Digital Twin

Digital Twin: why business needs an operations revolution

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The traditional toolbox for manufacturing is about empty; there were few items designed for digital disruption and transforming operations. Considering Gartner estimates of 8.4 Billion connected ‘Things’ by 2017, traditional tools and processes won’t withstand (or understand) the volume and velocity of digital data from IoT devices. The time is right for a new set of tools such as Digital Twin.

Digital data challenges business models

Businesses will need to rethink its tools if operations, supply chains, and value propositions are to remain competitive in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The IBM Institute of Business Value report titled, “Thinking out of the toolbox” highlights the realization by executives that digital data holds the promise to eliminate guessing and start understanding operations. Specifically, the reports found that (54%) respondents prioritized digital for, ‘Product quality monitoring and predicting failures’ and (52%) ‘Manufacturing plant optimization.’   One of the tools to improve operations with digital data is the Digital Twin.

“Digital Twin is a virtual/digital representation of a physical entity or system. It involves connected “things” generating real-time data. That data is analyzed in the cloud, and combined with other data related to the thing / context around it. It is then presented to people in a variety of roles, so they can remotely understand its status, its history, its needs, and interact with it to do their jobs.”  —Chris O’Connor, IBM General Manager

Digital Twin makes ‘things’ clear

The Digital Twin as more than just technology but serves as a ‘looking glass’ into what’s happening within physical assets now and, more importantly, finding the changes required for the future. Leveraging your IoT investments, and IBM Watson, the Digital Twin visualizes the hidden insights and dependencies of usability, traceability, and quality that will eventually be part of your operations revolution. Eventually, with sensors everywhere, we might start customizing our operations and interactions to serve each/every client.

Old tools not ready for digital data

Traditional manufacturing software was not designed for the variety and volume of IoT data and starting the operations revolution. New tools are required to distill thousands of devices into something virtual and useful to rethink the design, build, and operation of machines. To create the operations revolution, companies are considering the Digital Twin as the new tool to transform trains, planes and automobiles.

Meet Digital Twin creators

You can hear the stories from Bosch, Daimler, and SCNF in the video replays from IBM’s Genius of Things event. You can go one step further and meet the experts in Digital Twins and register for LIVE SLAM 2017: Internet of Things Conference on June 21-22. Organized by the 19,000+ member strong IoT community, IoT Slam Live 2017 delivers cutting edge content for the CxO and business leader.

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Andrew Foster

Great article Matthew. It ties in well with my recent blog on the progress we are making to support Digital Twin concepts directly inside Watson IoT Platform. Check it out at:

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