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  1. The bigger and more complicated the engineering problem, the more likely it is to have a digital twin. Firms that build rockets, planes and ships, for example, have been creating digital twins since the early 2000s, seeing significant operational efficiencies and cost-savings as a result. To date, however, few firms have been able to realise the full potential of this technology by using it to develop new value- added services for their customers. We have developed a framework designed to help scale the value of digital twins beyond operational efficiency towards new revenue streams. In spite of the hype surrounding digital twins, there is little guidance for executives to help them make sense of the business opportunities the technology presents, beyond cost savings and operational efficiencies. Many businesses are keen to get a greater return on their digital twins’ investment by capitalising on the innovation – and revenue generating - opportunities that may arise from a deeper understanding of how customers use their products. However, because very few firms are making significant progress in this regard, there is no blueprint to follow. New business models are evolving but the business opportunities for suppliers, technology partners and end-users is yet to be fully documented. Most businesses will be familiar with the business model canvas as a tool to identify current and future business model opportunities. Our ‘Four Values’ (4Vs) framework for digital twins is a more concise version of the tool, developed to help executives better understand potential new business models. It was designed from a literature review and validated and modified through industry interviews. The 4Vs framework covers: the value proposition for the product or service being offered, the value architecture or the infrastructure that the firm creates and maintains in order to generate sustainable revenues; the value network representing the firm’s infrastructure and network of partners needed to create value and to maintain good customer relationships; and value finance such as cost and revenue structures. Value proposition The value proposition describes how an organisation creates value for itself, its customers and other stakeholders such as supply chain partners. It defines the products and services offered, customer value (both for customers and other businesses) as well as the ownership structure. Examples of digital twin-based services include condition monitoring, visualization, analytics, data selling, training, data aggregation and lifespan extension. Examples of customer value in this context might include: decision support, personalisation, process optimisation and transparency, customer/operator experience and training. Value architecture The value architecture describes how the business model is structured. It has 5 elements: 1. Value control is the approach an organisation takes to control value in the ecosystem. For example, does it exist solely within its own ecosystem of digital twin services or does it intersect with other ecosystems? 2. Value delivery describes how the digital twins are delivered, are they centralised, decentralised or hybrid? It also seeks to understand any barriers that may prevent the delivery of digital twins to customers. 3. Interactions refers to the method of customer interaction with the digital twin. Common examples of interaction include desktop or mobile app, virtual reality and augmented reality interactions. 4. Data collection underlies the digital twin value proposition and can be a combination of the following: sensor based and/or supplied/purchased data. 5. Boundary resources are the resources made available to enhance network effects and scale of digital twin services. This typically comprises of the following: APIs, hackathons, software development toolkits and forums. Value network The value network is the understanding of interorganisational connections and collaborations between a network of parties, organisations and stakeholders. In the context of digital twin services, this is a given as the delivery mechanism relies on multiple organisations, technological infrastructure and stakeholders. Value finance This defines how organisations approach costing, pricing methods and revenue structure for digital twins. Digital twin revenue model most commonly refers to outcomes-based revenue streams and data-driven revenue models. Digital twin pricing models include, for example, freemium and premium, subscription models, value-based pricing and outcome-based pricing models. Four types of digital twin business models were identified from extensive interviews with middle and top management on services offered by digital twins, we identified four different types of business models and applied our 4Vs approach to understand how those models are configured and how they generate value. Brokers These were all found in information, data and system services industries. Their value proposition is to provide a data marketplace that orchestrates the different players in the ecosystem and provides anonymised performance data from, for example, vehicle engines or heating systems for buildings. Value Finance consists of recurring monthly revenues levied through a platform which itself takes a fee and allocates the rest according to the partnership arrangements. Maintenance-optimisers This business model is prevalent in the world of complex assets, such as chemical processing plants and buildings. Its value proposition lies in providing additional insights to the customer on the maintenance of their assets to provide just-in-time