Digital Twinning - Opening New Vistas of Innovations
Bridge the gap between Physical and Digital. Enter in the epoch of predictability with virtual models.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Do you have any brand new concepts that you want to bring to the real world? Or would you like to have some help injecting a new lease of life into something already in existence? Digital twinning will help you by providing the exact same situation. So, you can analyze and test without any impact in the real-life.
You can predict the future by experimenting with everything on the Virtual object. Still in confusion?
Let’s Begin With What Is a Digital Twin and How Does It Function
A Digital Twin is a digital or virtual replica of physical assets or products. It enables data analysis and system monitoring to discover problems before they emerge. It uses simulations to avoid downtime, creates possibilities, and plans for the future.
Sensors help to connect the real and virtual worlds by gathering real-time data. The data collection is either locally decentralized or centrally accumulated in a cloud. The data was then assessed and simulated in a virtual copy of the asset.
Simulation helps to get the information. After that, you can apply parameters to actual physical assets. Incorporating data in the real and virtual illustration to optimize real assets performance.
But be mindful that digital twinning is not a product or any technology, it is a CONCEPT. Different technologies work together to make the concept a reality like,
- 3D simulation
- Cloud Computing
- Big data
Digital Twinning With AI and Machine Learning Algorithm
With a virtual version, you can perform limitless repetitions. Also, experiment with plenty of scenarios to produce simulated data. Then you can use the data to train the AI model with real-world surroundings.
You can use virtual replicas to test different scenarios before producing anything unique. A replica also helps to perform the augmented data operations with machine learning.
Machine Learning makes the intelligent process by obtaining precise data and predictions. It will also acknowledge the visuals and unstructured data.
Machine Learning will create new opportunities to determine unforeseen patterns in your data. It establishes a single-learning system to manage complicated data.
AI learns from different sources such as,
- Examples (Supervised learning)
- Ask for a person's reviews/feedback (Active learning)
- Convey knowledge from one task to another (Transfer Learning)
- Automated feedback/rewards (Reinforcement learning)
- No need for any review/feedback (Unsupervised Learning)
Digital Twinning and IoT - A Winning Combination
IoT and Digital twins are transforming the ways how virtual and physical collaborate. The IoT enables connection and access to intelligence in the real world. It is interconnected with the digital twins (virtual models). They will digitally exemplify their physical match.
IoT offers visibility into the complete product lifecycle when combined with digital twins. It also helps to unlock deeper operational intelligence from different assets. So, you will get real-time 360-degree visibility. It is very essential in today’s ever-changing market demands and customer needs.
Digital twins with IoT can significantly enhance and optimize maintenance and asset downtime. It also enables new streams for revenue and maximizes efficiency. Designers can discover where they need to operate to make things go right. So they can make changes accordingly before deploying anything in the real world.
How Fruitful Is Digital Twinning
1. Rapid Production and Risk Evaluation
Organizations can analyze a product virtually in advance. With the replica of the whole production process, engineers can acknowledge any failure. So, they can produce the best possible product. They can also evaluate unexpected scenarios, System reactions, product building strategies, and whatnot! It ultimately boosts risk assessment. It saves lots of time needed to make changes in the physical product.
2. Predictive Maintenance
Internet of Things sensors produces big data in real-time. So, organizations can assess this data and strongly determine all the system difficulties. It empowers companies to schedule predictive maintenance with greater precision. It will enhance real-world production efficiency and mitigate maintenance expenses.
3. Controlled Remotely in Real-Time
It is much more challenging to get a real-time, detailed view of a huge physical system. It might also be inconceivable. But with digital twinning, users can control system performance remotely.
4. Enhanced Collaboration With the Teams
Digital twinning is offering process automation and around-the-clock system data accessibility. So, engineers can collaborate with the inter-team more precisely and frequently. It will result in better production and functional efficiency.
5. Product Tracking
Digital twining helps you to track the product throughout its whole development lifecycle. IoT sensors keep sending feedback every once in a while about the performance. It will aid in boosting product quality.
6. Improved Financial Decision
A large amount of real-time data and advanced analytics is favorable. You can make quicker and better financial decisions like materials and labor costs. According to that, it is easy to adjust the overall manufacturing product’s budget.
Challenges of Borrowing Digital Twin
1. 3D Drawings
The main challenge while adopting digital twinning is to have 3D drawings illustrations. Still, various organizations believe that 2D data is highly required. So they keep working on that. But users need to be mindful that 2D designing is not at all possible with digital twinning.
Do you want a successful implementation of the digital twining concept? It is necessary to have a digital transformation within your overall business processes. Many small-sized businesses have transformed digitally to leverage the best out of digitization.
3. Digital Data Management
Along with physical data, there is a need to manage the digital data of the product. A robust change is also required in the administration process. It assures that digital twins absolutely control the practical and physical configurations.
Application Area of Digital Twin
The engineers often use digital twins while developing and innovating products. It helps to generate virtual representations of the product. Additionally, it also simplifies the process of customization according to customer needs.
Manufacturers can reach a single and precise version of the product effortlessly. Operations enhancement in businesses is one of the major applications for digital twins.
2. Space Research
To determine and renovate the craft in the space area, NASA formed a digital twin of spacecraft. It stores the data and enables simulation of the different conditions. It is an excellent process for problem-solving.
With the help of a virtual model of vehicles, you can capture the behavior when it is in working mode. You will also get feedback about the performance and maintenance of the vehicles. So, ultimately it will aid deliver the best physical vehicle model on the road.
4. Wind Turbines
To track turbines on its wind farms, General Electric utilizes digital twinning theory. A digital twin wind turbine can aid find the impact on the physical turbine. If the wind blew harder or longer or even didn’t blow at all, you will determine clearly. These twins stay in the cloud and get all the data/insights coming from the physical twin.
The patient’s digital twin gets data from multiple sources such as,
- In-person dimensions
- Laboratory findings
It will help throughout the diagnosis and treatment.
The twin model also detects symptoms at early stages. So, patient diagnosis is possible before getting sick. Surgery simulation helps with surgery risk assessment. Medical device design optimization, drug development, and dosage are possible with the twin model.
6. Industries IoT
Now large-sized and complex pieces of machinery are monitored by using digital twins. IoT provides real-time data to the digital model. It will help to predict future operations and exceptions. Based on that, you can monitor the asset and mitigate cost and downtime. It also helps to optimize maintenance and empower the creation of connected products.
Digital twins facilitate retailers to design their supply chains as linked environments. Retailers can design and develop,
- Storage warehouses
- Material flows
- Inventory locations
The model gets fed by the real-time sensors, equipment data, and other business system data. Based on that, it generates a live execution environment.
8. Sports and Racing
Formula 1 racing has been adopting digital twins to optimize its racing methods. Any racing or sports organization can leverage virtual twins. It helps to determine places for improvement and strategy.
What Does the Future Contain
Digitization and advanced technologies are enabling organizations to embellish,
Each industry niche is enforcing digital twins to leverage more potential. Digitization of equipment, processes, and products is gaining a lot of attention. Digital twins help organizations that are already using advanced technology like,
- Machine learning
- IoT technology
Digital twinning is the vision of the next decade for sure. It boosts the fun more than doubling the potential.
Digital twins are the major league in the upcoming industrial transformation. It will develop new products, assets, and processes.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.