ManufacturingMay 26, 2021

Positive News for Sustainable Business Transformation

The Answer Lies in Virtual Twin Technology With less than 10 years…
Avatar Susanne Lammers

The Answer Lies in Virtual Twin Technology

Virtual twin of a human hand.

With less than 10 years left to the 2030 deadline of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is clear that we are all not yet doing enough to achieve global sustainability targets. The current rate of production and consumption worldwide continues to deplete resources and damage our planet faster than it can recover.

Business leaders widely acknowledge that they have an urgent need to accelerate their transformation towards a more sustainable, circular economy to make it possible to achieve these goals. Through this blog, you will come to understand how digital technology will play a crucial role in accelerating this sustainable transformation, and how to get started.

One key enabler already exists — by adopting digital twin technology such as the Virtual Twin Experience by Dassault Systèmes, which provides companies with real-time virtual representations of products, processes and systems based on data gathered from real-world interactions. Such capabilities are a must to enact systemic changes. These can be used to model, visualize, predict and provide feedback on properties and performance, which are continuously updated across the lifecycle of the physical asset.

Virtual twins help companies raise production efficiency while reducing operational costs, use of resources and carbon footprint. The technology enables and supports disruptive innovation and agile, customer-centric, circular business models in companies. Top players in industries such as electric vehicle manufacturing as well as drug and healthcare laboratories have already experienced great success; yet uptake of virtual twin technology remains slow, with an adoption rate of only 10% globally (Source: here).

The Biggest Obstacle to Accelerating Sustainability

Businesses are expected to take on the responsibility to be more sustainable because sustainability is becoming a critical lever for business strategy. It dictates a new set of values that companies must adopt to ensure relevancy, conquer new markets, prepare their workforce of the future and become part of the solution.

So, if the solution to enable sustainable transformation for businesses already exists—why are virtual twins still underutilized in many industries?

In a poll we conducted in our webinar, How Virtual Twins Accelerate Sustainable Operations and Circular Ambitions, we asked hundreds of attendees to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how familiar they were with the applications of virtual twin technologies to solve sustainability challenges. 51% answered 1 (least familiar), showing that the biggest obstacle to the adoption of virtual twin technology was the limited understanding of the technology, its use cases, and how they benefit businesses.

Actionable Recommendations for Business Leaders

To smooth the transition for companies to adopt virtual twin technology in their operations, here are five actionable recommendations for key decision-makers to consider:

  1. Tie together technology and sustainability agendas: Ensure leadership support for tying together the technology, sustainability and circular agendas, including measuring and tracking value, connecting to growth strategies and factoring in sustainable value into key investment decision-making;
  2. Improve understanding: Improve understanding of virtual twin technology and potential use cases across the organization, including infrastructure requirements, and legacy constraints;
  3. Focus on disruptive, systems-change use cases: Focus on scaling solutions with transformational sustainability impact, moving beyond efficiency improvements and incrementalism, towards systemic change as presented by the circular economy and large-scale industry de-carbonization;
  4. Deploy responsibly: Deploy virtual twins based on responsible and inclusive principles, ensuring transparency, inclusion and accessibility are embedded from the start;
  5. Rally ecosystem support: Build broad support with private, public sector and civil society to ensure long-term success and help de-risk and pilot use cases where return on investment may be perceived as too uncertain for private capital.

The Tangible Benefits of Sustainability in Business

Transformation towards sustainability is a big commitment for businesses, so it is only natural for business leaders to ask: “Why should we be more sustainable?” More than just a corporate social responsibility, companies may also gain tangible benefits for their business through sustainable transformation:

  • Better risk mitigation
  • New revenue streams
  • More resilient supply chain and manufacturing operations
  • Future- and regulation-proof operations
  • Create a savvy and empowered workforce of the future
  • Less pressure on finite resources and potential elimination of industrial waste
  • Improvement of intangible assets such as branding and perceived value of company
  • Visibility over environmental impact (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Lead by example in creating a positive impact on the world

Virtual twin technology presents a largely untapped opportunity for companies to create environmentally responsible global value chains, drive sustainable innovation at scale, and make systemic progress towards more circular and less carbon-intensive economic systems. The global virtual twin market has yet to fully mature but is projected to grow rapidly as more businesses realize its potential. Enabling this transformation requires key decision-makers in companies to make a greater effort to understand virtual twin technology and lay the foundation for its implementation.

DELMIA helps industries and service providers achieve sustainable ambitions by providing digital capabilities that can help enable and accelerate more circular and sustainable operations in combination with subject matter expertise.

I. Virtual Twin Experience – enables virtual collaboration, modeling and simulation of conditions; understand what-if scenarios clearly, predict results more accurately and prescribe how to better handle situations in the physical world.

II. Collaboration – empowers teams to find new ways to innovate by bringing people together in a structure that guides discovery, analysis and problem solving—regardless of where or how they work.

III. Flexibility – future-proof technology that can grow with the industry and organization.

Interested in discovering how DELMIA and Virtual Twin technology enable and accelerate a sustainable transformation for your global operations? Learn more from our in-depth report and webinar below to discover:

  • We partnered with Accenture to examine the critical role played by virtual twins in accelerating sustainability. The report also takes an in-depth look on virtual twin technology, its various use cases, as well as benefits. To read the full report, click here.
  • Our webinar, How Virtual Twins Accelerate Sustainable Operations and Circular Ambitions features insights from senior experts on the potential of virtual twin technology to enable more sustainable manufacturing and operations—as well as the transition towards a more circular economy. Organized in partnership with GreenBiz and Accenture, the webinar is available for viewing on-demand. Click here to watch now.
For more information visit our webpage or get in touch with us directly.

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