services. What-if analysis and scenario planning are used to augment the services provided with the physical asset that is sold. Its Value Architecture is both open and closed, as these firms play in ecosystems but also create their own. They control the supply chain, how they design the asset, how they test it and deliver it. Its Value Network consists of strategic partners in process modelling, 3D visualisation, CAD, infrastructure and telecommunications. Value Finance includes software and services which provide a good margin within a subscription model. Clients are more likely to take add-on services that show significant cost savings. Uptime assurers This business model tends to be found in the transport sector, where it’s important to maximise the uptime of the aircraft, train or vehicle. The value proposition centres on keeping these vehicles operational, either through predictive maintenance for vehicle/ aircraft fleet management and, in the case of HGVs, route optimisation. Its Value Architecture is transitioning from closed to open ecosystems. There are fewer lock- in solutions as customers increasingly want an ecosystems approach. Typically, it is distributors, head offices and workshops that interact with the digital twin rather than the end-customer. The Value Network is open at the design and assembly lifecycle stages but becomes closed during sustainment phases. For direct customers digital twins are built in-house and are therefore less reliant on third-party solutions. Its Value Finance is focused on customers paying a fee to maximise the uptime of the vehicle or aircraft, guaranteeing, for example, access five days a week between certain hours. Mission assurers This business model focuses on delivering the necessary outcome to the customers. It tends to be found with government clients in the defense and aerospace sector. Value propositions are centered around improving efficacy of support and maintenance/ operator insight and guaranteeing mission success or completion. These business models suffer from a complex landscape of ownership for integrators of systems as much of the data does not make it to sustainment stages. Its Value Architecture is designed to deliver a series of digital threads in a decentralised manner. Immersive technologies are used for training purposes or improved operator experience. Its Value Network is more closed than open as these industries focus on critical missions of highly secure assets. Therefore, service providers are more security minded and careful of relying on third-party platforms for digital twin services. Semi-open architecture is used to connect to different hierarchies of digital twins/digital threads. Value Finance revealed that existing pricing models, contracts and commercial models are not yet necessarily mature enough to transition into platform-based revenue models. Insights as a service is a future direction but challenging at the moment, with the market not yet mature for outcome-based pricing. For B2B service-providers who are looking to generate new revenue from their digital twins, it is important to consider how the business model should be configured and identify major barriers to their success. Our research found that the barriers most often cited were cost, cybersecurity, cultural acceptance of the technology, commercial or market needs and, perhaps most significantly, a lack of buy-in from business leaders. Our 4Vs framework has been designed to help those leaders arrive at a better understanding of the business opportunities digital twin services can provide. We hope this will drive innovation and help digital twins realise their full business potential. Now for a small request to the reader that has reached this far, we are looking to scale these research findings in our mass survey across industry on the business models of digital twins. If your organisation is planning to implement or has already started its journey of transformation with digital twins please help support our study by participating in our survey. Survey remains fully anonymised and all our findings will be shared with the DTHub community in an executive summary by the end of the year. Link to participate in the survey study https://cambridge.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0PXRkrDsXwtCnXg
  2. Defence & Digital Work is being undertaken to implement a Defence Digital Transformation. Recently, several prominent figures have been appointed to further that objective. In this sense, ‘defence’ includes homeland security with its response to civilian threats and disasters, not only terrorist or cyber related but also natural ones such as flooding and those need to mitigate Covid and similar major impacting events. In such circumstances police, ambulance, fire-fighters and others (e.g. NHS, water, electricity and gas provision) may need to be supplemented by the armed forces. This poses the question about what changes are needed individually for each of these responders, in addition to their coordination. The common thread, important to this community, is clearly digital twins. The picture is still emerging but below (The likely route for new-product development) is my summary of the likely direction to be taken by the key players. It summarises and builds on work undertaken by TDI, the DT Hub’s guidelines (DT Tool-Kit and other work), plus multi-domain integration considerations sponsored by the Government. Following the summary, and expected discussion around it, I intend to invite open discussion about aspects that it raises, for example: 1. What lessons come from previous model-based requirements’ capture and use of scenarios? 