What is Digital Twin Technology and How it Works?

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Growth of Internet of Things, sensor technology, cloud computing and machine learning has made the concept of Industry 4.0 feasible. Digital twin technology is a major driving force for Industry 4.0. This concept leverage the advantage of collected data using IoT. Collected data is analysed to provide insight in decision making process. 

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality are used for visualization in Digital Twin Technology.

What is Digital Twin ?

Digital twin is a digital profile or replica of any asset in real word. An asset can be a component, product, manufacturing process, system or group of systems. It is used to monitor the entire life cycle of asset.

How Digital Twin Technology Works ?

This term was originally coined by Dr. Michael Grieves in 2002. It connects real and virtual worlds by collecting real time sensor data using IoT connected sensors. 

Digital twin works by connecting real and virtual worlds by collecting real time sensor data using IoT connected sensors.

Real time data is stored in the cloud. Where this data is analysed and simulated in virtual copy of assets or products. 

These simulation are thereafter applied to real products and assets. Real time asset data is used to optimize product performance.

Applications

It can be applied in following industries. But it’s applications are not limited to this.

  1. Aerospace Industry
  2. Oil and Gas industry
  3. Healthcare
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Automotive
  6. Consumer Electronics
  7. Construction
This concept can be applied at various levels of product life-cycle. Let’s discuss it’s applications in real world.
Continuous Engineering and Design

To improve car performance. Car is equipped with process monitoring sensors and its digital twin model is created. Real time sensor data is sent to cloud and fed to digital-twin model. 

It helps engineering team in comparing car performance with expected performance. This help product designers in improving existing and future product designs. Real time product data is used by engineers for future products as well. This allows engineers to verify key design concepts in digital world without building prototypes.

Therefore it has following advantages in product design and engineering.

  • What-If Simulations.
  • Reduced Product Time to market.
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Reduced Prototype Cost
  • Improved Product Design. and Reliability.
Production Line and Machines Virtual Commissioning

It is possible to design digital twin for an automated production line. Where engineers can commission and run the plant without actually building it. This allows automation engineers to detect and solve the problems in early design stage.

Digital Twin can also used in monitoring exiting manufacturing process. This allows engineers in optimizing existing manufacturing process.

Advantages

  • Reduced Commissioning Cost.
  • Remote Product Commissioning
  • Detect and resolve problems at an early stage of design.
  • Accelerate Product Time to market,
  • Continuous improvement.
Predictive Maintenance and Remote Diagnosis

Real time equipment / machine data is used to create digital twin for that machine. This helps in monitoring the machine remotely. This real time monitoring helps in predicting the problem before it occurs.

If any problem occurs digital twin model is used to diagnose the problem remotely. And when maintenance engineer visit the site, he actually knows what is the problem.

Advantages

  • Reduced Maintenance Cost
  • Spare Parts inventory Management
  • Reduced Downtime
  • Increase reliability of assets on production line by predictive maintenance schedules.
Digital Twin in Healthcare Industry

Patient digital twin model is created to provide personalized healthcare for each individual. For example, when a patient is diagnosed with heart disease. Based on patient health condition doctor can prepare patient specific biophysical model. It behave in the same way patient body behaves.

 

Doctor can simulate various scenarios on patient digital twin. This helps doctor in finding the right solution for their patient. 

It also helps doctors in remotely diagnosis the patient and take preventive actions.

Hotel Industry

Digital twin is also revolutionizing hotel industry. Microsoft Azure smart hotel 360 is offering various solution for hotel industry. It allows hotel managers in managing complete hotel digitally. For example, using “Microsoft azure smart hotel 360” manager can manage complete hotel online. 

Smart Hotel 360 powered by Azure Digital Twins

 

Using digital model authorized person can check how many rooms are occupied, what is electricity consumption, pending room cleaning work or maintenance work etc.

In this smart hotel customer can check-in, check-out, place order and give feedback using smart hotel app. This improves overall customer experience and saves cost.

Companies Offering Digital Twin Services

Following are the some of big companies who are offering these solutions.

Conclusion

To sum up, Digital twin will play a very important role in industry 4.0. It will completely change the way we do design or manage our data and do business.

Got Questions?  We will be happy to help.

If you think we missed Something?  You can add to this article by sending message in the comment box. We will do our best to add it in this post.


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