The actual concept of digital twin technology has been around for quite some time now since 2002. But thanks to IoT, this technology has now been cost-effective so that it can be properly implemented. Defining digital twin technology, it is actually a virtual model of any process, service or a product. Initially it was harder and costly to implement this technology but in the 2010 with the introduction of other biggies such as IoT, AI and Big Data it became possible to implement it.
The virtual model is created with the help of computer engineering and it is then integrated along with the IoT, Big Data and machine learning. The virtual model has to be updated from time to time whenever its physical twin undergoes any kind of changes. The pairing of the physical and the virtual world would allow for a proper data analysis and the system monitoring. This would help in clearing off any kind of problems before time, preventing any downtime, through simulations planning for future, and development of newer opportunities.
There are three things, digital twin technology has to comply with,
- Firstly, they should be appearing very much identical as the original object itself. This would be inclusive of any minor details.
- The virtual model has to behave in a similar manner as the original object during the testing phase.
- They have to also analyse any information based on the pros and the cons of the physical object, try to predict any kind of unforeseen issues, and also if possible can suggest solutions for those issues.
Talking about in general, the virtual models are basically used for analysing, monitoring and also bringing about improvement in their actual physical model or prototype. They carry out three main functions:
- The sensors and the devices that are present are used for collecting the data so as to understand the correct situation.
- In the next stage the software that is present would be analysing the data which has been collected and in case if they find any issues then they should come up with some solutions as well for each issues.
- The intelligent algorithms would select the appropriate solution and then get them implemented so as to address the root of the problem.
The use of digital twin technology helps out people to further check the inner issues in the physical process or object without the need for getting inside. This can be all done through computer visualisation. Once the problems are identified then ensuring that it should be solved with no percent of risks to the anyone’s health.
The digital twin technology has been mostly used in the manufacturing process. But gradually there has been a shift in the usage of this technology wherein more and more businesses or sectors are moving towards IoT. Hence there would be a time when we can also see digital twin technology in other industrial sectors as well. Let us have a look at how important is digital twin technology
- Reduction in time to market:
There is a common battle among the various companies in the same sector. It is to reach out to their customers through a faster route and much ahead of their competitors. But due to long repetitions this may seem to be a problem at times. When the company makes use of the virtual model in creating the replica of the service or the product then somewhere it is also greatly reducing the time to market. The testing and lifecycle of the product is carried out in the digital world itself wherein any changes can be carried out quickly and the same can be retested. The virtual model basically is a way of validating on how its physical model would behave in reality. This would lead to optimisation of time and effectiveness for development. Once everything is carried out smoothly then the product or the service can hit the market sooner than expected.
- Helps in cost-cutting:
Before the actual working prototype appears, there is a need for the product to go through various iterations. However significant contribution of labour and time can make this overall process very much expensive. The digital twin technology helps in making it possible for reducing any kind of defects when the actual product goes into production stage. This would mean that it allows the engineers to carry out all of their testing in the virtual prototype. This can be noted as a much easier and cheaper way to correct out any faults that can arise in the product or service and that to in the digital world instead of the real world. In a way, manufacturers would be able to eliminate most of their risks when it comes to the future output. This would ensure that the physical model would appear just as it has been planned, free from any defects. Manufacturers need to ensure that only when the digital model is appearing to be fine, it can be then put into the production stage. This technology also allows for further maintenance which would mean another way of cutting down costs for the business.
- Predicting the maintenance:
Another reason why twin digital technology is important is because it could help in solving most of the problems beforehand. This ability of the technology is called as predictive maintenance. The virtual models would be carrying out constant remote control of their actual and physical model wherein all of the information can be gathered through the help of devices and sensors. There is analysis of the data that happens after which a predictive breakdown possibility is notified. The employees would need to get their reporting about any possible breakdown so that timely checks can be carried out to mitigate the issue. This leads to avoiding much more serious issues which can lead to financial loss and reputation loss for the manufacturers.
Digital twin technology has been seen as the next big thing when it comes to the global economic development. This technology would help in gathering, monitoring, analysing and then optimising the performance of various products or systems so as to take timely better decisions.