2. Does this formalisation of process detract from the freedom of design teams? 3. Customer and all stakeholder engagement is central to this process. Test Engineers often encapsulate a good balance between technical aspects and customer management. So, is offering more responsibility to Test Engineers a route to mitigate the claimed shortage of suitably qualified and experienced people (SQEPS)? Sectors outside defence have already trodden this path and so I hope that people with that experience will also contribute. The ideas and experiences will contribute to the thinking and planning in the defence sector. The likely route for new-product development: Requirements:- The use of high-level software models to define requirements is being advocated. The models will represent only the item (equipment) to be produced and will be independent of environment and other models. Scenarios aimed at demonstrating what is required of the new equipment will be prepared. A federation of models and the forthcoming Defence Synthetic Environment will be created to run the scenarios. Later in the project the models will become physics/mathematical accurate representations, at this stage they would be more akin to training models being ‘visual-only’, as used in computer gaming. These are simpler to generate and change. A main purpose is to allow users, and all other stakeholders, to participate in requirements’ validation and achieve buy-in to the project. Lifecycle:- The intent is to add detail to the initially validated requirements’ model as the project’s design and development lifecycle rolls out. A key feature is that the original scenarios should produce the same test and evaluation results at each iteration to verify that the implementation of the current stage has remained on-track – or not. This will make it easier for DE&S Project Managers to monitor project progress and to know when to call dstl (Design Authority) back to arbitrate. It is understood that ‘the model’ may actually be several models – sometimes called an eco-system of models. A typical eco-system would include supply chain information, stock availability, documentation database etc. that would be linked and interdependent using a common parameter database. Many of these could be shared between several projects so that re-using ‘templates’ from previous work becomes viable and highly cost-effective. Digital Twins:- The final testing stage would be part of acceptance before any real-world trials are undertaken – thereby further reducing risks and costs, as well as being more environmentally friendly. Taking it a stage further, a copy of the ‘as built’ model(s) would be delivered with each equipment and, at that stage, it becomes a ‘digital twin’ of the delivered entity. The digital twin can then be used in parallel with the real entity to assist with identifying any need for preventative maintenance. It can also be used to ‘look-ahead’ to predict if/how the equipment could be used best in a forthcoming engagement. This may be a new scenario and federated with other models to form a task force. In a multi-domain operation, such as required to respond to a civil disaster, the twins from all participating domains would feature in the scenarios, ideally in the same synthetic environment. Feedback & Feed-forward:- The introduction of digital twins offers a significant change to existing in-Service support as well as strategic and tactical planning. it also offers a mechanism to link learning from the in-Service usage back down the supply chain to the design stages for subsequent updates or related projects. Involvement of users at a very early stage is built-in, so their buy-in and ideas can be incorporated at cost-effective points in the lifecycle. It also promotes re-use, particularly of model components, even after the original equipment is retired. Summarising:- Adding up the amount of changes needed and the benefits, the digital approach leading to digital twins is thought to be a ‘good thing’. Initially, most benefit may be achieved in the specification, design and development stages, with post-delivery benefits being realised once a significant family of twins have emerged. So, what next? Your engagement is needed to provide the most effective transition along the Defence Digital learning curve. Please comment, add your views about the 3 aspects listed above, add more topics – there are no wrong answers and few boundaries on what will be considered. Many thanks for your time to read this and I look forward to hearing your views and experiences. Dave
  3. Interesting Question: What is one difficulty that you’ve encountered while trying to create a Digital Twin? Context: We’ve heard that creating a Digital Twin can be a bumpy road. Various challenges can get in the way no matter what sort of Digital Twin you’re trying to set up or why. We’ve noticed in various conversations on the DT Hub that there is a wide range of these challenges, from technical or cultural to those related to resources or supply chains, and so many more. We’d like to hear about your experiences, so please share them with us here. Just a few guidelines before you start: One example at a time please - no lists! However, multiple posts are welcomed Please cite the industry you’re talking about Please: Your posts need to be pithy: · Give each post a title that sums up your blocker · Limit each post to 100 words or so, or supply a short summary at the top if you can’t. · Please include an image, it helps your post stand out We encourage you to like, or vote, on each other’s posts if you agree with them, your facilitator Joao and the DT Hub/ 100%Open are looking forward to reading your input. Thank you.
