A manufacturing client identifies a reduction in labour costs from $0.74/kg to $0.56/kg for the simulated processes and an increase in throughput of 5%.




In a few short months, Nukon’s Digital Twin solution significantly reduced labour costs and increased throughput, reduced planning time, enhanced risk mitigation, synchronised data, provided KPI visualisation, and enabled the assessment of initiatives. 


Digital Twin



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An Australian-owned and operated food manufacturing company were looking for an innovative way to evaluate potential solutions to operational inefficiencies surrounding scheduling, production, finances, and operational information, and to validate CAPEX and continuous improvement initiatives.

The client wanted to test what having an extra extrusion and packing line would look like without having to lay out the cost of such a solution prior to testing its benefits. They aimed to improve their planning and operation processes, moving away from manual inputs toward a more digital approach. Manufacturing data – such as routing – was lacking for the planning team, meaning resources were not always being optimised.

In keeping with an organisational ethos of driving innovation, the manufacturing company engaged Nukon to develop a Digital Twin of their operation.


A Digital Twin is a virtual replication of an organisation’s factory or supply chain, considering the real-world physical constraints of a system based on its existing data. It can simulate how equipment, people, processes, and devices will perform in their current state and in future states, should the environment change.

To develop a Digital Twin for the client, Nukon first performed a site visit to capture planning activities and manufacturing rules, and to collect existing and missing data.​ This involved thorough documenting of current business processes, digital capabilities, production data, and information gathered from interviews with various staff to assess missing information and make informed assumptions for the digital model.

Nukon-Digital-TwinNukon’s Digital Twin capability enabled our client to digitally replicate their factory to simulate scenarios for improving operational efficiency.

Nukon then created a digital model of the area – considering all the intrinsic complexities using Digital Twin software, Simio – and validated with the operations leadership team that the model was accurately mimicking the manufacturing tasks in the client’s facility. They could now run scenarios to simulate what minor or major changes to the operation would look like based on data and assess and justify potential projects.

To analyse the outputs of scenarios run within the Digital Twin, Nukon built an interactive dashboard for the client in Power BI, enabling them to interact with the results and insights generated by the simulation model, and identify and quantify opportunities to optimise labour costs, increase throughput, and other improvements.

PowerBI-Dashboard-2The Digital Twin custom-built Power BI dashboard.

A Digital Twin is not just for simulation, the tool includes planning and scheduling software, which the client deployed to support day-to-day manufacturing operations. Planners are now able to use the software to consider required resources and distribute the load between lines accordingly. The Digital Twin includes an interactive scheduling tool, providing insights into whether a planned schedule is actionable and feasible, ensuring line potential is unlocked.


The Digital Twin solution guided the client on how to reduce labour costs by 24% from $0.74/kg to $0.56/kg for the simulated processes, increasing 5% throughput utilising the same resources. Other key outcomes achieved included the reduction of planning time, enhanced risk mitigation, synchronised data, KPI visualisation, and enabling the assessment of initiatives.

Reduction of planning time

Nukon’s Digital Twin tool generated a weekly feasible production in a Gantt Chart format. By clicking a button, the client can generate an optimised production plan in seconds. It plans the production to meet demand with the minimum changeovers possible.


A snapshot of the Digital Twin planning tool.

Initiatives assessment

The Digital Twin assessed the real-world impact and effects of a new line, different demands, and shift structures in a simulation setting – allowing the most effective initiatives to be prioritised. Nukon added a new line in the client’s manufacturing facility within the Digital Twin, simulating a production schedule with increased demand to measure the impact of this decision in terms of throughput, labour cost per kg and utilisation of the assets.

KPI visualisation

Nukon built a Power BI dashboard to easily visualise the simulation results and generate customised insights.

Synchronised data

The Digital Twin collected and bound existing operational and financial information into the system, capturing the client's production data including SKU routing groups, production rates, yield, batching logic, shift structure, labour cost, changeover, planning rules and demand.

Nukon interviewed shift leaders, planners, production managers, and the Chief Operating Officer to gather missing information and make assumptions, inputting this data into the system.

With synchronised data, all critical operational information is at the client’s fingertips – providing a system-wide aggregated view of the current state of the system, along with forward-looking insights into the expected future state based on simulated scenarios.

Risk mitigation

Nukon’s Digital Twin enabled our client to run various scenarios, which predicted resultant labour costs, throughput, and asset and operator utilisation. They can now run scenarios to see what changing the shift structure, adding a new line, or workers and demand will do to the overall operation – and use these insights to mitigate risk.

Benefits of using Digital Twin technology

  • Test any idea or ‘what if’ scenario to achieve your KPIs
  • Quick to set up and test
  • Easy to understand, no prior knowledge required
  • Machine learning (ML) capability
  • Scheduling tool to plan production
  • Suitable for all industries

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Project timeframe

  • Digital Twin simulation model – approx. 1.5 months.
    • MVP ready within approx. 3-4 weeks.

Project ROI

  • Labour cost savings alone produced 131% ROI in the first 12 months.

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