3Q 2019

Leveraging Digital Twin Approach for Sustainable Manufacturing

Efficiency in operations and product design optimization have become strategic imperatives in manufacturing. In addition, pressure from consumers, investors, and regulators to adopt sustainable business practices makes it more difficult for manufacturing companies to maintain their bottom line. Although digital twin technology is often marketed as the silver bullet for manufacturing, offering to increase inefficiencies in operations, facilitate innovative product design, and promote sustainable practices, digital twins are simply a tool. The reality is that obtaining the technology does not guarantee success—companies need to know how to effectively leverage it to achieve their sustainability goals. And successful implementation requires changes at the organizational level.

The digital twin approach presents many advantages for manufacturing companies. Employing the breadth and depth of the information afforded through the use of digital twins enables companies to not only defend their position in the market by increasing efficiency in operations but also grow their market share by optimizing product development and innovation. Implementing digital twins does not necessarily require new tools but rather a new approach for managing and using data.

This Guidehouse Insights Strategy Insight report discusses the concept of digital twins. The study analyzes definitions of digital twin and how the technology can be used to help meet sustainability and efficiency goals. It delves into the philosophy, basics, and potential development of digital twin technology as demand for operational efficiency grows. The report also includes recommendations for market players that want to optimize digital twin potential.
Pages 14
Tables | Charts | Figures 2
  • What is the definition of a digital twin?
  • How can digital twins help manufacturing companies achieve their sustainability goals?
  • What are different dimensions of maturity in applying digital twin technology?
  • What are prerequisites for implementing digital twin technology?
  • What organizational changes need to happen to successfully implement this technology?
  • Manufacturing industry leaders (C-Suite)
  • Sustainability leaders in manufacturing industry
  • Regulators
  • Manufacturing vendors
  • Investor community




Applying the Digital Twin Approach

Pull Factors for Manufacturing Industry to Adopt Digital Twin Approach

Examining Digital Twin Basics

Grasping Digital Twin Philosophy Is Crucial to Success

Digital Twin Maturity Is Multidimensional


Richness of Data

User Interface


Data Latency


Digital Twins Enable Sustainable Manufacturing

Digital Twin Facilitates Sustainable Thinking Within the Organization

Increases Accountability

Facilitates Goal Setting

Facilitates Sustainability Messaging

Digital Twins Technologies Succeed in Real-World Applications

Managing Assets 

Promoting Building Operational Efficiency

Improving Customer Service

Developing New Product Design

Connecting Equipment to Factory Staff

Creating Predictive Maintenance Schedules

Organizational Support Is Key to Effective Digital Twin Implementation

Standardize Data Management Processes Like Governance

Set Priorities

Align the Digital Twin Approach with Sustainability Goals and KPIs

  • Digital Twin Maturity 
  • Sustainable Manufacturing Cycle 
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