  4. Katie Walsh

    Defining Our Digital Twin Challenges!

    Creating Digital Twins can be like sailing in uncharted waters, so how do you handle it when unforeseen challenges rock the boat? Can you even predict what kinds of things will disrupt your journey? We’ve noticed in various conversations on the DT Hub that no matter what sort of Digital Twin you’re trying to set up or why, there is an incredibly wide range of potential disruptions. From technical to cultural, from resources to supply chains, almost every avenue is susceptible to producing a challenge somewhere. Many examples that we’ve already seen have only become apparent once the people developing Digital Twins are up against them in real time, so that’s why the DT Hub has launched this new activity, Defining Our Digital Twin Challenges! We would like to know about the challenges you’ve encountered on your DT journey in order to make the overall roadmap easier to follow. The information you provide will help us to ultimately define our common challenges so we can start to solve them together. This series of thematic workshops, run by the DT Hub, will progress the conversation around the Digital Twin Journey, and surface some of the challenges that organisations are still facing whilst embarking on their journey. Each Challenge will culminate in an Activity, where we will present the specific challenge areas that you have brought to us to a select group in order to provide constructive feedback. The outcome of these workshops will be to share insights from inside and outside the community for the benefit of the community as a whole. You can use this activity Bring out your Digital Twin Challenges to explore your challenges with others, and our crowd facilitator, Joao, will be interacting with you to make sure you get the best experience possible. Joao is a former market researcher, court interpreter and has been a brilliant member of our team for years as a 100%Open Associate. We look forward to your invaluable contributions, and in turn the exponential development of the DT journey.
  5. See the post in the Defence Digital Network for information about the 7 topics to be expanded in the Defence DT Roadmap and what help is requested.
  6. Dave Murray

    Test Engineering and DTs

    I am considering starting a network for topics related to Lifecycle V&V (Validation and Verification) centred on Evaluation and Testing, and this message is to poll the level of potential interest. I imagine the network would offer the following: · A place for Test Engineers from different market sectors to share experiences and gain knowledge · Support for those areas where DT activity is low but growing, the Defence Sector is an example, to benefit from the experiences of other sectors Test Engineers have a mix of technical and customer skills that are central to successful project implementation. The DT concept provides a lifecycle project-thread that provides Test Engineers with an unprecedented opportunity to exercise their skills. Maybe finding a way to maximise this opportunity might also attract more people to the career, and be a way to improve recruitment into the world of Engineering? If we launch this Network, would you consider joining it? Dave Murray
  7. The objective of the new network (The Defence Digital Network) is to provide a forum for the rapidly emerging ‘new-look’ of defence, its Digital Backbone and its nascent DT journey. This DT Hub is uniquely placed to bring together the best thinking and best ideas from all sectors, and people from all levels within those sectors. The Defence Digital Network will provide a forum for all sectors to discuss topics of relevance to those engaged with the defence change program – in industry, academia and government. Key Military, MOD and DE&S people, engaged with implementing the changes, will be invited to pose topics about which they would like to engage with the wider DT community. Responses will be collated and returned, with responders accredited where they wish to be. This will assist linking SMEs (and others) with defence sector decision makers as well as creating a path for organisations in other sectors to understand and engage with defence. Both of these aspects are declared objectives for the defence change program. In addition, the network will address the more detailed aspects faced by people and organisations involved with Digital Twins. The original topics of Lifecycle V&V, the expanding role of Test Engineers are examples of that. It will take a little time to build the infrastructure and threads for The Defence Digital Network so please join, keep checking what we are doing and, even better, add your thoughts about topics of importance and the direction we can take to achieve our objectives.
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