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American Lean Weekday: Leadership | Lean Culture & Intrapreneurship | Lean Methods | Industry 4.0 | Case Studies - Tom Reed: Lean Enthusiast & President of American Lean EPISODE 181, 29th October 2020
Digital Twins can Optimize your Operations- Even a Kiwi Farm
00:00:00 00:04:43

Digital Twins can Optimize your Operations- Even a Kiwi Farm

A digital twin allows companies to develop a digital version of any scenario they might face in the physical world. Businesses can research, create, test, simulate, and prepare for any scenario they think occurs. Digital twins can optimize your operations.

There are many practical uses for digital twins. Digital twins can model and optimize any part of a business. Here are a few use areas.

1.    When designing buildings

Digital twins allow engineers and architects to develop models based on the location of the building. They can simulate the movement of the building as it sinks into the ground. Modeling the building and how it will change over time- think sinking further into the ground- allows for identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities before they occur. 

This saves money and potential catastrophes. I bet the Leaning Tower of Pisa would have liked this technology.

I remember when I was an engineering student at the University of Cincinnati, and they built a new library while I was there. By the time I graduated, the library was already sinking. The story was, they hadn’t accounted for the weight of the books. I don’t know if this is true, but I’m sure a digital twin would have helped them model that.

2.    Troubleshooting and optimization

These are two areas where digital twins benefit your organization the most. Traditional research and development require vast amounts of data collection and physical resources to check every potential outcome. Instead of using physical resources, a digital twin can simulate the scenarios using data.  

The predictions provided are almost identical and cost much less than using physical resources.

3.    Maintenance optimization

Tesla builds a digital twin of every car model they produce. They use the digital twin to collect data from their cars in service. They collect and share information with cars on the road.

If the digital twin allows Tesla to predict any maintenance issues for their fleet and fix many maintenance items remotely. If they sense a rattle in a door, they can send an update that adjusts the hydraulics of that door.

4.    Agriculture optimization

Plant and food researchers from America have compiled over 30 years of Kiwi farm pollination data to develop digital twins of the farms. The complex digital twins enable scientists to model several factors at once. In this case the modeling of plants and pollinating bees.

To conduct the experiments in real life, testing only six variables, would require more kiwi farms than exist in New Zealand. The interesting results they learned from the model is the optimum number of female flowers is 65%.

The ideal number of bees is 6-8 bees per 1000 plants and diminishes if more bees are used. I don’t know about you, but 1000 plants per 8 bees sound like a lot of work. I guess that’s where the saying busy as a bee comes from. 

It’s clear to see that digital twins can optimize your operations regardless of your industry.

As always, it’s an honor to serve you, and I hope this helps you and your organization get a little better today.

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