Home » Aerospace and defence sectors invest heavily in digital twins, survey finds

Aerospace and defence sectors invest heavily in digital twins, survey finds

by Liam Turner
A digital representation of a jet engine

Investment from the aerospace and defence (A&D) industry in digital twin technology has shot up by 40% in the last year.

That’s according to a new report from technology consultants Capgemini, which found a growing trend for A&D firms turning to digital twin tech to advance their digital transformation journeys, achieve digital continuity, and boost the intelligence of their operations.

Of the 150 aerospace and defense organisations surveyed for the report – ‘Mirroring Reality: Digital Twins in aerospace and defense‘ – 80% had an operational digital twin program, with the remainder planning to start one.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of aerospace companies said they have a long-term roadmap for digital twin technology – compared with 57% a year ago.

Nearly two-thirds (61%) said they see digital twin technology as a strategic part of the overall digital transformation of their business – compared with 51% in 2021.

According to the research, key factors driving companies to invest in digital twins include cost savings (71%), reducing time to market (70%), increasing sales (63%), and providing an advanced training environment for employees (68%).

Two-thirds (67%) of respondents said improving sustainability is a key driver for their digital twin investments – up from 60% in 2022.

‘Automation at every point’

Lee Annecchino, global industry lead for Aerospace and Defense at Capgemini, said: “Aerospace businesses are beginning to appreciate that digital twins hold greater value than just creating 3D models of products and solutions.

“Digital twins’ true potential is being able to accurately simulate every step of the creation process, from design to manufacturing and through real-world operations and applications.

“The 3D models that many organisations are using today are just static images – a fully realised digital twin implementation is a movie.”

He continued: “If greater investment in the technology continues, as our research indicates, digital twins will enable automation at every point on the value chain, generating significant cost reductions and driving innovation.

“Organisations now need to ensure they can realise the full potential of this transformative technology, with a baseline digital infrastructure and a unified data platform as key foundations.”

The report further highlights that intelligent digital infrastructure and good data management are crucial to fully leverage the potential of digital twin technology – something 78% of OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) and Tier 1 suppliers that have on-going digital twin initiatives agreed with.

However, nearly 60% of organisations still said the lack of unified data platforms presents a challenge to digital twin deployment.

Image: Chesky/Shutterstock

Read next: Digital-twin provider Aize partners with reality-capture firm Cintoo to boost industry efficiency

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