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Maja Barring, Guodong Shao, Bjorn Johansson


The manufacturing sector is experiencing a technological paradigm shift, where new digital technologies can help digitalize product design, production systems, and manufacturing processes and generate more data. One of the essential technology concepts for this shift is digital twin and researchers have made some advancement on digital twin development and implementations. However, in practice, there are many different definitions of digital twins and these different understandings cause a lot of confusion for practitioners, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Therefore, the adoption and implementation of the concept in manufacturing have been difficult and slow. In this paper, we report our findings from a survey for SMEs regarding their understanding and acceptance of the digital twin concept. Five supply-chain companies from discrete manufacturing and one trade organization representing suppliers in the automotive business have been interviewed. Their operations have been studied to understand their current digital maturity levels and needs for digital solutions to stay competitive. This paper presents the result of the research including the viewpoints of these companies in terms of opportunities and challenges of implementing digital twins. Opportunities include better planning and understanding of the production system, and challenges cost, time, and to have the right competence.
Proceedings Title
proceedings of the 2020 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE)
Conference Dates
November 15-18, 2020
Conference Location
Portland, OR, US


Digital Twin, Digitalization, Smart Manufacturing, Supply Chain


Barring, M. , Shao, G. and Johansson, B. (2020), DIGITAL TWIN FOR SMART MANUFACTURING: THE PRACTITIONER'S PERSPECTIVE, proceedings of the 2020 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE), Portland, OR, US, [online], (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created November 18, 2020, Updated March 31, 2022