Smart Innovators: Digital Twins For Industrial Facilities

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Executive Summary

Digital twins are part of the Industry 4.0 megatrend and are primarily used today for equipment design and testing. Only in the past two years has the concept of facility-wide digital twins gathered momentum due to the complexity involved in modelling and simulating the performance of industrial facilities. Reflecting the relative newness of this technology in the industrial space, vendors offer digital twin software at five different levels of sophistication – from digital twins that integrate data from various sources to one capable of acting autonomously. Verdantix expects the market for plant-level digital twins to grow slowly over the next five to 10 years with high-risk, asset-intensive industries being the early adopters. This report provides buyers of digital twin software at industrial facilities with an overview of the current state of the market and an assessment of different vendors who offer digital twin value propositions. 

Table of contents

Smart Innovators: Digital Twins For Industrial Facilities
The Digital Twin Concept Forms Part Of The Industry 4.0 Megatrend
Four Technology Capabilities Underpin Digital Twin Software For Industrial Facilities
Technology Vendors Offer Digital Twins At Five Different Levels Of Sophistication
Digital Twins Deliver Enhanced Value Propositions To Multiple Stakeholders

Digital Twin Software Must Overcome Adoption Hurdles To Increase Market Penetration
Technology Executives At Industrial Firms Must Overcome Five Barriers To Digital Twin Success
Crossing The Chasm Requires A Concerted Effort To Find Digital Twin Innovators

Table of figures

Figure 1. Digital Twins For Industrial Facilities – Levels of Sophistication
Figure 2. Digital Twins For Industrial Facilities – Relevance For Key Stakeholders
Figure 3. Digital Twins For Industrial Facilities – Uptake By Asset Type

About the authors

Malavika Tohani

Research Director

Malavika leads the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. Her current research agenda focuses on the digitization of Operational Excellence and covers operational risk technologies, best practices and growth strategies. Her recent research focussed on benchmarking the capabilities of the prominent operational risk software vendors. She has over 10 years’ experience in research and strategy consulting. Malavika previously worked at Frost & Sullivan, managing and delivering advisory projects for clients involving expansion, acquisition, benchmarking and product development strategies. Malavika holds a MSc in Economics from Madras School of Economics.

David Metcalfe


David co-founded Verdantix in 2008 and leads the firm’s research and advisory work on the digitization of Operational Excellence which covers software, systems integration, wearables and drones. Prior to founding Verdantix, David was a Senior Vice President at Forrester Research and Head of Analysis and Forecasting for BT. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University in Game Theory and Decision Analysis and worked as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School.

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