For these very reasons, IT analysis and market research institute Gartner expects half of all major industrial companies to be using digital twins by 2021, increasing their effectiveness by ten percent (link to the whole study can be found in the related link section). To leverage the full potential of the digital twin, however, real systems in the future don’t just need to be networked with each other: They also need to develop the ability to “think” and act autonomously. Development is trending in the direction of artificial intelligence, from simple mutual perception and interaction to communication and independent optimization. This also requires integrated information systems that permit a continuous exchange of information.
Developing digital twins calls for powerful software systems that can implement them along the whole value chain – for planning and designing products, machines, and plants and operating products and production systems. This allows users to act much more flexibly and efficiently and to customize their manufacturing.