What is the definition of a digital twin?
A digital twin is a computerized representation of an actual product, operation, or function. To add context, a digital twin is a snapshot of a physical asset/product. Meaning that a digital twin is an as-is representation of a physical asset. You can use digital twins interchangeably with the term digital copy. It acts as a digital counterpart of an entity in the physical world replicating gathered data about the physical entity. This object could be one entity, like a jet motor or wind turbine, or an aggregated entity, such as a skyscraper, power plant, or even an entire city and its related processes.
You can employ digital twin technology to recreate processes and physical resources to accumulate information that you can use to predict how well those processes will function.
A digital twin technology is a software application that uses data collected from the real world to produce simulations that may accurately forecast how a process or a product will carry out in the future.
What is the origin and history of digital twins?
2002 was the year that brought widespread attention to the concept of digital twins. The construction of a product lifecycle management center was the subject of the discussion. It included the actual space, the virtual space, and the dispersion of information and data that flows between the real and virtual worlds. These are all components common to the concept of the digital twin. Since its inception, the idea of establishing a physical and digital twin as a single entity has stayed the same, even though some associated terms may have evolved through time.
It is a popular misconception that digital twin technology hit the market in 2002. However, this technology has existed for much longer. Tech experts created the notion of digital twin and digital twin technology in the 1960s. IT professionals put the idea into effect shortly after its conception. Specifically, during this time, NASA’s space exploration coding would use certain fundamental digital twin concepts. To do this, they built physically identical systems on the ground designed to mirror the ones in orbit. For example, a digital twin was created in order to make sure that Apollo 13 would be able to return safely to earth after the landing. Read the dramatic behind-the-scenes story here.
What types of digital twins exist?
The simulation capabilities of digital twins extend down to the level of individual elements and up to the level of large systems. The aim of each type of digital twin and their unique function is extremely different from that of the others. Even though they all perform the same core function, digitally replicating a system or item that exists in the real world.
Digital representations of specific products or system components are referred to as component twins. Moreover, they are more than merely used to represent all of the different pieces of a product. Rather, they are often utilized to simulate integral parts, including those subjected to a very high degree of heat or stress. Developers and engineers can determine how you can enhance the components to maintain their integrity in plausible options by electronically designing the parts and submitting them to simulation studies.
Asset twins, also known as product twins, are digital representations of a real object instead of the product’s component pieces individually. The objective of asset twins is to understand how the various components of a particular product interact with one another, even though, theoretically, you can form one asset twin of multiple component twins.
System twins, sometimes known as unit twins, are digital models of production systems created to function as a unit. The difference between asset twins and system twins is that asset twins represent real-world products of multiple parts. In contrast, system twins represent these specific products as pieces of a broader system. If one recognizes how various components connect, one will have the ability to enhance how those assets connect, which will, in turn, increase the company’s productivity and effectiveness.
Process twins are a digital representation of two or more interdependent systems functioning simultaneously. A production line, for instance, may be modeled using a system twin, but a whole factory could be modeled using a process twin, right down to the personnel who operate the equipment on the production line.
What is the difference between simulation and digital twins?
A simulation and a digital twin are different concepts. As mentioned earlier a digital twin is a snapshot of a physical object, thus mimicking the behavior of the real object. Capabilities that can be added to a digital twin are simulation and predictive modeling. A simulation adds new variables to the environment of the digital twin in order to determine the outcome. mimics what might happen to a product under different conditions, while a digital twin is a digital replica of what occurs to a particular real-world product. The creativity of the developer who requires to integrate any modifications into a simulation is the only constraint limiting the alterations that can be made to the simulation.
Nevertheless, because a digital twin provides genuine input, the developer can assess whether or not it is functioning as expected. Then, they can make any necessary adjustments to reflect how it is utilized. This feature transcends from the capital to other purposes, such as for a production process, which you may evaluate with actual data to respond to shifting expectations, needs, or economic situations.
The primary distinction between a digital twin and a simulation is that the latter is purely hypothetical, whereas the former is based on real-world data.