Rise of the Predictive Digital Twin

This is an exciting time of change for businesses across every industry. Competitive markets and new disruptive digital technologies are driving improved customer value at lower cost. The widespread adoption of Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity, digital twins and immersive experiences is forcing an evolution of operating models in every sector and every geography. Static spreadsheet models, estimations based on experience and rear-view business measures are no longer sufficient for managing such complex business change and many are rapidly turning to predictive digital twins to analyse their options and plan their best route forward.

Lanner has been working with visionary companies to develop, deploy and use predictive digital twins for many years, adding simulation capabilities and model intelligence that optimises business decisions and future proof investments.

View the full agenda or Register now to be kept updated.

The Predictive Simulation Conference offers the latest industry and technology insights from Lanner and its customers including:

The WITNESS Platform

Details of the latest WITNESS software releases including WITNESS Horizon 22.0, WITNESS.io & WITNESS.cloud.

Technology Roadmap

Lanner will share its vision for the future of Predictive Simulation and how it supports customer with the development of their Predictive Digital Twins.

Visionary Perspectives

Industry experts will be discussing how predictive simulation will dramatically change its position, purpose and value over the coming years.


  • From 8.30am

    Breakfast and Registration

  • 9.00am

    Welcome to Factory 2050

    Andrew Aitken, COO, Lanner

  • 9.15am

    Digital Opportunities in the 4th Industrial Revolution

    As the 4th Industrial Revolution gathers momentum, the opportunities that this will bring are only just beginning to be understood. In his keynote, Professor Rab Scott will demonstrate how adoption of existing and emerging digital technologies, combined with improved simulation capabilities can lead to new business models and opportunities.

    Rab Scott, Head of Digital, AMRC with Boeing

  • 9.45am

    Digital Twin Creation and Symbiotic Simulation within Ford Powertrain Operations

    Ford will outline the advances made in streamlining the production of effective WITNESS Simulation models for Powertrain operations across Europe. The aim is to create accurate Discrete Event Simulation models of new & future facilities to run wide experimentation quickly and answer management questions in a timely manner.

    Leveraging the latest technologies, previously manual processes that once took weeks can now be accomplished in hours; reducing lead time whilst increasing the resulting model quality. Due to the success of the approaches developed, the use of simulation within Ford has grown significantly with manufacturing facilities now adopting simulation as a trusted problem solving tool. The latest step in this journey is a project that sees Ford working with Lanner, the HSSMI and the University of East London to automatically update models from live Ford systems data. Michael & John will explain the processes, innovative research undertaken and the lessons learned.

    Michael Higgins, Manufacturing Simulation Engineer & John Ladbrook, Simulation Specialist, Ford

  • 10.15am

    Delivering the World’s Finest Aviation Maintenance Experience using Predictive Simulation

    Gulfstream describe how predictive simulation is used to plan MRO operations for one of the world’s largest business jet aircraft fleets. Operating every hour, of every day, Gulfstream’s product support is responsible for servicing aircraft worldwide from 12 company-owned service centres. This presentation discusses the challenges facing Gulfstream to meet the volatile demands of their customers while performing an exceptional, accommodating yet profitable service and how a predictive digital twin of the fleet and maintenance operations provides a future proof solution.

    Daniel Ellis, Project Analyst, Gulfstream

  • 10.45am

    Coffee Break & Demonstrations

  • 11.15am

    The Use of Predictive Digital Twins at Nissan

    There is currently no dedicated predictive simulation team within Nissan Manufacturing UK. Modelling of processes (current & proposed) by the Industrial Engineering team has evolved by ‘default’. Members of the IE team have historically developed models for their areas of responsibility or to fulfil requests from other internal departments as word of success spread throughout the organisation.

    Moving forward within NMUK, as the company begins to embrace Industry 4.0 and its associated capabilities such as predictive Digital Twins, a strategy is developing to maximise the benefits of simulation & modelling in terms of planning, cost planning (and avoidance) and immediate performance improvements that can be gained through real time analysis.

    Martin Perkins, Industrial Engineer, Nissan

  • 11.45am

    Development and Implementation of Predictive Simulation in a Global Aerospace Group: Safran

    This presentation covers the recent adoption of predictive simulation by Safran. Frédéric will describe the journey from proof-of-concept models to the inclusion of process simulation into the corporate toolkit for all major investments. The presentation will also provide an overview of the wide variety of simulation models developed and illustrates some of the technical challenges.

