Digital Twin – Future Backbone of Industry 4.0

Digital Twin

Gear up for the industry 4.0 revolution that will make huge strides in the technological world. Augmented and virtual realities are already changing the face of several industries including manufacturing, healthcare, education, real estate, and much more. AR is a technology that superimposes digital content on the real world and VR is a technology that implies a completely immersive experience, shutting out the real world. This blog will focus on another revolutionary technology, Digital Twin that will create a physical twin of devices, places, systems, people, and processes.

What is Digital Twin?

Before we move on with our blog, it is essential to learn about the formal definition of the concept of Digital Twin.  It can be defined as a digital replica of physical assets that can be used for various processes.  The power leaders across the globe are seeking opportunities that help them in improving their operational efficiency so that they can move forward towards making profits. It is a powerful technology that gives power to companies to transform operations with actionable insights.

A Digital Twin can also be referred to as a blend of Augmented and Virtual realities along with 3d and graphic modeling that is used for building a virtual model of a process, system, or any other physical object.

History of Digital Twin

Some people may think that a revolutionary technology like Digital Twin is founded only a few decades back.  It is thought to be developed in 2002 but it was developed back in the 1960s. NASA used the twining idea for space programming. They created a physically duplicated system at the ground level and match the same in the space. The concept of Digital Twin was publically introduced by Grieves in 2002 as the conceptual model underlying product lifecycle management (PLM).

Key Features of Digital Twin

Several features make this technology extraordinary.

The Digital Twin model includes all the necessary aspects that a larger system or a physical asset including mechanical, thermal, material, fluid, dynamic, chemical, electrical, economic, and statistical. No wonder why it is known as a Twin!

The accurate representation of a model, plant, or fleet even under operational variations like temperature, air, moisture, weather, fuel mix, load, etc makes it one of its kind.

The model predicts accurate outcomes along with all the measures including performance, availability, reliability, flexibility, and maintainability because of its state-of-the-art techniques of optimization, control, and forecasting, applications.

The model combines with the sensor data to predict the system performance, understand tradeoffs, enhance efficiency and evaluate different scenarios.

It is correct to see Digital Twin as the bridge between the physical and digital worlds.

Examples of Digital Twin Applications

GE Digital Twin

GE adopted a Digital Twin model that is integrated into various business aspects including operations optimization, Asset Performance Management, business optimization, providing integration between the model, advanced technology, and user-facing business applications.

Outcomes of Digital Twin Application in GE

Digital Twin in GE enables effective plant performance monitoring along with performance optimization.

The model enables a ‘day-ahead’ execution and long-term planning considering all the plant operational boundaries.

By pairing the physical and virtual world together, GE approaches a problem before its occurrence. This prevents downtime along with paving a way for new opportunities.

The Digital Twin model in GE gathers information from multiple models and the advanced solver algorithm helps in achieving the best economic outcomes for the plant.

Difference between Digital Twin and 3D modeling

You may have a question that when we already use 3D modeling for the same purpose then what’s the need for Digital Twin?

Not a small, but there is a huge difference between 3 D modeling and Digital Twin. A digital twin, unlike any other digital software, is connected directly to the physical twin.  When the digital model is connected to the physical model then the changes that the physical model experiences are reflected in the digital model as well!  So now when the weather changes or damage occurs in the physical model then the changes in the digital twin will be updated automatically.

How does Digital Twin work?

A digital Twin thinks senses and acts for a manufacturing process. It uses Artificial Intelligence and analyzes the data for making useful conclusions. The sensors installed in a Digital Twin model gather the data in real-time.

Finally, the model acts to predict the problems and suggest optimizations. If a voice processor is added to the model then it will even interact with the technicians.

Benefits of Digital Twin for businesses

Digital Twin is indeed one of the best gifts of the Industry 4.0 revolution. It will offer several advantages to businesses including:

Businesses can get valuable insights into every manufacturing and production process.  A digital twin model will help businesses make decisions beforehand and solve complex manufacturing processes.  IDC in 2018 detected that there have been 30% improvements in processes of manufacturing companies that have invested in this revolutionary technology.

Digital Twin

Credits: GE

Queppelin also believes that after Virtual and Augmented Reality, Digital Twin will be the next groundbreaking technology that will revolutionize the industries along with becoming a fundamental for 4.0 factories. We help companies to embrace this transforming technology so that they can reassess their operational efficiency along with gain a technological readiness to face the competitive business environment.

Reach us at: [email protected] to collaborate with us and revamp your business processes like never before!

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