The fourth industrial revolution consist of Industry 4.0 which is a growing combination of the traditional manufacturing and industrial platforms and practices with the latest smart technology that trends towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes. It refers to a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data which are characterised by many concepts like for example, the internet of things (IoT) and industrial internet of things (IIOT) that bridges the gap between the physical entity in the real world and its digital representation in the digital world through cyber-physical systems, enabled by Industrial IoT.
The digital twins are predominantly used in the Industrial Internet of Things and certainly engineering and manufacturing processes.
A Digital Twin is a digital representation of a real-world entity or system. In simple words, a digital twin can be referred as a virtual replication of a physical asset or product in the real world. The concept of Digital Twin gives the benefit of working on the projects related to the real-world entities even though you are not in direct contact with the physical entity.
The digital twin technology is changing the face of manufacturing industry as it is guiding in understanding, predicting and optimizing performance by covering the entire lifecycle of an asset to achieve improved business outcomes.
Performing experiments to monitor the physical products and assets can be costly and consume considerate amount of time and resources, on the other hand a by knowing the current context and predicting future state, a digital replica can be quickly edited to test new solutions, run simulations and monitor and optimize lifecycles effectively.
The digital twin is considered as the next thing after IoT because the IoT ecosystem revolves around data from smart devices such as sensors providing with huge amounts of data and the conceptualization of digital twin flourishes on the historical context, input data and sensors. This relationship allows the analysis of data and monitoring of the systems thereby preventing issues even before they occur by controlling the assets and decreasing the downtime caused by equipment failure thereby lowering the maintenance costs and avoiding other unforeseen charges.
Digital Twins are popular because they possess capabilities to act like a real thing that helps in simulating all kind of scenarios, analysing them and taking the required decision to improve the business needs and productivity. A digital twin is built with lots of research and applied mathematics that underlies the physical asset being replicated. The physical asset has smart components attached to it that use sensors to gather data about real-time status, working conditions and other statistics. The components are connected to a cloud-based system that receives and processes all the data sent by the sensors and the data is monitored and analysed to visualize different scenarios for better business outcomes. The twin is continuously updated to mirror the current state of the physical asset.
Digital twin technology is a cutting-edge technology that plays a vital role to drive innovation and performance.
Digital replicas are playing a major role in finding the new revenue streams and are changing the industry processes and businesses operations, as digital twin technology provides unprecedented knowledge and deeper insights that leads to great innovations.
The concept of a digital twin came into existence in the early 21st century but is gaining popularity recently as it has become cost-effective to implement and simulate for great performances and better business decisions and is rapidly becoming a business imperative, covering the entire lifecycle of an asset or process offering hybrid visualization forming the foundation of intelligent decision making for connected products and services.