Spearheading Sustainable Manufacturing Excellence

To build smart, efficient and sustainable processes, manufacturers must rely on the power of digitalization.

Two decades ago, few manufacturers prioritized sustainable manufacturing. But as the Paris Agreement’s carbon-neutral target draws closer, the manufacturing world sees the need for a greener way of working. 

Currently, 54 percent of the world's energy consumption and 20 percent of carbon emissions come from the manufacturing industry. By adopting a circular economy, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation highlights that the manufacturing industry can save up to US$630 billion a year on raw materials in the EU alone.

While manufacturing leaders are switching to energy efficiency and sustainable manufacturing practices in their plants, there is still a lot to be done. A disruptive digital solution needs to be adopted by manufacturers to continue tackling climate change.

Digitally Store and Test Designs Before Production

Using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, manufacturers can create a virtual 3D model of their physical processes. The virtual twin allows manufacturers to create a digital thread and infuse sustainability from start to finish. By simulating hundreds of different scenarios from every point of the digital thread, manufacturers can make responsible choices from purchasing raw materials to creating a sustainable value chain.

Two Heads Are Better Than One: Accelerating Sustainability Through Virtual “Twin” Technology

Watch this event replay to consider how emerging virtual twin technology can help you transform your business and make it more sustainable.

Circularity Requires Digitalization

As outlined in a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with Material Economics, 45 percent of global carbon emissions can be eradicated simply by rethinking manufacturing, distribution and production. By applying circular economy principles in five keystones of manufacturing — aluminum, cement, steel, plastics and food, this transformative switch will advance carbon neutrality that’s equivalent to cutting current emissions from all transport to zero.

A raft of business opportunities exist when manufacturers digitalize their operations for sustainable practices. Digitalization can drive:

Energy and material efficiency across operationsz

Greener and innovative processes that lower waste and costs

Better company image in the market

Faster approval on regulatory requirements

A key digital enabler is the virtual twin technology, such as the one found on Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE® platform. It enables manufacturers to optimize their processes from product design to manufacturing through sustainability-focused decisions.

“The virtual twin solves highly complex problems,” said Nigel Stacey, Accenture’s Industry X Global Lead. “It’s learning in real time and constantly adapting, feeding deep insights to manufacturers. So when we take the issues such as sustainability and tackle that at a corporate and an industry level, virtual twins are one of the ways that we’re can address complex and critical issues.”

Innovation is the Pathway to Sustainable Value

As the manufacturing industry continues its digitalization, factories that have embraced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are on track to gain competitive superiority in price points and time to market.

Digital capabilities such as the virtual twin technology speak to the heart of the circular economy. The virtual twin found on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform fosters sustainable innovations by giving manufacturers end-to-end visibility of their processes. This leads to a significant drop in valueless by-products and reliance on precious non-renewable resources while optimizing waste management and extending material lifespan.

A circular system that converts waste products into manufacturing resources is the goal of creating sustainable factories. Achieving this comes with major challenges, which is where the virtual twin’s value comes in.

Nigel said, “The virtual twin gives intelligent insights on what to do with data to drive more sustainable products, more sustainable outcomes, more sustainable manufacturing, and a better society and a planet for all. That’s the real power.”


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