Testing the limits

Digital twins can be put to work in a number of ways. The most obvious is the way I’ve just described – a cyclical sequence of steady, incremental improvement that drives our virtuous circle. But there are other options, and one of them is extreme.

One of the great advantages of the digital twin is that, although based on reality, the simulations can test changes to the “as is” situation without actually changing it, giving a virtual view of reality that doesn’t impact operations. Changes or additions made to the model are localized. Scenarios can be tested to your heart’s content.

This is why a digital twin gives organizations the option of taking things to the max. Businesses can simulate radical changes to operations to see what happens, in a way no one would dare attempt in real life. For example, suppose you want to test large-scale relocation of work between countries and then introduce radical process changes to make best use of productivity-enhancing AI and automation solutions. How could you make that work?

Or suppose a government imposes temporary but harsh import tariffs on a country that brings together sub-assemblies for completion and shipment as finished products? What does this do to your costs and time-to-delivery, what are your other production options, and what regulatory issues will need to be addressed if you manufacture elsewhere?

In these and other such cases, the digital twin can help you make the most of a best-case scenario and mitigate against worst-case outcomes.