Twins, which should not be afraid - digital

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According to a Deloitte study, businesses should look at the benefits of Digital Twin technology.

Before to know exactly how the digital twins' emergence affects the quality of the workflow improvement, we should understand the Digital Twin concept.

Digital Twin is the embodiment of a real object (physical device) in digital reality, which demonstrates the entire technical specification of a subject and responds to potential interference and external factors. It is worth noting that digital twins work on the basis of input data that are recorded using sensors mounted on real objects. Such synchronisation helps to identify devices problems and shortcomings at the initial test stages before their mass use.

True purpose

The Digital Twin concept is great for businesses that are aware that today business will be able to satisfy with its results if it meets the trends. I think that you will agree that new technologies, exploding media headlines with their capabilities, are really tuned to both point and global changes in order to automate, optimise and reduce costs. For example, digital twins have the ability to significantly expand the functionality of analytical services that operate within the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things).

With the rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as wireless technologies, digital twins no longer seem like the next century idea. This is a reality that is accessible from both the financial side and the technical background. According to a Gartner study, 24 per cent of organisations that use IoT solutions in their work already use digital counterparts, and another 42 per cent plan them over the next three years.

Digital analogues of physical objects are not only a way to model individual devices and things, but also a global approach to the functioning of the entire business. Digital Twins is an opportunity to display a whole system complex consisting of expensive equipment that is indispensable at every stage of multitasking work.

Without the involvement of digital twins in order to improve equipment or mechanisms, there is a need to conduct tests on physical models. At the same time, it should be understood that testing doesn’t always go smoothly, which entails breakdowns and malfunctions, and as a result - costs. However, by creating a digital twin using information obtained from IoT sensors, companies can open up a whole field of experimentation that will help businesses improve operations, design new products, and test them before they are released into mass production. 

Spheres of application

It should be borne in mind that the embodiment of the digital twin is a rather serious process, requiring a scrupulous attitude and, of course, large investments. At the same time, Deloitte experts claim that this technology is rapidly gaining new admirers from various industries: aerospace, trade, health care, industry, and others. This adoption proves that digital twins can find application in completely different fields, because, as I mentioned above, they help in the design and development of complex mechanisms and processes. For example, digital analogues can successfully realise themselves in wind power plants, or even in the effective placement of goods on supermarket shelves.

To summarise, the digital twins provide:

  • speed in developing new products;
  • work optimisation;
  • maintenance quality.

According to experts' forecasts, the market of digital twins will reach $16 billion by 2023, while the similar indicator of the technology market, which forms the basis for this innovation (for example, IoT and machine learning), should double by 2020.

Probably, the most applicable digital twins will be in those sectors where there is a high demand for resource efficiency, for example, industrial production, the oil and gas industry, the aerospace and automotive industries. Despite this, the introduction of digital twins can have a rather positive effect on the smart cities design.

It seems to me that one of the most vivid examples of how important the introduction of Digital Twin into a business is the supply chain. It is no secret that a well-established supply chain is the basic component of a successful business operation.

Implemented digital twins case studies

Maserati

A popular manufacturer of luxury cars using digital twins has achieved a more efficient process of designing new models, speeding it up by 30 per cent. This result was achieved by the introduction of virtual layouts, with which there is no need to develop expensive prototypes.

Intermarché

In a large-scale project of the French supermarket chain, digital analogues of entire trading platforms are used.

With this solution, store managers are always aware of the availability of the goods, while access to this data is provided online. Moreover, digital store twins help test the effectiveness of product placement strategies.

Dassault Systems

The representative of the medical industry went on an innovative, but the difficult way. Although there can be no other way if the question concerns human life. Dassault Systems experts have created an archive of digital twins of the human heart, with which doctors can more effectively analyse the patient's condition in real time.

How can the blockchain help?

Blockchain is able to provide a simple, and most importantly - a secure way to access digital twins. Moreover, the technology allows combining different models, because most enterprises use more than one digitised product. By combining the blockchain, IoT and digital copying, it will be possible to achieve maximum efficiency in work.

An innovative synergy of technology can be clearly seen in the supply chain, where products have digital labels. This means that the object monitored in the supply chain has its own digital twin, which can confirm its authenticity. This approach would be especially useful for authentic and rare wines, as well as for determining the origin of certain products, or even for checking antiques.

Alexander Ivanov, Chief R&D Officer, 482.solutions
Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa