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What is a Digital Twin? Advantages and applications

13 Oct 2017 0

When NASA coined the term "Digital Twin" in 2002, few imagined the power that this futuristic concept would have in our industry. Thanks to the Internet of Things, we are able to provide intelligence to the whole amount of information obtained by various means. What makes improving and personalizing every aspect of our life.

In fact, the "Digital Twin" has been named as one of the 10 technology trends of 2017 by Gartner. But what exactly is the Digital Twin?

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In short,  a "Digital Twin" is a virtual model of a process, product or service through information obtained from sensors or automatisms. This union of the physical and virtual worlds enables intelligent data analysis and systems monitoring to:

  • Prevent problems before they occur
  • Prevent downtime
  • Develop new business opportunities
  • Plan the future through simulations
  • Customizing production to customer requirements

This type of digital technology enables companies of all sizes to meet their demands and achieve a nearly 50% time-to-market, improve flexibility and increase productivity by up to 20%, which determines the competitiveness of companies.

How does a Digital Twin work?

In order to understand how a "Digital Twin" is generated, it is necessary to influence the importance of the information of the physical world. No real data, no digital twin.

First, sensors collect data on the state of the process, product or service in real time. The components are connected to a cloud-based system that receives and processes all the information obtained. This entry analyzes and compares everything obtained along with other contextual parameters.

Once the process analysis is obtained, the process, product or service can be generated in a virtual way and provided with all those changes before being put into production. Only when virtually satisfies the requirements of a project is it physically produced.

Applications and advantages of the Digital Twin

Preventing machine failure is one of the most obvious and potentially transformational benefits the digital twin could have in the industry. But, its applications can be used by other sectors such as energy.

Thanks to the analysis and virtual simulation, companies could save 70% of energy which would have a cost reduction for both the producer and the final consumer.

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In fact, the Digital Twin allows the production of customized parts and adapted to the demands and specific requirements of the customers. This prevents the mass production of products that do not take into account the requests of the consumer.

The same thing happens with the maintenance service. The virtual simulation of physical environments helps the worker to consult and act with freedom of movement, without having to hold any device.

In addition, having much more efficient processes results in a significant reduction of pollutant emissions.

On the other hand, the analysis of the data and the simulation later allows to create a predictive behavior. In this way, it is possible to adapt the flow of public transport to the demand, to modify the signaling of urban mobility to the traffic or to regulate the systems of light and climate of a building to the number of people present in the installations.

 

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