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What is a Digital Twin and its Implications for Manufacturing?

Posted by Ho Nguyen

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A digital twin is a virtual replica of a real (physical) object created by the data collected from sensors embedded in that object. The digital twin, therefore, provides a real-time digital representation of the object.

The concept of digital twins is crucial to the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT). They are the bridge between the physical and digital worlds and create the foundation of connected devices and systems.

What is a Digital Twin and its Implications for Manufacturing?

Digital twins in manufacturing

The applications of digital twins are increasingly important in manufacturing. They help detect problems before they even occur, prevent breakdowns, optimise the entire lifecycle of industrial assets, systems, and processes. Digital twins make it possible to design, build, and test equipment in a virtual environment.

Read more: Taking a Fresh Look at Lean Manufacturing Strategies

Digital twins enable monitoring and tracking of assets’ performance and operating conditions such as temperature, vibration, and pressure at a granular level and in real time. Managers then can make well-informed decisions to better utilize the assets.

The real-time data can be combined with historical data in order to improve performance, identify the problems’ root causes, and predict future issues.   

Data from the digital twin can be processed and put into consumable format for shop floor personnel in order to increase data-usage.

Digital twins provide different individuals – engineers, product managers, shop floor managers, and supply chain managers – with the same critical data that they all can see, track, and act on. There are no longer siloed teams relying on outdated data.

Read more: Data Analytics for Manufacturing: the Tesla’s Case Study

The end result is faster product design, reduced time to market, shortened supply chain, and more efficient processes.

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Topics: Technology trends, Enterprise Resource Planning ERP

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 Rick Yvanovich
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