Digital Twin

Digital Twin

Making your assets smarter.

A digital twin is a digital or virtual copy of physical assets or products. The term digital twin was originally coined by Dr. Michael Grieves in 2002. NASA was one of the first to use this technology for space exploration missions. Digital twins connect the real and virtual world by collecting real-time data from the installed sensors. The collected data is either locally decentralized or centrally stored in a cloud. The data is then evaluated and simulated in virtual copy of the assets. After receiving the information from the simulation the parameters are applied to real assets. This integration of data in real and virtual representations helps in optimizing the performance of real assets.

Digital twins can be used in various industries:

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Automotive
  3. Construction
  4. Utilities
  5. Healthcare

An example of digital twins is the use of 3D modeling to create digital companions for the physical objects. It can be used to view the status of the actual physical object, which provides a way to project physical objects into the digital world. For example, when sensors collect data from a connected device, the sensor data can be used to update a “digital twin” copy of the device’s state in real time.

The term “device shadow” is also used for the concept of a digital twin. The digital twin is meant to be an up-to-date and accurate copy of the physical object’s properties and states, including shape, position, gesture, status and motion. In another context, a digital twin can be used for monitoring, diagnostics and prognostics. In this field, sensory data is sufficient for building digital twins. These models help to improve the outcome of prognostics by using and archiving historical information of physical assets and perform comparison between fleet of geographically distributed machines. Therefore, complex prognostics and Intelligent Maintenance System platforms can leverage the use of digital twins in finding the root cause of issues and improve productivity.

Digital Twins are the next big thing in Fourth Industrial Revolution for the development of new products and processes.