Benefits of Digital Twin Technology to Various Industries
The concept of digital twins is not entirely new. The idea has existed for over two decades since the idea has been there since 2002. While it seems like a futuristic concept, digital twin technology is already being used in the manufacturing industry. However, more and more industries are catching on with the potential of this remarkable innovation. Thanks to the rise and prevalence of the Internet of Things (IoT), we have seen a surge in digital twin technology applications.
But, what are digital twins anyway? Simply put, a digital twin is a virtual model or replica of a physical product or system. It has three main components: the physical item, their virtual representation, and the data that connects the two entities. It was first developed and used by NASA when they wanted to create a solution that will enable them to check up, maintain, update, or repair a machine in outer space. Since they cannot be there physically, they established a virtual model which gathers data in real-time that would allow them to work from where they are.
The Crucial Link Between Digital Twins and the Internet of Things
Digital twins are not mere virtual models in appearance. They also have all the necessary features and functionality of the physical entity they are based on. The tech itself relies on 3D simulation and advanced modelling technology. Still, we need data for it to precisely simulate a real-world asset. So, where does the Internet of Things (IoT) come in in all of this?
Since data is heavily involved in the entire process, IoT is a critical component in the cost-effective applications and usefulness of the digital twin technology. Digital twins gather data through the input from sensors from their physical counterparts. This process is what allows them to simulate a physical entity in real-time. Then, we can get valuable feedback and insights about that object’s performance. Additionally, we get to see potential problems that may arise.
We have seen an increase in active IoT device connections in the past years, and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. As a result, our use of digital twin technology is expanding and going beyond the manufacturing industry. With the IoT, digital twins are becoming more efficient, effective, and beneficial to many industries worldwide.
Benefits of Digital Twin Technology
What can we take away from digital twin technology? It provides us with valuable information that can help us in decision-making processes. Using digital twins makes it possible for institutions, companies, and industries to develop and improve their products, systems, and services. The integration of digital twin applications will hugely impact many aspects of human life. Here are some of the remarkable benefits of digital twin technology to various industries:
Ability to Create What-If Scenarios
Imagine if we can build what-if scenarios for a product. People then would be able to make strategic decisions according to the data and observations gathered. However, we don’t need to imagine that anymore because it is a reality through digital twins. Since a digital twin is a real-world simulation, it can be used to simulate different what-if scenarios. The resulting analysis would be just like the real thing because digital twins make use of real-world data.
The real benefit here is that there is the freedom to explore real-life actions given a variable set of data without huge costs. People can test proposed changes in existing systems or processes without being worried about the associated risks. Prototypes can be tested, analyzed, and redesigned before their physical counterpart can be created. Creating what-if scenarios benefits multiple industries, such as urban planning, healthcare, and businesses.
Automation of Systems and Processes
Automation is on the rise, and its benefits can be felt by various industries. The abilities of the digital twin technology include automation. With the help of IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital twins can automate processes based on the data processed through various algorithms.
This is a valuable tool, particularly in the manufacturing industry. By combining various data from software and hardware, digital twins allow experts to update and improve an overall process. A real-life example of this would be Unilever. They are enhancing their operational efficiency through digital twins. The digital twins get their input from the IoT systems from factories, which is then analyzed by an algorithm. The results will circle back to the physical factory, where the manufacturing process will be automated.
Simulate, Monitor, and Manage Complex Systems
Through machine learning algorithms and data inputs, digital twins can simulate any complex ecosystem: from smart cities, telecom networks, and even the human body. For example, a digital twin can simulate a city environment to help city planners analyze different metrics such as traffic flow and electricity consumption. It provides valuable insight on how city planners should utilize land, allocate resources, develop road networks, and more.
Furthermore, digital twin technology is not limited to machinery. Its applications in healthcare provide medical professionals with the necessary data for optimized patient care. Organs can have digital twins, and doctors can use this to predict surgical outcomes.
In this blog, we have learned what digital twin technology is, how it works, and how it can benefit multiple industries. The use of the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Twins will continue to shape various industries, effectively impacting our everyday lives. As more and more advances and developments arise in the world of the IoT and AI, the scope and applications of the digital twin technology grow along with it.
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