Digital twin technology is one of the most revolutionary technologies ever invented. It allows companies, businesses, and manufacturers to recreate their entire operations in a virtual world using real-time data. Entire operations can then run virtually, leading to all kinds of useful findings and predictive maintenance.
However, this technology can do so much more. It can help with product development, system diagnostics, create simulations in various settings, and many others. Even though it's still in its early stage, digital technology application is quickly finding a place across many different industries and business practices.
Breakdown of Digital Twin Technology
Most advanced industrial machines and devices generate a ton of data every day. That includes the entire process of product design, development, location information, system configuration, and everything in between. We can't forget about diagnostic and maintenance data either. Anything that can be measured and analyzed is considered useful data.
Businesses today use ML and AI to analyze incoming data to find potential issues and bottlenecks in the operation to make it more efficient. Most AI models need a month's worth of data to find the right solutions to future problems. However, with a digital twin, you can get more details without waiting for so long.
The technology uses the data your operation generates to recreate the entire process or processes in a virtual 3D environment. Of course, all of the details are based on real-life data. The technology uses that data to accurately recreate systems of any complexity. Once the virtual system is up and running, you can feed various data to simulate how your real system would behave. Moreover, you can inspect any individual part of the system, predict what equipment will break down the soonest, and simply get a better understanding of the entire operation.
Digital Twin Applications in Manufacturing
Now, let's get to the fun part. As digital twin technology needs IoT sensors to work, it can work with almost any industry or manufacturing process. Some businesses even recreate an entire city to improve traffic, power management, and similar details. Here are areas where digital twin application is making the most difference.
1. Product Development
The age of "one size fits all" is over. Consumers today prefer customized products made according to their needs and wishes. That puts the entire manufacturing industry under pressure because it complicates mass production. When every unit has different features, meeting an increasing demand can be impossible.
It turns out that digital twin technology has a prominent application in this approach. It uses IoT sensors to get a better understanding of how the entire manufacturing process works. Once it scans the system, it finds solutions that help improve productivity. You can feed it with data directly from customers and generate insights.
Instead of designing each product according to unique needs, you can do everything in a virtual environment. The digital twin application gives users the ability to customize every part without making changes in real life. You can use it to customize every product to your customer's wishes.
2. Engineering Department
Before a product can enter production, your engineering team has to create working prototypes and fix potential design flaws. That can often take months to complete, but the digital twin technology can speed things up substantially. The digital twin application helps companies improve product development and ensure all flaws are removed before production starts.
Moreover, DT technology can also help engineers by providing them with a different perspective. It can identify unknown issues, propose solutions, and pinpoint trends that improve production quality. In other words, businesses can scale their operation while cutting down on costs.
3. Operations Management
It takes a lot of effort to run a manufacturing company. You have to take care of product development, maintenance, manage the entire supply chain, etc. The digital twin can help you improve all business processes with the use of IoT sensors. They generate constant real-time data and feed it to the digital copy of the process.
That will not only help your managers find potential issues and weak spots before they happen, but your employees will be able to track every machine in real-time. That way, all of the guesswork becomes a thing of the past.
Digital Twin Application in Automotive and Aerospace Industries
Digital twin application in the automotive and aerospace industries is already changing the world for the better. It brings vehicle engineering to a new level, improves design and customization efforts, and provides better maintenance. Through practices such as weight monitoring, tracking, accurate weather modeling, and defect detection, the digital twin technology is improving these industries on all fronts. Let's take a closer look at how digital twin application affects these industries.
1. Transport Maintenance
Creating a digital twin of a transport truck, ship, or aircraft can drastically simplify maintenance efforts. Automation of the system comes with constant performance monitoring, minimizing the need for manual inspection. Practices such as predictive analytics can quickly find problems and defects before the vehicle breaks down. That way, you will avoid maintenance downtime, while increasing overall safety.
2. Weight Monitoring
Transport optimization is a challenge for most logistics companies. Various weight restrictions, not enough cargo, and similar problems can lead to underperformance and high expenses. Transport vehicles have weight restrictions to improve safety on the road, but sometimes it's hard to find the best transportation for the cargo at hand. Digital twin application, in this case, can help find the best vehicle for the cargo at hand. Moreover, sensors can help monitor vehicle performance during transport in real-time to find better solutions in the future.
3. Conditions Stipulation
Lastly, digital twin technology can also help with transport park design. Once transport companies recreate their physical assets in a virtual environment, they can run simulations to find better solutions to improve safety, quality, and logistics. Moreover, the technology can also simulate different weather conditions and situations to improve the operation even further.
Digital Twin Application in Real Estate
The real estate industry is among the pioneers of modern technology applications. This industry was one of the first to adopt 3D modeling, rendering, VR, AR, and now digital twin technology. This particular tech can help boost operational processes, improve the overall customer experience, and offer various benefits to everyone involved.
1. Building Maintenance
The digital twin application in real estate can drastically increase building usage visibility. Sensors can closely monitor HVAC systems, lighting, and other operational costs. The technology can also spot potential maintenance issues in the early stages, estimate the exact moment a structure will fall, and offer suggestions on how to fix things on time.
2. Space Optimization
We already mentioned that technologies such as VR and AR help improve building design and ensure that it fits with the surrounding area. However, digital twin tech has the power to increase these capabilities even further. For example, it can evaluate how much space a building occupies once built.
It can also find the best areas for workstations during the construction phase. It's the ability to test out various approaches that can also help improve building design, find the best evacuation routes, etc.
3. Asset Tracking
Asset tracking is proven to offer all kinds of benefits to businesses in many different industries. However, keeping track of hundreds or thousands of assets isn't easy. IoT sensors can help you track every asset accurately, and DT tech can recreate the entire system in a virtual setting, allowing quick location of assets at all times.
The digital twin application is quickly finding its place in most industries everywhere. It can generate valuable insights that help companies improve various aspects of their operations. With advanced technologies such as IoT sensors, AI analytics, and real-time monitoring, the digital twin is proving its worth very quickly.
Its unique ability to predict issues can reduce operational costs, minimize downtimes, and improve efficiency. The technology offers a safe method of testing different approaches, allowing companies to find better solutions without making any costly changes in the real world.