    Frédéric Bochu, VP Industrial Engineering, Safran Group

  • 12.30pm


  • 1.30pm

    WITNESS Horizon Academic Showcase

    An industrial case study on Discrete Event Modelling of Value Stream Mapping for Industry 4.0
    Mathis Linnenbrink, Heriot-Watt University

    Optimisation of Compressed Air System Energy Usage through Discrete Event Simulation
    Robbie Mulvany, University of Greenwich

    Discrete Event Simulation of a Boeing Supply Chain
    Jack Davies, University of Leeds

  • 2.30pm

    Simulating the Smart Factory Concept

    Ruby Hughes, Head of Manufacturing Intelligence team, AMRC with Boeing

    UK manufacturing companies are becoming increasingly aware of the presence and publicised opportunities presented through Industry 4.0 technologies. At the SME level, some are attempting to take early steps forward, however research shows that the majority are confused by the plethora of technologies available and are naturally nervous about investing in these new technologies. This smart factory simulation demonstration aims to highlight the usefulness of Discrete Event Simulation as a decision-making analytic tool to test and de-risk the selection and implementation of the most appropriate Industry 4.0 technologies.

  • 3.00pm

    Coffee Break & Demonstrations

  • 3.30pm

    Lanner’s Technology Roadmap and Future Proofing your Predictive Digital Twins

    Lanner will present its technology roadmap, discussing the evolution of WITNESS from a desktop modelling environment into a cloud enabled predictive digital twin platform. Lanner introduced WITNESS Horizon as the leading digital twin development studio back in 2016 and its latest release, version 22.0, brings more data management, integration and visualisation capabilities. Horizon 22.0 also introduces additional support for IoT technologies such as AGV, edge sensors and predictive maintenance. Lanner will also introduce complementary cloud deployment products that are now available for those looking to take advantage of scalable execution power for experimentation or to put their models in the hands of more decision makers.

    Andy Chandler, WITNESS Product Manager, Lanner

  • 4.30pm


    Andrew Aitken, COO, Lanner

Confirmed Speakers Include

  • AMRC
  • Nissan
  • Safran
  • Ford
  • Gulfstream


  • Daniel Ellis

    Project Analyst, Product Support Business Transformation, Gulfstream

    Daniel is a project analyst specializing in operations research for the Gulfstream Product Support Business Transformation team. Academically, he studied Industrial Engineering, Business Administration, and Analytics, achieving a bachelor's degree and a micro masters certification. Working for Gulfstream since 2010, Daniel has lead digital transformation projects in business aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), delivering technology solutions that improve shop floor efficiency and enhance strategic decision making.

  • Frédéric Bochu

    VP Industrial Engineering, Safran Group

    As the head of Industrial Engineering at Safran Group, Frédéric is responsible for the Global Manufacturing Engineering teams and is the main project sponsor for industrialisation process digitisation and change management initiatives. Benefiting from 25 years experience in the automotive, aerospace and defence industries, Frédéric has deep expertise across manufacturing engineering, supply chain and production management.

    Frédéric’s objective is to design, build, operate and maintain smarter, robust dynamic processes across all Safran Group’s aerospace and defence facilities. Pioneering advanced manufacturing and production techniques, Frédéric is safeguarding Safran Group’s future through the development of strategic and technical roadmaps for the adoption of innovative Industry 4.0 technologies.

  • Michael Higgins

    Manufacturing Simulation Engineer, PT Manufacturing Engineering, Ford

    Michael Higgins graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics in 2011 and in 2014 gained an MPhil(Eng) through his research into the application of Discrete Event Simulation within the automotive industry. He has worked with Ford Motor Company since 2012 where his current role is within Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering (PTME) as Lead Simulation Development Engineer. He has gained a holistic view of powertrain manufacturing and has utilised simulation as a tool across several functions within PTME including plant and production engineering roles. He is currently researching and developing methods to increase usability, and widen the application of, the Ford Simulation Toolset.

  • Martin Perkins

    Industrial Engineer, Nissan

    Martin has worked at Nissan for twenty six years, initially as a Material Handling Team leader, twelve years as a Body Shop Production Supervisor and the past eight years within Industrial Engineering department. Currently his primary responsibilities include headcount planning & productivity identification for all Material Handling operations on site (an area comprising nearly 500 people). Additional responsibilities include development of WITNESS models for Process planning engineering and supporting change across other departments.

  • Rab Scott

    Head of Digital, University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)

    Rab Scott has been a member of the AMRC staff since its beginning in 2001, initially heading up the Virtual Reality and Simulation activities and now leading on the strategic development and implementation of digital solutions across the whole organisation.

    Rab sits on the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s Digital Strategy Team and their VR and Visualisation Forum. He also sits on the Steering Committee of Immerse UK, the UK’s body for immersive technologies . He sits on the IET IT and Communications Sector Executive and is their spokesperson for virtual reality.

