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The study asserts that ‘collaborative engineering’ can help companies be more innovative and efficient, whereby the use of a digital twin helps facilitate coordination and communication between all those involved. But we are not there yet: One obstacle put forward in the study is international jurisprudence, which is often ambiguous or inconsistent. In addition, collaborative engineering requires regulated implementation plans. The onus here is predominately on management, which has to consider both the common objectives and individual interests of all those involved.

The study was compiled as part of the PAiCE (Platforms/Additive Manufacturing/Imaging/Communication/Engineering) technology program, in which the BMWi is funding more than a dozen projects aimed at integrating pioneering digital technologies in industrial processes and applications. These include INTEGRATE, an open platform for collaborative engineering, and ROBOTOP, a platform for using robots in the industrial and services sector.