What is Digital Twin Technology — Use Cases, Solutions, and Examples

What is a Digital Twin?

A digital twin, in simple terms, is a virtual model of a product, process, or service. By pairing the virtual and physical worlds, digital twins enable data analysis, system monitoring to alert problems, downtime prevention, and future planning via simulations.

A Digital Twin Solution for Manufacturing Industry

Chemical Synthesis Process Monitor Twin

Digital twins can provide highly customized solutions. Take drug manufacturing, for instance. Our global pharma client wanted to improve the visibility of their plant operations to predict the quality of the batches produced.

  • Floor Monitor: Display on a large screen on the plant floor. Operators can track in real-time when quality drops.
  • Predict Quality: Find out if a batch will produce a good result or a bad result — without running it.
  • Simulator: Re-run the last batch to explore the minimal change required to improve batch quality.
Watch the video to learn the exclusive features of our manufacturing digital twin
contact gramener for building custom digital twin solutions for manufacturing and pharma industry
contact gramener for building custom digital twin solutions for manufacturing and pharma industry

Why Digital Twin is Gaining Popularity?

Innovation and performance play a key role in keeping an organization successful in the dynamic business landscape. IDC predicts that companies who invested in digital twin tech in 2018 will see a 30 percent improvement in cycle times of critical processes.

How Do Digital Twins Work? (The Concept of Process Simulation)

To start building a digital twin, applied mathematics or data science experts perform research on the operational data of a physical object or system to develop a mathematical model for process simulation.

Types of Digital Twins

As digital twins (DTs) are built from the bottom up, the lowest level is the simplest and yields the least amount of information, while the higher levels provide more sophisticated and diverse information. DT consists of an emerging hierarchy that includes:

Parts Twinning

Robust parts twinning is the foundation of digital twinning. Virtual representations of components at this level allow engineers to understand a part’s physical, mechanical, and electrical characteristics.

Product Twinning

While twinning individual components offer useful insights, twinning the interoperability of components as they work together is crucial to enabling product twinning.

System Twinning

At a higher level, system twinning enables engineers to integrate, configure, and maintain an entire fleet of products working together to accomplish a result in a system.

Process Twinning

Besides physical objects, digital twinning can be applied to processes and workflows as well. Process twinning facilitates the optimization of operations involved in preparing raw materials for finished goods production.

Digital Twins Use Cases Based on Industries

By leveraging the power of big data, IoT, and AI, the Digital Twin allows for in-depth analysis. Simulation is helpful in detecting potential issues, preventing downtime, testing new business opportunities, planning future scenarios, and customizing production based on customer requirements.

Healthcare

Using digital twins in healthcare, physicians can experiment with different care delivery approaches, prevent disease years apart, and train for complex invasive procedures based on patient-specific anatomy.

Manufacturing

Digital twins are most commonly used in the manufacturing industry. A high volume of data is generated by high-cost equipment used in manufacturing, which facilitates the creation of digital twins. Manufacturing applications of digital twins include:

Product Development

Engineers can use digital twins to test the feasibility of upcoming products before they are launched. In response to test results, engineers start producing or shift their focus to developing a practical product.

Design Customization

Digital twins enable businesses to design various permutations of products so that they can offer personalized products and services to their customers.

Shop Floor Performance Improvement

Monitoring and analyzing digital twins allows engineers to see which products contain defects or have lower performance levels than expected.

Predictive Maintenance

Digital twins are used by manufacturers to predict the potential downtime of machines so that maintenance efforts are minimal and machines are more efficient because the technicians can act before a breakdown happens.

Smart Cities

An eco-economic and socially sustainable city can be helped through a Digital Twin. In addition to guiding their future plans, it enables users to create models that help solve complex issues confronted by cities.

Disaster Management

Human activities are causing Earth’s climate to change faster than it ever has, primarily because of the recent rise in global temperatures.

Supply Chain Logistics

With the implementation of a digital twin, you can simulate business process outcomes in a virtual environment, improving efficiency and reducing supply chain costs — which can dramatically improve your ROI.

Using Digital twins for Predictive Maintenance Problems

Real-world data about a physical object or system is used as input, and it produces output in the form of predictions or simulations of how those inputs will affect the object or system.

  • Troubleshooting equipment located far away
  • Complexity management and linking systems-of-systems
  • Integrating disparate systems to promote traceability

Using Digital Twins for Operational Analysis or Process Optimization

Operating Digital Twins integrate and correlate streaming IoT data with other inputs. This dynamic virtual representation of the entire plant is then created utilizing machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced modeling techniques.

Digital Twins vs Process Simulations

A digital twin is a concept, not a product or technology. The concept will become a reality when a multitude of technologies are combined — 3D simulation, Internet of Things, 4G/5G, big data, blockchain, edge computing, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

Industry Applications of Digital Twins

Drug development, supply chain management, and other manufacturing practices are being applied to digital twin concepts by the pharmaceutical industry with the aid of regulatory agencies and academic institutions.

4 Digital Twins applications in Industry 4.0 & Manufacturing

Digital Twin Applications in Engineering

A digital twin technology creates a virtual model of a complex physical product that can be tested and improved before the physical product is built.

Digital Twin Applications in Design customization

The manufacturing industry competes more and more as consumers demand customized products in shorter time frames due to their increased sophistication.

Digital Twin Applications in Production

The use of digital twins can be used by engineers to test the viability of upcoming products before they are released. When engineers receive test results, they start creating a feasible product or change their focus.

Digital Twin Applications in Operations

Using Twin Operations Management, you can improve operational efficiency, preventive maintenance, and dynamic simulation. A real asset is embedded with IoT sensors, resulting in a continuous stream of real-time, dynamic information about the condition of the asset.

Benefits of Digital Twins: Reducing Cost & Optimizing Performance

Digital Twins, in general, are highly successful when it comes to providing new opportunities and increasing productivity and efficiency.

Transform Business, Improve ROI & Make Operations Seamless with Digital Twins

By creating a digital twin, businesses would be able to see the tangible value, create new revenue streams, and answer critical strategic questions.

contact gramener for building custom digital twin solutions for manufacturing and pharma industry

Gramener is a design-led data science company that solves complex business problems with compelling data stories using insights and a low-code platform, Gramex.