What Is a Digital Twin?
A digital twin is a digital representation or virtual copy of a physical object, process or service, connecting the real world with the virtual world. NASA was one of the first to use this technology for space exploration missions. The same technology is now being applied to several industry sectors such as engineering, health care and transport, with digital twins being created for jet engines, wind farms, buildings and even whole cities, with the aim to drive innovation and improve performance.
Beyond a traditional computer model, digital twins reflect changes in the physical twin in real time, and they can be used to make changes to the behaviour of physical twins in real time considering several factors to improve efficiency, profitability, time and environmental.
How digital twins work and their benefits
How do Digital Twins work?
A digital twin is, in essence, a computer program that uses real world data to create simulations that can predict how a product or process will perform. With the advancement of machine learning (ML) and factors such as big data, digital twin models and programs can integrate the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and software analytics to enhance performance.
What are the benefits?
There are numerous applications of digital twins which produce several benefits in order to help organisations meet their goals. One area currently using digital twins is building management. The digital twin can be used to measure and control temperature in a building to optimise efficiency and comfort for those working in the building. Supermarkets can monitor items being sold in real time and then organise stock replacement on a daily or even hourly basis. A third application would be smart motorways, monitoring speed of traffic, effects if this is slowed or additional lanes opened.
In short, creating a digital twin can allow the enhancement of strategic technology trends, prevent costly failures in physical objects and, by using advanced analytical, monitoring and predictive capabilities, test processes and services. These numerous applications are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how this technology can be utilised to improve efficiencies, growth, profitability, meet sustainability targets and enable organisations to become leaders within business sectors.