Digital twin: what it is, how it works, where it is used






The digital twin is a digital model that allows you to predict failures and streamline the company’s experimental processes. Let’s see what it is, how it works and where it is used.

AN digital twinAlso known as digital twin, is a virtual alter-ego of a physical resource with which it can exchange data synchronously or asynchronously. AN digital twin it can replicate many things: objects, processes, infrastructure, and much more.

These digital models are highly regarded for their predictive ability it’s from experimentation. When testing a complex system, such as a box-making machine, you can test its operation and predict possible failures thanks to artificial intelligence. In this way, the company that uses this technology can save a lot of money, as testing an object in virtual reality guarantees its integrity in the experimental phase, with no risk of damaging it. In addition, thanks to AI, it is possible to foresee any unforeseen events arising from the operation.

Imagine you want to build a car: Crush testing can be extremely expensive, especially since the car would be destroyed. Simulate the same accident in a virtual space with a digital twin it is much cheaper and avoids waste. This logic can potentially be applied to an infinite number of complex systems: buildings, processes in working machines, etc.

How a digital twin works

ideally a digital twin contains within itself all the information of the physical twin through a 3D representation of its aspects at all levels (electronic, mechanical, geometric, etc.).

Thanks to this information it is possible to develop a predictive model it is a experimental. With the predictive model it is possible to simulate the behavior of a complex system which highlights possible errors and malfunctions; while with experimental, when testing a product, it is possible To save money in creating an expensive physical prototype.

THE digital twin they can be from four types:

  • Component/Part Twins: Component twins are thefundamental unit of a digital twin. They are essential parts for the functioning of a good, such as the engine of a car.
  • Asset twins: when two or more components work at the same time, they form what is called active. Asset twins allow you to analyze the interaction between physical parts, generating a lot of performance data that can be processed and turned into insights.
  • System twins: The next level is system twins (or units), which help you understand how several assets combine to form a whole functional system. System twins provide an overview of how assets they interact and can suggest possible performance improvements.
  • Process twins: Process twins show how systems work together to form a whole production plant. Process twins allow you to determine the precise time capable of influencing the overall effectiveness to the maximum.

How to Create a Digital Twin

THE digital twin they are made using sophisticated software designed by leading technology companies such as Amazon AWS, Dassault Systèmes, IBM, Oracle, PTC and Siemens. According to McKinsey create a digital twin it’s a complex process that can be broken down into three phases: create a project, build the initial digital twin, and then grow its capabilities.

In the phase of project creation it’s important to focus on your goals: what do you want to do with the digital twin? What data is needed to develop it in the best possible way? Where can you find the data you need? Once all the initial information has been collected, the engineers assemble the fundamental data, thus creating a first primordial model that allows the visualization of some use cases. Thanks to the data collected in the first experiments, it is later possible to start gradually improve the digital twin.

Once the initial digital twin use cases are working, it’s time to expand its capabilities by adding more data and analytics to support new use cases. In this phase, companies use their digital twins in conjunction with theartificial intelligence to simulate scenarios or possible situations.

Where a digital twin is used

As mentioned, the digital twin it can be used in different situations and is able to provide valuable insights for the companies that use it. general electricalfor example, equipped its turbines with some sensors who communicate with their digital twin. In this way, the company manages to offer a very advanced after-sales service, as the digital twin communicates with the physical twin in almost real time, providing all the necessary data to provide assistance in case of need.

But it doesn’t stop there, the digital twin actually can be used inhealth area, for example, when a doctor has to operate. By making a patient’s digital twin, it is possible to experience procedures in a simulated environment, without putting your life at risk.

It can also be used to check the maintenance of a building before it was actually built. In fact, when creating a digital twin of a building (building, tower, house) it is possible to subject it to shocks and blows of various types, with the aim of checking its resistance.

Finally, another very appropriate example might be that of Formula 1where digital twins are used to simulate racing and try to predict the car’s performance.

In Italy, among the companies that use the digital twin, there are Dallara, a major automobile manufacturer that uses this technology to test the performance of the cars it designs. In this way, Dallara is free to change a component of a machine simply and quickly and test its performance in a safe environment.

Many companies, especially those specializing in industrial production, are already using the digital twin as they benefit greatly from its capabilities. In the future, it can be expected that this technology will not only improve, but be used in more and more industries.

Source: Money It

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