Could the Digital Twin make physical prototyping obsolete?

2 mins read

Altair has released results from an independent, international survey, which confirms a surge in worldwide adoption of digital twin technology.

The survey of more than 2,000 professionals gauged digital twin technology adoption and assessed how organisations – across all industries – are using it, what its business benefits are, and its environmental impact.

The survey confirmed that the technology delivered a number of benefits such as more accurate and accelerated product development, but it also revealed that 67% of those questioned expected digital twin solutions to make the need for physical prototypes obsolete within the next six years.

That was certainly a surprise!

Respondents reported an overwhelmingly strong connection between digital twins and the drive for sustainability with 85% of respondents’ organisations currently using or planning to use digital twin technology to reach their overall sustainability goals.

According to James R. Scapa, founder and chief executive officer, Altair, while the study confirmed the benefits of the digital twin, “we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg.”

With smarter and connected everything businesses are turning to digital twins and that is only likely to accelerate as simulation technology, high-performance computing, and AI converge.

“The possibilities for revolutionising industries, business processes, and scientific research are endless,” according to Scapa.

Among other key findings from the survey were:

Breakneck adoption rates: According to the survey, businesses are adopting digital twin technology at unprecedented speeds. Nearly three in four (69%) organisations are already leveraging digital twins, with 71% of those businesses began investing in the technology in just the past year. Of those organizations not using digital twins, nearly half expect their company to adopt the technology within three years.

A need for deeper digital twin understanding is widespread: More than half of respondents stated they have limited knowledge about the technology or find it confusing. Many users (more than one-third) signalled they’d like to learn more about use cases, data optimization, convergence, and other aspects of digital twin technology.

Sustainability breakthroughs: The survey found digital twins are simulating the way to a net zero future, as 92% of respondents indicated the technology has improved sustainability within their organization. Organizations use digital twin technology for a wide range of functions and reasons, with top use cases including: 95% to better inform new product development; 51% to create smart objects and 50% to monitor real-world objects in real-time

Game-Changing Impact: Respondents reported where they see the greatest impacts of digital twin technology: More accurate risk assessments, faster time to market, and improved customer satisfaction (73%); Reduced maintenance and warranty costs (62%); Nearly three in four respondents (73%) said the technology has made their products or processes more energy-efficient and/or less wasteful; Helping companies reach their sustainability goals in the efficient use of resources (76%), energy savings and saving on operating costs (74%), and waste reduction (60%).

Respondents also believe digital twin technology will reshape the way products are developed in the future: 43% believe digital twins will make the need for physical testing obsolete within the next four years; 36% say the product development timeline will speed up; 33% believe the need for physical prototypes will be reduced.

The survey also found the C-suite has bought into the power of digital twin technology, but a significant internal disconnect exists between upper management and user-level respondents. While 81% of management respondents say their organisation is using digital twin technology, that contrasted with just 58% of user-level respondents.

Similarly, 68% of management responses indicated their company was utilising digital twins to meet sustainability goals compared to just 43% of user-level responses.

Altair conducted the global survey between May 4 and May 24 and drew 2,007 responses from professionals employed throughout several target industries who have job functions ranging from data science, the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics, software engineering, research and development, engineering, information technology (IT)/information systems (IS), product development, and executive management.

The sample consists of participants from ten countries: the United States, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

To find out more about the survey follow the link below.