Before building a house, it is important to draw a rough skeleton of the same. It helps to get a rough sketch of how the structure of the house is going to look. This will give a better idea of the project.
Similarly, to depict or signify any technology projection, ‘Digital Twin’ technology is used. The digital twin can be described as a typical digital representation of a physical asset or object in a more specific way. It can be anything like a system or a process designed to detect, predict, prevent, and optimize through real time analytics that delivers business value.
Thomas Kaiser, Senior Vice President of SAP (System Analysis Program Development) and Leonardo Internet of Things (IoT) Application Enablement at Walldorf, put it this way: “Digital twins are becoming a business imperative, covering the entire lifecycle of an asset or process and forming the foundation for connected products and services. Companies that fail to respond will be left behind.”
Digital twin technology has been enormously expanded to include large items, such as buildings, factories, and even cities. Some theories even suggest that people and processes can have digital twins, improving the concept even further.
Digital twin technology projects a replica of a real-world item – let that be a machine, building, or even a city in digital form. Michael Grieves first introduced the term digital twin at the University of Michigan in 2002.
NASA has been using digital models of real word things for around 50 years – most notably with the Apollo 13 mission. It was used to depict full-scale mockups of early space capsules used on the ground to reflect and diagnose problems in orbit. Such need gave way to the evaluation of fully digital simulations.
Digital twin for businesses
Digital twin technology is amongst the most important ‘Industry 4.0’ technology services currently available. In manufacturing industries, digital twins can help get an insight view of all aspects of the production line and manufacturing process.
For the IT stream, a digital twin technology works like a computer program that accepts real-world data of a physical object or system as inputs and produces outputs predictions or simulations of how that physical object or system will work.
Digital twin technology proves beneficial for customers’ experience by better understanding their needs, develop enhancements to existing products, services, and operations, and can even help escalate the innovation of new business.
Working of digital twin technology
Specialists who are experts in data science or applied mathematics are the ones who work on creating a digital twin technology. Specialists perform research on physics that uses the physical object to mimic and use that data to develop a mathematical model that will simulate the original real-world object in digital space.
The twin is constructed based on the data received from sensors gathering data from the real-world environment as an input. Thus a digital replica is created with the help of digital drawings, plans, and IoT sensors. Sensors then collect data and sync it with the digital model to create a real time replica.
Digital twin applications
Let’s learn how the following fields are effectively using digital twin technology to earn the benefits –
Since the invention of digital twin technology, the healthcare industry has found a different way of dealing with patients. Creating a digital twin of patients or their organs helps doctors to simulate procedures and specify environments before applying them in real-life. Bandage-sized sensors collect real-life data and instruct the digital twin to improve health care according to the collected data.
The manufacturing industry can make the best use of digital twin technology. For example, automotive manufacturers are utilizing this technology to revolutionize the making of cars. Before developing a complete vehicle, manufacturers first design seven digital twins of the particular model. Each of these twins explains a different angle of the product. They also use digital models in the manufacturing process, production facilities, and customer experience.
The digital twin accurately detects energy losses for their production facilities, reflects on areas to save energy, and improves overall production line performance.
The energy field is magnificently benefitting from the digital twin. Using digital twin technology, GE wind farm successfully increased its productivity by about 20%. Moreover, the real time information provided as an input to digital replicas from sensors of each turbine facilitates more efficient designs. It even suggests better measures to make each active turbine more effective.
How the hospitality industry can make use of digital twin technology – is an interesting question. Simulating real-life events and situations in restaurants helps the hospitality sector better structure the configuration of kitchens and dining areas. Hotels are digging in on the emerging tech to make the best use of their facilities. Using digital twin technology hospitality industry can help deliver personalized service to each guest.
Twin technology can help factories, hotels, and even wind farms to improve efficiencies and processes, then why not an entire city! Cities like Singapore and Shanghai have successfully implemented digital twin technology to improve energy consumption, traffic flow, and better development plans. Smart cities are soon turning out to be a reality, proving an excellent way of reducing pollution and increasing residents’ comforts.
Thus, digital twin technology can be explained as a virtual model of a process, product, or service. Combining virtual and physical worlds provides analysis of data and monitoring systems to find solutions for problems even before they occur. It also helps prevent downtime, develops new opportunities, and builds a new way to plan for the future by using simulations.
Moreover, the applications for digital twins are far-reaching. It is changing the way one can create, use, and optimize physical spaces. The use of digital twin technology is making the management of facilities and assets of any imaginable type far more effective than any other technology.
To read more visit our latest whitepapers on digital twin technology and other related technologies here.