Digital Twin Explained

Digital Twin Explained

Digital Twin refers to a digital replica, virtual copy or model of a real physical asset, such as a product, device, process, vehicle or equipment. The ‘assets’ are equipped with components or sensors to enable the formation of a digital model that can visualise and simulate what is happening in the real world in a digital environment.

How is this achieved? First, an asset is equipped with sensors that will collect various data and parameters that describe its current situation. Then, the data will be used to map out a digital environment and create a virtual copy of the asset using all the parameters collected to monitor its current state and working condition in real-time and even predict its future state. This allows it to serve as a bridge between the physical and digital world, allowing users to extensively monitor an asset through the digital twin or copy.

Let’s say an engineer needs to monitor train cars in a railway system. The wagons, equipped with components or sensors that collect various parameters such as speed, temperature, engine status and passenger count, will send data into a digital model monitored by the engineer. With this, the engineer can monitor the trains in real-time and analyse necessary data for further maintenance and operations.

The use of a digital twin enables organisations to obtain valuable insights relating to an asset, which they can monitor remotely and make accurate predictions driven by data. This technology can be beneficial in a few different ways. It helps businesses reduce costs, such as the cost of testing and repairs, as companies can simulate real-world situations digitally or predict equipment failure well in advance. It can also help organisations optimise the operations and maintenance of their assets and develop better strategies to deliver improved products and customer experience.

It’s basically like having the power of X-ray vision that allows an organisation to monitor various aspects of its assets much more effectively. With the advent of emerging technologies such as AI and machine-learning, IoT, software analytics and 5G, a digital twin is becoming more viable and its adoption will continue to grow rapidly in the coming years in a wide range of industries, especially retail, healthcare, construction, and manufacturing.

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