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These challenges, alongside the electrification of mechanical products, ever-changing safety and emissions regulations, and time to market, made for a rocky start to our careers as junior engineers.
A retrospective analysis convinces us that much has remained unchanged despite the global advancements in technology. The chaos engendered by the pandemic, too, has compelled us to reconsider our approach to problem-solving. Now that we've sensed the problem and perceived the ecology around us, how will we act upon it?
Digital twins: The key to improved product design and development
But will technology support design engineers and alleviate their pain?
Trends indicate that the technological disruptions we see in the digital world will impact and alter the laws of engineering, manufacturing, operations, and service. Intelligent and connected products will provide continuous and real-time engineering data while deeper insights into the generated data will aid in the cognitive contextualization of information. By adjusting key performance indicators (KPIs), a product's automated decision-making capabilities will allow it to adapt to a changing environment and remain resilient for optimum performance.
The changing role of digital twin in product development
Though it is underutilized, according to Research and Markets, digital twin will be commonly used in internet of things platforms.
In the early 2000s, digital twins emerged as a theoretical model for real-time monitoring. Many researchers and academics in the manufacturing industry adopted the buzzword to sell their existing products and services. Over the previous half-decade, the industry has demonstrated a paradigm shift toward the digital twin approach, emphasizing its practical applications and ability to create value through real-time monitoring, modeling, and forecasting.
However, the rapidly changing post-pandemic world has fueled a fundamental question on digital twins: Can the technology go beyond the realm of physical products? Increasingly, manufacturers have realized that digital twins can be applied to the early stage of product development. Therefore, digitally connected organizations are hunting for new opportunities to create digital twins beyond the spheres of manufacturing and services.
Unlocking business value for organizations
It allows firms to drive strategic and operational decisions at all levels. Digital twins reduce the time to market for new products by lowering the time an enterprise spends on iterating a product and testing it. This in turn decreases the overall costs in the product development life cycle. Besides, the data generated in creating a new product can be used to create value-added services for an enterprise's customers and it can further be contextualized across the firm's value chain. Overall, digital twins enhance an organization's brand value with customers and, in turn, performance expectations and delivery.
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