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What Is Digital Twin Technology ? Changing the World

Archee Roy

In 2002, Dr. Michael Grieves introduced the digital twin concept in regard to the exuberating interests that rose for Internet of Things. With the IoT forming the backbone of Industry 4.0 transformation, along with Big data, AI, ML, digital twin technology is relevant now like never before.

Digital twin is the concept of creating a dynamic digital equivalent of physical assets, processes, and systems, utilizing data from various sensor like sources. A digital thread connects the digital twin and its physical counterpart. Digital Twin concept represents the convergence of the physical, and the virtual world where every industrial product will get a dynamic digital representation.

Throughout the product development life cycle, right from the design phase to the deployment phase, organizations can have a complete digital footprint of their products. These ‘connected digital things’ generate data in real time, and this helps businesses in better analyze and predict the problems in advance or give early warnings, prevent downtime, develop new opportunities and even plan better products for the future at lower costs by using simulations.

The physical assets are created as digitalized duplicates of machines & equipments or physical sites using sensors. These digital assets can be created even before an asset is built physically. To create a digital twin of any physical asset, the engineers collect and synthesize data from various sources including physical data, manufacturing data, operational data and insights from analytics software. The information collected, coupled with AI algorithms, is integrated into a physics-based virtual model.

For industrial plants and other heavy equipment businesses, digital twin technology becomes an important lifeline in accurately predicting the current state and future of physical assets by analyzing their digital counterparts. Sectors like manufacturing, automobile, retail, healthcare, smart cities and industrial IoT, are heavily benefitted with the digital twin technology. According to predictions, by 2022, 85 percent of all IoT platforms will include some kind of digital twinning. As more and more products (smart devices) in our homes and workplaces connect to the Internet, providing remote access and control, we’ll also see an increase in the availability of digital twin technology.

The questions must be asked, “Does this technology represent the new normal? Is it mainstream now? Will I have to adopt it eventually? Do I delay the inevitable now to save money in the short-term, and pay a lot more in the long term?”

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