The advantages of software simulators for the manufacturing sector

The words “manufacturing sector” conjure up images of machines, assembly lines, workers, and the production of physical objects. This is even more true when we think of what is commonly defined as “heavy industry”.

Yet in reality, for some years already, the digital contribution has transformed not only the way in which goods are produced, but indeed who they are created and managed: the whole design, implementation, production and analysis process.

A central role, in that sense, is played by the so-called Digital Twin.

What is a Digital Twin?

An excellent definition of Digital Twin is that given by Deloitte in a very interesting report that we heartly advise you to read (here) and can be relayed as follows:

“A near-real-time digital image of a physical object or process that helps optimize business performance."

Until just a few years ago, the Digital Twin was almost exclusively a prerequisite for large-scale industries and manufacturers, with the ability to make heavy investments on such systems and the infrastructure to support them.

Today, on the other hand, it is just about available to all businesses, due to technological innovation and a reduction in costs.

A Digital Twin permits businesses to gain a complete digital version of their products, starting from design to product development, right through to product life-cycle termination.

This could not exist without the adoption of a simulation software, which is now indispensable in the sector.

The role of simulation software

In the early days of industrial process digitisation, simulations were limited to the design phase, in order to create a prototype that could be evaluated before starting up the actual production process.

Over subsequent decades, dense with technological evolution, software simulation offered business many evaluation tools, following the internal production flow, transforming from being a simple tool to something that guided processes.

We shouldn’t think of software simulators as being akin to the traditional assisted-design packages (ie CAD), but as their evolved form, which acts as the graphics and 3D function for Iot and open data.

At the basis of this matter, today there is the possibility to elaborate a vast quantity of data, relative not only to the physical product, but also in regard to market research, buyer requirements, market analysis, commercial outlooks, market trends and the optimisation of operative flows.

To sum up, software simulators can permit access to precise data, that is highly trustworthy, regards what would happen if the business were to develop a single specific product, generating clear indications of how to do it whilst maximising ROI and the product life cycle.

For example, by using this software simulator it would be possible to simulate, as we mentioned, the product that the business intends to produce, possible applications, conduct highly accurate stress tests, carry out market analyses and resolve any potential bottlenecks, all before touching a single nut or bolt.

Forecasts for the software simulator sector growth

Software simulators, as we have seen, have vast potential, and offer the chance to optimise production processes to manufacturing companies.

Whilst in the past, investments in this kind of software were mainly made on the heels of production line changes, today it can help businesses to forecast and resolve issues way ahead of time, improving the overall process.

It’s no coincidence that, according to a study conducted by ABI Research, these new uses will encourage spending in software simulators taking it to 2.6 billion dollars in 2025.