In the coming years, billions of devices, machines, sensors and mobility solutions will need to be connected to the Internet of Things. In the south of the Netherlands, there are many manufacturers and suppliers who develop and supply advanced chip machines, semiconductors and high-tech equipment. To keep up with the growing demand for electronics, virtual twin experiences can help transform and accelerate high-tech value networks.
Increased complexity and flexibility
The Southern Netherlands high-tech industry is important for our national economy and the entire world economy. Well-known companies like ASML, NXP, Philips, VDL, Vanderlande and many others supply indispensable components and solutions for ‘smart’ products, machines, mobility and even entire cities. Our world is transforming into a living environment in which everything is interconnected. Despite the successful business development and international market opportunities for the Southern Netherlands high-tech industry, there are also challenges, such as the increasing complexity of innovation, due to the interactions between electronics and the analogue world (More-than-Moore). Another challenge is the need for greater flexibility to anticipate changes in demand and disruptions and plan ahead in the value network, to prevent, for example, the chip shortages that are currently emerging.
Technology and science becoming more intertwined
The third challenge for the high-tech industry is the increasing interdependence between technology and science. To remain competitive, there is increasing pressure to apply scientific discoveries as quickly as possible to market-ready technology. Over the past decades, high-tech companies have mainly focused on making smaller and smaller chips with better performance. Now, software and material developments are also increasing the technical complexity and speed of innovations. This requires more multidisciplinary cooperation, instead of serial development paths. Also, all companies in value chains of the high-tech industry are becoming more dependent on each other to develop innovations and bring them to the market in time. Therefore, it is important to collaborate and share more information with each other, while protecting the most important asset – intellectual property for the developers and the companies.
Virtual twin – dynamic and sustainable value network
The high-tech industry can create a dynamic and sustainable value network with the help of virtual twin experiences. Virtual twin experiences consist of accurate digital representations of both products and machines, which can be connected to sensors for real-time data collection. This creates relationships between digital innovations and the physical environment where such developments can take place. Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform adds high-tech specific solutions for simulating, analysing, testing and making production-ready applications and subsequent optimisations. By simulating and analysing both applications and business models in a multidisciplinary and virtual way, a lot of time and money can be saved during the innovation cycle and in the total value network. The key benefit is that organisations can take more informed decisions more quickly by analysing the data gathered.
‘Single source of truth’
A key benefit of virtual twin experiences is the ‘single source of truth’ for all disciplines and network partners involved. Instead of constantly sharing files and prototype models to manage the multiple iterations, all authorised stakeholders have access to the same digital innovation environment via the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, at any time and from any location in the world. Such an integrated virtual twin also guarantees the integrity of all data and protects everyone’s intellectual property. Using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform also ensures compliance in accordance to European data protection regulations. Another key point to highlight is that it also prevents costly errors due to outdated information and efficiency losses, through better reuse of available information throughout the value network.
Lightyear transforming high-tech and mobility value chains
One Dutch innovator that is already transforming and accelerating the high-tech and mobility value chains is the innovative automotive company, Lightyear. This developer and producer of a solar-powered car has been able to significantly reduce its time-to-market, partly thanks to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. ‘Our biggest challenge is to acquire, within a few years, as much as possible of all the knowledge and experience that the automotive industry has accumulated in over one hundred years,’ acknowledges CEO Lex Hoefsloot. ‘To do this, we need to iterate quickly and learn from mistakes by developing and testing ideas.’ A key benefit of the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform for Lightyear is that everything is integrally connected. The platform also allows all stakeholders to work together from home or another location across the globe.