Data management

Report Says Digital Twins Can Drive Down Costs Post-COVID

AI-driven technology in the form of digital twins is helping companies reduce costs as they reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown, says a report from research and advisory company Gartner.


The use of AI-driven technology in the form of digital twins is helping companies worldwide reduce costs as they start to reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown, according to a report from research and advisory company Gartner.

The paper looks at how digital twins are being used in rail transport, the oil and gas industry, healthcare, and supply chain industries to drive down costs following the global pandemic.

But what is a digital twin? It is a virtual digital double of a physical object, system or process that helps companies focus their human experts’ time on more valuable areas.

“Internet of things (IoT) implementations involving digital twins are proving to be helpful in reducing costs," the report says. "Companies have been using these innovations to improve their situation awareness and automate their business responses to changing conditions.”

Outlined in the report, "How Can We Use IoT and Digital Twins to Reduce Costs After the COVID-19 Lockdown?" Gartner identify the following four ways in which this technology can be used across different industries:

  • Switch from traditional to condition-based maintenance in the transportation rail industry 
  • Use predictive maintenance to anticipate high-impact disruptions in the oil and gas industry
  • Monitor patients in real-time to increase comfort and avoid life-threatening conditions in healthcare
  • Track and monitor high-value, perishable goods to reduce loss and damage in supply chains

“Companies can initially use digital twins to save money simply by improving situational awareness. For example, digital twins can help companies to recognize equipment failures before they stall production, allowing repairs to be made early or at less cost. Companies can then save even more money when they further automate their business response to such changing conditions,” the report says.

Oil and Gas

“Because of their large portfolios of high-value assets, companies in the oil and gas industry have been relatively aggressive in adopting digital twins,” the report said.

A common trend for companies is to use digital twins for modeling and analysis of operations such as oil rigs, pipelines, and processing facilities.

Gartner identified one case study in which an oil and gas company used predictive maintenance analytics on historical data and detected the imminent failure of a major component of their offshore oil platform. This gave them enough time to carry out preventive maintenance and avoided a week of unplanned downtime and lost production costs.

“By itself, this action produced payback on their digital twin investment in less than a year,” the report said.

Read the full story here.

Find the report here.