There has been a significant increase in adoption of the digital twin technology among organizations that work with IoT projects and ventures. This technology is expected to reach a staggering $15.66bn in market size by 2023 – as concluded from a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. on IoT implementation.
A digital twin is a digitized version or clone of processes or physical assets. Data about physical assets, collected from sensors help recreate a digital version of the asset and update its state in real time. Most conventionally applied to assets, this technology generates data through heat, movement, pressure and vibrations, the analysis of which can be used to prevent unplanned machinery failure and track the movement of goods while providing granular information about the state of those goods.
A digital twin can virtually replicate an entire supply chain including multiple assets, warehouses, logistics, material flows and inventory positions – effectively emulating a supply chain’s collective performance.
Through the presence of a digital twin, the virtual replication of real time data creates less room for technical and manual errors. For example, if cargo transportation is off schedule or late, or if production machinery breaks down - real time information received through the digital twin supply chain and its continued applied knowledge through previous data will allow it to immediately implement corrective support, enabling more durable supply chain optimization.
At Nazar Systems we are using Digital Twin Technology to revamp the supply chain and food distribution. We create digital models of the collection, movement, processing, storage, logistics and distribution of goods. Creating a digital twin of the entire supply chain helps us identify logistical constraints which may have been incorrectly perceived earlier and may have adversely affected production. This enable us to help our clients meet demand on time, avoid loss and continue to identify and monitor logistical errors by replacing them with real time alerts and suggestions for improvements.
Industries where supply chains are more layered and complex with large production and distribution networks consistently face logistical challenges, which often lead to loss of critical asset value. Losses could occur due to example excess inventory or lost production time. The implementation of digital twins can combat these hurdles by enabling companies with a fully mapped digital version of their supply chains so they can apply findings in order to augment more qualitative decisions across various planning points.
Although the digital twin concept is not something that is entirely new given that this technological approach has been in place with product engineering as well as flight and Formula 1 racetrack simulators for years, what is making this extremely valuable to broader industries now is the use of real time data integration through IoT devices. The technology has created a space for companies to have deeper insights into the dynamics of their supply chains, bringing to light varied information that may have previously been hidden and was the cause of problems on an unknown lateral level. The technology also enhances the optimization of sales and operation planning by being able to simulate the execution of a particular plan; and aids in short and long term planning and execution by the early identification of risks.
The key to success is to build an accurate digital model of the supply chain. Our use of digital twin technology assist our clients by identifying hidden opportunities and highlighting the constraints; it analyzes data – structured and unstructured, as well as analyzes a range of possible situations in order to identify actionable insights. It is of great importance to have access to the correct modelling tools which enable an easy update of the technology. The use of fifth-generation programming language as well as solver software offers a high standard of visibility and ease in the process.
Companies which have digitized their supply chains have significant competitive advantages over their competitors. Customer orders and a range of related transactions can be added programmatically, updating the state of the supply chain in real time and creating less dependency on manual inputs. Coupled with a blockchain ledger, companies will have a highly secured, chronological record of their operations which can offer business insights and help with strategic decisions going forward.
Track and trace technologies have been a game changer for predictive analysis of products throughout the supply chain, from the point of manufacturing up until the point of sale. With the advent of 5G and the explosion of accurate sensors and smart devices it is easy and affordable to digitize your supply chain today.