    He has recently been made a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde.

  • John Ladbrook

    Simulation Specialist, Honorary Professor of University of East London

    John Ladbrook, an Honorary Professor at the University of East London since 2016, has worked for Ford Motor Company since 1968, where his current position is Simulation Technical Specialist. In 1998, after 4 years of research into Modelling Breakdowns, he gained an M. Phil. (Eng.) with the University of Birmingham. During his time at Ford, he has served his apprenticeship, worked in Thames Foundry Quality Control, and trained to be an Industrial Engineer. Since 1982, he has used and promoted the use of Discrete Event Simulation and in 2013 the team was awarded the WITNESS Project of the Year. In this role, he has been responsible for sponsoring many projects with various universities, making developments in Modelling Energy and Symbiotic Modelling, as well extending university links with over 250 students undertaking projects within Ford.

  • Ruby Hughes

    Technical Fellow, Head of Manufacturing Intelligence team, AMRC with Boeing

    Ruby Hughes has worked for the AMRC with Boeing, University of Sheffield since 2012 where her current position is Technical Fellow, leading a team of project engineers to work on both research and industrial projects within the area of numerical modelling. Ruby was awarded a PhD in Operational Research in 2011. In 2013, Ruby was awarded Chartered Engineer by Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

    Ruby’s research interests are primarily focused on the development of DES models and optimisation modelling for supporting UK manufacturers in the area of factory planning and operational management. Ruby is excited with the opportunities to link her research capabilities with the evolving technologies under the context of industry 4.0.

  • Mathis Linnenbrink

    Herriot-Watt University

    Mathis Linnenbrink is a Product and Project Manager for Becker Sonder-Maschinenbau GmbH and has 7 years of industrial experience in development of custom designed special purpose machinery for automated processes in the international manufacturing and packaging sector. He holds a certificate of proficiency in industrial mechanics at the Industrie und Handelskammer Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld, a Bachelor of Engineering at the South Westphalia University of Applied Science and a Masters of Energy at the Heriot-Watt University.

  • Jack Davies

    University of Leeds

    Jack Davies is a third year Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering student studying at the University of Leeds. His third year individual project has focused on supply chain analysis and using Witness to develop a model of an Aerospace industry supply chain.

  • Robbie Mulvany

    University of Greenwich

    Robbie Mulvany is a PhD student in the University of Greenwich department of Engineering Management and Applications. He graduated from University of Greenwich with a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering. His research topic is industrial energy optimisation of ancillary systems through simulation and is a collaborative project with the Ford Motor Company. Additional research interests are excavator automation in the construction and mining industry.

Join us at the 2018 UK Predictive Simulation Conference, hosted by Lanner, and connect with a wide community using predictive simulation for business planning and decision support. Learn how to design and drive your digital business strategy and get more from your predictive digital twins and simulation model assets.

The Venue

AMRC Factory 2050
Sheffield Business Park, Europa Avenue, Sheffield, S9 1ZA

The 2018 Predictive Simulation Conference will take place at the AMRC Factory 2050 facility, the UK’s first state of the art factory, dedicated to conducting collaborative research into digital manufacturing.

This unique venue encompasses the latest technologies impacting manufacturing today. Taking place on the shop floor, delegates can immerse themselves in the technology on display, while taking the opportunity to network with other delegates, who have successfully implemented predictive simulation strategies.

Arrival on the Day

Upon arrival, please head to the Factory 2050 reception area where you will be given your delegate badge and directed to the Conference area.

Getting to the venue

The venue is located just off Junction 33 of the M1 on the Sheffield Business Park. SatNav users please use S9 1ZA which will bring you to Sheffield Business Park.


There is plenty of onsite parking at Factory 2050. Once you have arrived, please turn right into the visitor car park.

Factory 2050 Event


Lanner is offering complimentary training sessions on our new software release, WITNESS Horizon version 22.0, to all maintained customers during the afternoon of Tuesday 19th June. We can only accommodate 20 people per training session, so book early to ensure your place!

Each training session will last approximately 2 hours and will cover:

Data Management

Get to grips with the new data tables and using live connections to import and export model data.

BI Charts & Graphs

A deep dive into the new data visualisation capabilities in WITNESS Horizon. Analyse your simulation experimentation results with new visualisations including timelines.

IoT & Digital Twins

Learn how to model new IoT technology, AGVs and Predictive Maintenance and turn your models into Predictive Digital Twin assets.

These sessions will be interactive and will provide an opportunity to discuss and resolve any current modelling challenges you are facing with an expert consultant.

Tick the box on the registration form below to book your place and recieve additional details about the pre-conference training.

Registration is now closed

Please check back regularly as we will post event content here soon.