Digital twins are transforming the industrial world and can play a vital role in optimizing technologies such as IoT and AI. It allows you to visualize your ideas in a virtual environment and test them before implementing in the real world. Sounds exciting? This article explains more about digital twin technology.
Digital twins are virtual representations or replicas of a product or device and include both living and non-living entities. It integrates IoT, machine learning, and artificial intelligence with spatial network graphs and creates a real-time digital simulation model. The digital twin learns and updates continuously to reach a near-perfect representation of the real-world model.
The digital twin has three components – past data, present data, and future data. Past data comprises the historical performance data of the system while present data covers the real-time data output received from the system. Future data refers to the machine learning part. It uses all sets of data to simulate an exact digital model of the real-world system. GIS and its spatial analysis capabilities can support the construction of accurate digital twin models.
Though the technology was initially used in manufacturing, it has now reached all fields of business touching healthcare, real estate, retail, factories, and even smart cities. The digital twin of Singapore is one such example of the successful implementation of the concept for planning and maintenance of cities. Similarly, the digital twins of the oil fields of Chevron Corporation are another instance where the technology supported predictive maintenance.
How does a digital twin work?
It is possible to construct digital twins of individual components or full systems and processes.
Construction of a digital twin is a complicated process and starts with exhaustive research by the data science experts and mathematicians. They study the physics underlying the system that is proposed for the digital twin project. Based on the research findings they develop a mathematical model to replicate the system in the digital world. The twin is enabled to receive inputs from the real-world system through its sensors. This facilitates real-time simulation to understand the performance of the system and also predict the possible issues.
By designing the twin with the help of the prototype of the real-world system, it becomes possible to collect feedback from the twin as the original system goes through refinements. Digital twins are also used as prototypes before even building the physical system.
Uses of digital twin technology
The digital twin technology can play a significant role in improving the bottom line of organizations.
The recognition of its benefits is encouraging more organizations to adopt it particularly in industries like manufacturing, automotive, and healthcare. Lets’ see how digital twins can improve the productivity of a business.
- The technology allows real-time monitoring of assets, products, or systems and enables predictive maintenance, waste reduction, product enhancements, and operational efficiency. Companies can identify potential problems and also predict their future outcomes. Thus the areas that need streamlining and improvement are identified in advance. This reduces downtime. And also facilitates faster repair to improve process efficiencies and increase the overall output.
- Digital twins can also shorten production times. It introduces endless opportunities like mass customization and small-batch manufacturing and also establishes efficient supply and delivery chains.
- Virtual troubleshooting is another area where digital twins can support by eliminating the need for physical presence in a location. The support engineers can carry out troubleshooting from a distance. They can guide the customers remotely through the correct steps. It also improves customer service by allowing customers to remotely configure customized products.
- Digital twins can warn companies of future problems to resolve them faster. The technology also works autonomously, proposes solutions, and even puts them into action.
- Companies can test systems and ideas before beginning full-scale manufacturing or implementation. This can eliminate investments in weak models or systems.
Digital twin technologies can transform the way of functioning of a business. It has many benefits in the short and long run. Depending on your need you can construct a simple or a complicated digital twin. Embracing this growing technology can be a great value addition to your business.
SBL has an advanced GIS division to support your digital twin requirements. We are experts in spatial data collection, analysis, and modeling and have a successful track record of completing several complicated GIS projects. Contact our GIS sales team to leverage the capabilities of digital twins for your business process.