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 digital technologies for Operational Excellence including digital twins and software solutions for industrial risk and asset management. Malavika has over 15 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 is the CEO of Verdantix and co-founded the firm in 2008. Based on his 20 years of experience in technology strategy and research roles he provides guidance on digital strategies to C-level executives at technology providers, partners at private equity firms and function heads at large corporations. His current focus is on helping clients understand their market opportunity tied to ESG investment trends and their impact on corporate sustainability strategies. During his 12 years running Verdantix – including 4 leading the New York office – he has helped dozens of clients grow their businesses through fund raising, acquisitions and international growth. David was previously SVP Research at Forrester and Head of Analysis & Forecasting at BT. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University and also worked as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School.

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