Digital Twin is a technology that is currently revolutionizing the industrial sector, since it consists of simulating the behavior of real processes or objects, but transferred to virtual replicas. This allows to analyze and improve the efficiency of these processes.
Generally, companies use Real Time 3D technology to create realistic digital representations of their models, combined with information from databases.
These representations are often referred to as “Digital Twins”, as these 3D representations are interactive and look and behave like physical reality. They can also be implemented in mobile devices, computers, augmented/mixed reality (AR/MR) and virtual reality (VR) equipment.
Digital Twin in Industry 4.0
According to studies carried out by experts, the Digital Twin appears as a necessary element in the future of the industry, since this technology will change manufacturing processes, offering new ways to reduce costs, achieve better maintenance, in less time and will allow to create connected products.
This technology allows companies to do what they want in a virtual environment and know what will happen when it is time to put it into practice in physical reality.
That is why the Digital Twin is already taken into account by companies when planning strategies dedicated to innovation and product design within Industry 4.0.
Internet of Things
Applied to the Internet of Things (IoT), digital twins are linked to real-world objects.
In the short term, they will offer help with asset management. And in the medium term, they will serve to analyze operational efficiency, how products are used and how they can be improved.
Leading companies plan to turn their industrial plants into data factories with their digital twin. At the moment, they claim that they are already able to create most products in the virtual world.
The next step is for that information to be transferred in real time to production facilities. There, people, assisted by semi-autonomous robots, will translate this data into physical objects. In other words, the process will be reversed. These are called cyber-physical production plants. They will function as a self-organized, artificial intelligence-based Internet of Things.
We must not lose sight of the fact that a digital twin continuously learns. Something that is possible because it integrates artificial intelligence technologies, machine learning and data analysis software. And not only that, it also adds historical data from the machine’s past use to improve its digital model.
Digitals Twins Reloaded
Outside of the Internet of Things, there is also potential to link digital twins to entities that are not simply ‘things’. Digital representations of many aspects of our world will be dynamically connected to their real counterparts.
Their proliferation will require a cultural shift. Those involved in management and maintenance will need to collaborate with Data Scientists and IT Professionals.
Digital twins of physical assets will not only be combined with digital representations of facilities and environments. They will also be linked to people, companies and processes, enabling a more detailed digital representation of the real world. Digital twins expand to more applications, use cases and sectors. They will be combined with more technologies, which will allow us to look inside the digital twin eliminating the need to check the status of the real twin.
Sectors of all types will benefit from this. Among them will be healthcare professionals, industrial planners or digital marketing specialists.