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Digital Twin - an Exploratory Study on its Opportunities and Challenges from a Supply Chain Perspective

Sandén, Emma LU and Falk, Johanna LU (2021) MTTM05 20202
Engineering Logistics
Department of Industrial Management and Logistics
Abstract
At the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, technologies such as digital twin seek to shift the way industrial companies operate. A digital twin is a virtual replica of a product, system or process. Historically, the focus has been on representing single objects but it is now shifting to interconnected processes, such as supply chains. Advanced versions of a supply chain digital twin can integrate physical and virtual spaces by, in real-time, replicating supply chains digitally. This allows companies to gain visibility of their supply chain and helps them make well informed decisions. However, there is a growing concern that digital twin might just be a buzzword, and that the hype will soon die down. As the technology is... (More)
At the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, technologies such as digital twin seek to shift the way industrial companies operate. A digital twin is a virtual replica of a product, system or process. Historically, the focus has been on representing single objects but it is now shifting to interconnected processes, such as supply chains. Advanced versions of a supply chain digital twin can integrate physical and virtual spaces by, in real-time, replicating supply chains digitally. This allows companies to gain visibility of their supply chain and helps them make well informed decisions. However, there is a growing concern that digital twin might just be a buzzword, and that the hype will soon die down. As the technology is relatively young, it is hard to understand its true value. This question was asked by Northvolt, a newly established battery manufacturer in Sweden. We were tasked with investigating this and providing Northvolt with a point of view on how digital twin could benefit their supply chain.

The research showed that there is value in digital twin for Northvolt as long as a clear business case can be identified, where no other solution can fulfil the purpose at a lower cost than digital twin. A digital twin could help Northvolt achieve cross-company planning and provide them with material flow visibility, two characteristics they want to realise when the supply chain is operational. In order to successfully implement a digital twin, it is crucial to secure of digital thread of data throughout all supply chain operations. In addition, this includes that the digital thread must be supported by a digital strategy that covers all supply chain entities. Interviews with Northvolt employees showed that Northvolt has very competent digitalisation and IT teams, with the ambition of making Northvolt a fully digitalised company. This entails that they have created a perfect growing ground for digital twin. Moreover, as Northvolt has a high level of vertical integration, it entails that they possess a lot of data in house. However, they must find a way to access the data from external parties in the digital thread if they want an end-to-end solution. Suppliers of raw materials in the battery industry have a varying degree of digital maturity as well as a varied willingness to share data. (Less)
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author
Sandén, Emma LU and Falk, Johanna LU
supervisor
organization
course
MTTM05 20202
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Digital Twin, Supply Chain, Battery Industry, Digitalisation Strategy
report number
5938
language
English
id
9041669
date added to LUP
2021-03-16 13:12:39
date last changed
2021-03-16 13:12:39
@misc{9041669,
  abstract     = {At the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, technologies such as digital twin seek to shift the way industrial companies operate. A digital twin is a virtual replica of a product, system or process. Historically, the focus has been on representing single objects but it is now shifting to interconnected processes, such as supply chains. Advanced versions of a supply chain digital twin can integrate physical and virtual spaces by, in real-time, replicating supply chains digitally. This allows companies to gain visibility of their supply chain and helps them make well informed decisions. However, there is a growing concern that digital twin might just be a buzzword, and that the hype will soon die down. As the technology is relatively young, it is hard to understand its true value. This question was asked by Northvolt, a newly established battery manufacturer in Sweden. We were tasked with investigating this and providing Northvolt with a point of view on how digital twin could benefit their supply chain.

The research showed that there is value in digital twin for Northvolt as long as a clear business case can be identified, where no other solution can fulfil the purpose at a lower cost than digital twin. A digital twin could help Northvolt achieve cross-company planning and provide them with material flow visibility, two characteristics they want to realise when the supply chain is operational. In order to successfully implement a digital twin, it is crucial to secure of digital thread of data throughout all supply chain operations. In addition, this includes that the digital thread must be supported by a digital strategy that covers all supply chain entities. Interviews with Northvolt employees showed that Northvolt has very competent digitalisation and IT teams, with the ambition of making Northvolt a fully digitalised company. This entails that they have created a perfect growing ground for digital twin. Moreover, as Northvolt has a high level of vertical integration, it entails that they possess a lot of data in house. However, they must find a way to access the data from external parties in the digital thread if they want an end-to-end solution. Suppliers of raw materials in the battery industry have a varying degree of digital maturity as well as a varied willingness to share data.},
  author       = {Sandén, Emma and Falk, Johanna},
  keyword      = {Digital Twin,Supply Chain,Battery Industry,Digitalisation Strategy},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Digital Twin - an Exploratory Study on its Opportunities and Challenges from a Supply Chain Perspective},
  year         = {2021},
}