In general, all things that are designed and built by humans are first built in a virtual world. We can quickly test many iterations of a design in the virtual world at a fraction of the cost of what it would take to build them in the real world.
Once the digital version of the product is complete, the physical product is built. In most cases today, that’s the end of the road for the digital version. But if we link the digital and real—they can evolve with each other. We can capture data from the physical twin through IoT sensors and devices and feed it into the digital twin, keeping them perfectly in sync.
When a 3D asset or environment becomes a living digital twin, it can give us incredible superpowers. We can teleport to any part of the digital twin, just like in a video game, and inspect any aspect of it reflected in the real world. We can also run simulations to predict the near future or test many possible futures for us to pick the most optimal one.
More specifically, here are some key benefits of building digital twins for warehouses which can vary depending on the particular use case:
Test business cases for new technology faster and with greater accuracy
Customize autonomous robots’ operations and then train, test and optimize continuously.
Expedite and minimize upfront investment during the design and evaluation of new operations and/or processes.
Enable Safe Operation:
Test and mitigate safety concerns, even for corner cases.
Evaluate worker safety for designed or implemented warehouse operations.
Enable a safe training environment for operating heavy machinery.
Enable Continuous Monitoring:
Provide a holistic monitoring capability of the entire warehouse operation that is visual, interactive, modular, and adjustable granularity.
Enable Agility and Adaptiveness:
Expedite the redesign, validation, and implementation of warehouse operations due to maintenance and/or equipment failure, business needs changes and responding to emergencies and natural disasters.
Efficiently scale operations up or down based on demand and/or seasonal changes
Enable incremental upgrades to new designs, flows, and operation processes.
Enable and accelerate changes to the operation flow and/or mechanism due to equipment failure
Enable software in the loop testing.
Minimize operating cost:
Optimize workforce planning
Increase energy efficiency
Minimize waste due to inefficient warehouse operation and/or inventory damages.
Optimize Capital Investment:
Optimize fleet size and material handling equipment required to support the warehouse operation.
Optimize space allocation and usage to support business demands
Enable data-driven decisions
Test and validate all plans before their execution in the physical world