As per NVIDIA, one of the leading manufacturers of graphics processing units, a digital twin is a real-time digital portrayal of a physical entity or system. By replicating aspects of the real-world version that cannot be modified on-site, this technology enables the creation of customised scenarios. To illustrate, a manufacturer could leverage a digital twin to simulate the impact of integrating robots into their existing setup and labour force, before proceeding.
The existence of digital twins dates back to the time when NASA implemented system simulators on their spacecrafts. This enabled engineers to conduct simulations beforehand and address challenges from a remote location, thanks to the simulators being routinely synchronised with the current status of the vehicle. As IoT evolved, sensors have undergone significant advancements, enabling real-time monitoring of machinery.
Digital twins have the potential to offer several benefits in various fields such as space exploration and manufacturing. These benefits include, but are not limited to, enhanced productivity, better product quality, informed decision-making and maintenance scheduling. As a result, this technology is rapidly progressing. We will delve deeper into these advantages of digital twins in the following sections. Click here to learn more about potential benefits.
Digital twins can aid companies in achieving better financial management by forecasting maintenance requirements and identifying any outdated equipment that may need to be replaced. Suppose an electric provider intends to upgrade and/or substitute a designated number of degraded utility poles. In that case, they can pre-plan and allot funds annually instead of waiting for unexpected failures. This approach allows for the costs to be spread out over time, with priority given to the most pressing requirements, hence reducing the financial load.
Digital twins are equipped with several features that aid in the transition from a reactive strategy to a proactive one. These features include an extensive archive of asset performance and maintenance records, as well as analytics that can anticipate possible failures. The following example highlights this capability.
Digital twins assist in increasing productivity by scheduling equipment maintenance and replacement during the least disruptive period of the day. However, it is preferable to allow for unforeseen emergencies to result in downtime without warning, rather than employing this method. For instance, an electric company could monitor transmission equipment using digital twins, and if a problem arises, the maintenance crew can track it as it deteriorates over time.
Thanks to this approach, the maintenance crew was promptly informed that a particular equipment needed replacement, avoiding disruption to energy distribution and the need to divert additional personnel from other critical duties. Additionally, this helped the utility to maintain its reputation with its customers, as no further measures were necessary.
Producing High-quality Products
Digital twins offer organisations an opportunity to test and validate products before commencing physical production. Engineers can simulate the performance of intricate systems in hypothetical scenarios. This ability enables adjustments to be made, ensuring nearly flawless manufacturing of the product. Not only does this improve product quality, but it also minimises the need for expensive and time-consuming physical testing.
Adopting this approach could prove to be extremely useful in the development of technologically advanced products. For instance, a manufacturer could utilise digital twins to create a virtual model of a vehicle, thereby enhancing its performance and design through pre-production testing. This approach can be especially advantageous in advanced automotive technology sectors such as the expanding electric vehicle (EV) industry.
Digital twins serve as a beneficial resource for enterprises, facilitating their ability to anticipate the maintenance requirements of their machines, the timeframes involved, and the cost of any necessary replacement parts. This accurate data empowers executives to make prompt and decisive decisions. The subsequent list highlights such decisions that can be made with the assistance of digital twins.
- During this procedure, what is the number of personnel required? How many robotic systems are there?
- Can you suggest an ideal location for this new machinery brand?
- What is the expected timeline for this machine’s maintenance requirements?
- Which specific machinery is most likely to fail in the near future?
- What is the anticipated remaining lifespan of this equipment?
- What is the likelihood of success for this product idea?
- At present, is it feasible to produce this product?
- What improvements could be made to enhance this product?
- What steps can we take to optimize efficiency in all areas?
Is It Recommended to Employ Digital Replicas?
If you think that the benefits listed above could be advantageous for your company, implementing digital twin technology could be a feasible solution. However, before finalizing any decisions, there are several aspects to consider.
Security.Introducing digital twins to your system requires upgrading your security protocols as more endpoints are involved.
Data accuracy.The accuracy of the data used to produce digital twins is critical to the success of the technology. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the data used is of high quality prior to implementing this approach.
Training.Digital twin technology requires skilled personnel. To optimize returns on investment, businesses may need to either train existing employees or recruit new ones with expertise in this field.
If you are willing to address these concerns, implementing digital twins could potentially offer advantages to your company.