A digital twin is a virtual representation that serves as the real-time digital counterpart of a physical object or process. Digital twins are the result of continual improvement in the creation of product design and engineering activities. Product drawings and engineering specifications progressed from handmade drafting to computer aided drafting/computer aided design to model-based systems engineering.
Where do digital twins get all this data? They can be integrated with a variety of business applications, including:
- Manufacturing execution systems
- ERP software
- Supply-chain-specific tools
This is why ERP vendors are always talking about digital twins. It’s clear that they have the potential to add value to organizations’ ERP implementations.
Who Uses Digital Twins?
Today, companies in a variety of sectors derive value from digital twin technology, especially companies in the construction, automotive, and manufacturing industries.
Across industries, real-time models allow for easier data tracing throughout the product lifecycle. For example, in manufacturing, digital twins are used to facilitate product development and design customization. They can also help improve shop floor performance and aid predictive maintenance activities.
Likewise, automotive leaders can utilize these models to advance design and development efforts. Most recently, this industry has used digital twins to simulate and better understand the technology behind self-driving cars.
On the construction side, digital twins can help firms gain visibility into real-time building performance. With the data provided, they can make necessary adjustments to optimize efficiency, while laying the groundwork for future improvements.
What is a Digit
al Twin in Manufacturing?
For years, manufacturers have relied on 3D renderings and computer-assisted design (CAD) drawings to develop prototypes, manage assets, and predict outcomes.
Digital twins improve on these processes, enabling improved accuracy and greater control. These models rely on IoT sensors, which transmit data from an object directly to its corresponding twin.
How does it work? First, a physical asset is built. It will contain one or more sensors capable of collecting ERP real-time data and transmitting operational status. This data is then sent over the cloud, where it’s analyzed and replicated in the twin.
The result is a process that’s quicker, safer, and potentially more cost-effective than ever before.
Benefits of Digital Twins
The real-time simulation provided by digital twins allows for improved data capture and integration. Other benefits available through this technology include:
- Cost savings
- Increased safety
- Improved real-time visualization
- More accurate, advanced data analysis
- Predictive analytics
- Easier collaboration and information sharing