Momentum is growing for digital twin technology in the aerospace and defence industries. A new report from Capgemini suggests that almost three-quarters of industry players have a long-term roadmap for implementing digital twins.

Digital twins are virtual replicas of physical systems, helping to model, simulate, monitor, analyse, and constantly optimise the physical world. As customer preferences and regulations evolve, amid increasing concerns about climate change, digital twins can help firms build predictive models that can fast-track the development of products which meet these demands, boosting sales in the process.

A new Capgemini report has examined how digital twins are increasingly adding intelligence to real world business decisions in the aerospace and defence sectors. The technology offers up an invaluable insight into incoming challenges, helping operators to clearly identify areas that need extra attention, and work to fix them before they come to fruition in the real world.

Business leaders are always looking for ways to streamline operations, improve efficiencies and ultimately deliver growth and profit. The organisations in the aerospace and defence industry are no exception.

A 73% majority of aerospace and defence organisations told Capgemini they now have a long-term roadmap, of five years or more, for digital twin implementation. Meanwhile, 61% now consider digital twins a key strategic part of the overall digital transformation of their organisation – 10% higher than in two years ago.

The value of aerospace and defence investments in digital twins is growing as well as the volume. The amount being sunk into such projects by companies has grown by 40% from the last financial year, according to the researchers. This is likely driven by a growing confidence in the technology’s ability to drive both top- and bottom-line benefits.

When asked which benefits were motivating their investment in digital twinning, the largest majority of 71% identified cost cutting as their key point. But they also cited proactive gains, with 70% anticipating digital twins could help them reduce the time to market of new products, and 63% expecting this could help boost sales – crucial during a time of economic uncertainty. And 68% added that digital twins could help provide an advanced training environment for employees – enabling them to upskill existing staff rapidly amid a tightened talent market.

Decarbonising defence

At the same time, sustainability has risen up every agenda in 2023 – even in industries producing arms and military weaponry. But while major efforts are well underway in the aerospace and defence industry – sustainability remains a sticking point. In 2021, for example, the aviation industry alone still accounted for over 2% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

Aerospace and defence organisations recognise this is not good enough, however – and this is another major driving factor in aerospace and defence investment in digital twins. A 67% majority of firms also told researchers that improving sustainability was a key driver in their digital twin investments; up from 60% in 2022.

Commenting on the findings, Capgemini leaders Lee Annecchino and Jacques Bacry explained, “Design plays a crucial part in the process of bringing new products to market. The sooner you can design an engine that uses 50% less fuel or runs on green hydrogen sources, the quicker you can bring a more sustainable model to fruition. Getting the design of an aircraft right from the get-go can have significant knock-on effects, and nearly half (47%) of organisations surveyed agree that implementing digital twins in the design phase will help yield benefits in the short term.”

Capgemini was recently listed as one of the UK’s top consulting firms in’s 2023 rankings.

This article was originally published here.

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