Market research institute Gartner surveyed a total of 599 companies in China, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, and the US with annual revenue of over US$ 50 million and at least one active IoT project. The survey found that although just 13% of respondents are currently using a digital twin, 62% are at least in the process of planning such projects. According to Gartner, these findings indicate that digital twins are this year slowly entering mainstream use. Driving this trend is first and foremost the Internet of Things (IoT). Users hope to leverage digital twins to reduce downtimes and the need for repairs or to set their products apart from the competition.
The vast majority of the companies surveyed (88%) use digital twins for simulations, for instance for estimating the effects of the new design of an individual part on the flying qualities in aircraft construction. The data sources most frequently used for producing digital images are CAE software (48%), ERP applications (47%), maintenance data (45%), and sensors, system engineering software, and analysis software (each 44%). On average, users use five different sources.
Gartner has identified a trend toward the integration of multiple digital twins. For example, in a power plant, multiple digital twins could be deployed for the various valves, pumps, and generators, as well as a composite digital twin, which aggregates all data.