2021 Digital Twin Trends: 5 Industries Expecting Big Gains from Digital Twin Deployments

The digital twin is currently being used to optimize, monitor, and automate industrial processes across diverse industries. 2020 statistics put the market size for digital twin technology at approximately $3.1billion with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 58% meaning that by 2026, it’s market size will hit the 48 billion-dollar mark. The projected growth rate is expected to be driven by continuous industrial adoption of digital twin technology and we kick-start the year 2021 by highlighting the top 5 industrial sectors projected to make the most use of digital twin technology and reap its rich rewards.

Aerospace and Defense Industry – The aerospace and defense industry is expected to ramp up its use of digital twins as an industrial design, monitoring, process optimization, and safety enhancement tool in 2021. The unique selling point digital twins provide as a powerful digital shadow of physical systems and processes also means the industry can carry out extensive research without having to worry about personnel safety.

At the industrial design level, Digital Twins are deployed as testing and evaluation tools to check the integrity of airplane features and how they’ll function in the real world. An example is evaluating the performance of airfoil blades in jet engines such as the thrust they produce in real-world settings. At the facility level, the aerospace and defense industry is expected to rely on digital twin technology for capacity planning, real-time remote monitoring, and process optimization.

An example is the use of a digital twin to monitor complex operational processes to provide accurate visualized data that help decision-makers take action in real-time. The accurate digital shadow a digital twin provides supports the remote monitoring of facilities located in remote locations which allow stakeholders or analyst with accurate visuals of an aerospace facility when troubleshooting operational processes.

The Manufacturing Industry – The manufacturing industry has long been the poster child for the successful application of digital twin technology. The digital twin has been applied within the manufacturing industry to optimize production processes, support industry 4.0 initiatives, deliver optimized data-driven performances, and as a remote monitoring tool. With Covid-19, which is still an important factor in manufacturing, large scale disruptions have occurred to traditional supply chains and international distribution lines. These disruptions also extend to the factory floor as most governments have put multiple guidelines in place to protect shop floor operators. These disruptions affect the production line and master production plans in diverse ways.

2021 is expected to witness the continuous application of the digital twin to develop workable strategies to beat both old and new disruptions to the manufacturing process. The digital twin is expected to mature into a scheduling black box that tracks production processes or schedules against available resources and provide real-time time operational support when the production process goes off its scheduled or planned pathways. The increased adoption of Industrial IoT and edge computing is expected to provide the data needed to create and constantly build accurate digital twins of the manufacturing process.

Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industry – The healthcare industry is expected to be a major adopter of the digital twin in 2021 and the coming years. The driving forces behind its increased adoption rate also revolve around IoT, industry 4.0, and patient care. The industry is expected to apply digital twin technology to capture data from patients, processes, and facilities to deliver high-performing service-levels to its large and diverse customer base.

For patients, the digital twin is expected to be used as a monitoring solution to map out the effects of specific medications on the receiver. Data captured from implants and other Med-tech devices also provide supportive information the healthcare industry intends to explore to improve its services to both inpatient and outpatient care. The healthcare and pharmaceutical industry also expects to reap rich rewards at the facility level by leveraging the digital twin’s ability to map out complex processes accurately. Thus, the digital twin will be employed as a capacity planning, inventory management, and remote monitoring tool to properly manage the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and the disbursement of large scale immunization products such as the new Coronavirus vaccines.

Energy and Utility Industry – The delivery of utility services to tens of thousands of individuals within a city or millions within a state is a complex process utility service providers continue to struggle with. In the energy or power sector, for example, the ability to predict power outages and determine how much of the physical and cyber control systems of a power grid remains active during an outage or a natural disaster plays a huge role in determining how quickly energy sources can be restored. The traditional way of troubleshooting extensive grids by inspecting individual transformers lead to extended outages.

The energy and utility industry has come to recognize the digital twin as a powerful tool for developing a more robust and manageable grid. True interchange of data between utility systems such as the power grid system and a digital twin means the effects of external factors to the grid can be determined and preemptive measures taken to ensure the grid does not collapse which increases the duration of a power outage. The energy and utility industry is expected to deploy the digital twin as a monitoring, predictive, analytical tool in 2021 to deliver optimized services to its customers.

The Transportation Industry – Accurate capacity planning, scheduling, and monitoring transportation assets are the life blood of the transportation industry. The digital twin provides the most advanced technology that can be used to accomplish all three activities that ensure airports, trains, and city transportation facilities run optimally and on time. The digital twin is expected to make use of data captured by extensive IoT networks to optimize the diverse processes occurring within the transportation industry. The digital twin will help with logistics, capacity planning in train stations or airports, scheduling, and monitoring the progress of transportation assets.


The digital twin is a powerful analytical tool service providers must consider taking advantage of in 2021. You can learn more about how digital twins function and its diverse applications in your industrial niche or business organization today by requesting a demo of Simio Digital Twin.

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