiency. Providing complete and accurate digital representation of the real object or process, digital twins allow for finding important but hard-to-find information, understanding complex relationships, and making business-critical predictions. That, in turn, may facilitate the elimination of redundant and out-of-date procedures while promoting the efficiency and sustainability of the digital enterprise.

Commenting on the goal of digital twins for a sustainable business, Igor Tsinman said, “Efficiency is the name of the game. Research shows that North America’s construction industry alone loses about 500 billion dollars due to the inefficiency of operations. Proper implementation of the Digital Twin concept will be a huge boost in improving business efficiency.”

Barriers to achieving digital twin objectives

Although complex, successful implementation of the Digital Twin concept is achievable. However, certain misperceptions can lead to costly errors and missed opportunities. According to the panelists, among the combination of people, process, and technology challenges which companies face when implementing digital twins, people are the main obstacle.

“Because digital twins technology is very transformative, it disrupts a large proportion of our organization and our customers’ organizations. And people are a primary barrier [in achieving it]. You have to change the way people perceive the benefits that might come from digital twin implementation,” emphasized Neil Garnett.

Aside from overcoming hesitation on the part of the team, achieving the full potential of digital twin implementation also depends on breaking data silos across the organization and selecting the right technology.

Essential digital twin components

There is no one solution for the digital twin that fits all. Instead, it should be constructed using components and applications that are best suited for the business reality of the specific enterprise.  Thus, the most effective way to help the customer succeed is to define a business problem that will bring the most value by solving it.

“Don’t try to solve every problem. Start with something small that can bring tangible outcomes. The biggest place I see people fail is trying to do too much at once. So, break it down into something tangible and find the right solutions that will help you solve that problem as easily as possible,” was Robert Bray’s recommendation.

Tips to debunk myths about digital twins

Commenting on the hyped myths about the inability to meet the goals for digital twins, the panel unanimously agreed that the following tips would help anyone who wants to attain practical results from their digital twin journeys:

  1. Identify a business problem that is “crying to be solved.”
  2. Break the big problem into smaller chunks and start small; so the positive result can be achieved in a short time.
  3. Select technology that is best suited for the needs of your digital twin implementation.
  4. Learn from the best examples.
  5. Start “now”, don’t wait.

Poll results

The observations above are consistent with the poll held during the webinar. As the discussion progressed, the audience was asked the following questions:

  1. How well has your company achieved the vision it has set out for digital twin(s)?
  2. Does your company view the digital twin as a product or an initiative?

The first poll results showed that people have very ambitious goals about digital twins. Thus, only 2% of them have fully reached their goals, and 16% mostly reached their goals. The majority (39%) has some complications and achieved the objectives partially, whereas 29% still cannot reach the vision of digital twins.

The second poll showed that a very few companies (9%) believe it’s a product, whereas most people (44%) see that it’s an initiative. However, the others (31%) say that it’s both an initiative and a product.

For more information on how AMC Bridge enables companies in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries to implement and leverage digital twins, visit our website; in particular, check out the BIM and Digital Twin and Simulation and Digital Twin pages.

To keep track of similar webinars, conferences, and meet-ups, please follow our events calendar.

About AMC Bridge

AMC Bridge is a global software development consultancy serving engineering, manufacturing, and construction industries. Since 1999, we have enabled digital transformation for our clients by creating custom software solutions that eliminate data silos, connect complex applications, unlock internal innovation, and democratize cutting-edge technologies. AMC Bridge’s software development experts use extensive experience with APIs of the majority of engineering software solutions and platforms, as well as in-depth knowledge of computational geometry, 3D visualization, and other advanced technologies to solve our clients’ critical business needs.

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