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What is Digital Twin? The Importance Of Virtual Model Technology


How Does Digital Twin Work and Why is it so Important?

Digital Twin

Digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. It uses sensors to provide real time data while integrating the internet of things (industry 4.0), artificial intelligence, and software analytics.

The data collected can then be used to create a ‘twin’ which can accurately predict how these processes, products or services work. This has become a staple in modern engineering and is used to drive innovation and performance.

The fact that it has incredibly advanced analytical, monitoring and predictive capabilities, is the reason for so many companies using it. To name just a few, it has improved wind turbines as well as jet engines.

What Challenges has Digital Twin Solved?

Digital Twin can be used across a variety of industries and applications to solve a number of different real world challenges, whether related to technologies, personnel, and more. These challenges can, for example, be related to efficiency improvements for racing cars or for testing fatigue and corrosion resistance in offshore wind turbines. By creating a digital twin, it is possible to investigate solutions for manufacturing process improvements, product lifecycle extension, and product development. Rather than the potentially costly process of testing a physical object, digital twin allows for a virtual representation of the problem and solution to be investigated.

An example of where this software has been used in a real world context is in hospitals. The software digitally cloned the hospital, administrators, doctors and nurses, which then gives an insight into patient health and workflows. The analysis provided by the sensors meant that hospitals could run much more efficiently which then improves the patient’s experience. One hospital saw a 900% improvement in cost savings.

Digital Twin Services

TWI is now focusing on harnessing digital twin as the basis for lifecycle engineering asset management.

We have built up a wealth of knowledge in the structural health and condition monitoring of wind turbines as a result of its participation in a number of sucessful, European and UK collaborative projects. In completion of these projects it was a natural progression to develop the application of digital twin to transform the process of monitoring and maintaining offshore wind turbines.

Find out more on how we can help

A survey showed that just 4% of small and medium-sized Danish companies use AM, which led to a consortium of partners, including TWI, to come together and promote the take-up of the technology as part of the AM-LINE 4.0 project.

The project used Digital Twin as part of the process to create a demonstration and knowledge centre for industrial 3D printing in metal, so that smaller Danish businesses feel confident using the technology for their production lines.

Related Links

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