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What is Digital Twin Technology?

digital twin motor in automotive industry

A digital twin is a type of technology that can replicate another object (as if a twin), process or service. These virtual models can be used by a number of sectors to get a real sense of a project knowing the exact speciations of a product and make decisions and plans around this high-level detail. The same can be said of replicating processes and services, saving critical time in any business so that data can be collected quicker and action can be taken to improve in real-time.

Simply put, digital twin technology is a smart program that is used to simulate real things and predict how they will perform, without actually building them first. It has also been successful in creating digital twin highway maps, which might be how you have heard of this incredible technology. Analytics, software and IoI can really influence how useful digital twin technology is, and if you think this might be a tool that could add value to your business, read on to find out a little bit more.

Benefits of Digital Twin Technology

There are so many benefits to digital twin technology, and chief among them would be the cost savings and quality assurance that it affords. Most project budgets will only extend to cover the project once, and so if your calculations are off and the product and service you create do not meet the mark – then you are back to square one. Who wants to be in that position?

Digital twin technology takes all the guesswork out of a project design and allows you to proceed with absolute assurance. Whether you are building a product or service for your business or have been contracted to build, then this technology is going to be a huge advantage in keeping to budget and creating something that is actually required.

Applications of Digital Twin Technology

Digital twin technology can really be applied to any project looking to avoid costly failures, although there are some sects that lend themselves to this technology more. Engineers and project managers will see the value in having a concept mocked up in such detail. Generally speaking, this technology is more prevalent with products built rather than service concepts, although this may change as the technology is embraced more widely. Here are some examples of how digital twin technology is improving performance in the construction, medial and highway maintenance arena.

Examples of Digital Twin in the Construction Industry

digital twin construction industry

The construction industry has been using digital twin technology to replicate apartment buildings to understand where the amenities, public areas and each component needs to be. It also provides clarity of how far things are apart from one another and how the scale of the building would appear next to established businesses and roads. Ever been in an apartment or residence that just didn’t… flow? Well, chances are they did not have this technology to lean on and inform their design choices.

Given that builders, architects, designers and property developers will all work on the construction of a building – each party can be in the same room and discussing the project as it stands before them. No drawing, blueprint or even digital fly-through can be quite as compelling ad this for the construction industry.

Examples of Digital Twin in the Medical Industry

digital twin heart in medical industry

For current and future medical professionals, there is only a certain amount of practice one can get without risk. Digital twin technology offers an almost sci-fi alternative, as doctors can produce organs to scale and teach new doctors and nurses about how to operate and treat various issues. This also means that university students don’t have to wait to enter a hospital setting to start hands-on practice, and can explore the body without any risk of causing harm through digital twin technology for healthcare.

This also presents a great opportunity for medical researchers to test their theories and understand how preventive measures and new treatments will respond to the human body. Currently, people can opt to donate their bodies to science, and while that is a fantastic initiative, digital twin technology will fill the gap if there are not enough opportunities to test future medicine.

Examples of Digital Twin for Highway Maintenance

With overpopulation being reported in so many cities around the world, highway maintenance workers do not have the luxury of simply closing off a lane and doing their maintenance work. Although what can be done if the works are necessary? Digital twin technology allows these workers to model the highway and anticipate where bottlenecks will be based on their proposed works. This will not only circumvent delays and mass inconveniences, but it might even prove to reduce accidents or near-accidents on major highways. This should be a priority for all.

Examples of Digital Twin for Retail

While retail and fashion are famously in-person experiences, that doesn’t mean that industry leaders are not looking into how digital twin technology can transform the retail sector. This makes planning shopping centres, boutiques and even fashion shows so much more exciting as daring concepts can be explored, ruled out or optimised before the bricks and mortar really start construction. Retail is an area where customers are crying out for an immersive retail experience, and now the race is on for the heavy-weights to change how we shop and experience fashion in a modern world. Our money is on Nike, personally. What do you think?

The same could be said for the clothes themselves. If you are working with very expensive fabrics or maybe don’t know which fabrics you want to work with yet, then this might be a creative and efficient way to design and test your daydreams in real-time. Fashion designers will get a great sense as to how garments will drape over the body and whether seams can be looser or tighter, and when something is too heavy for the wearer.

How to Build a Digital Twin

Not surprisingly, you can’t simply whip this up at home unless you have access to the relevant software. There are some fantastic agencies that specialise in digital twin technology and that would be your best bet in creating product and service concepts. A digital twin is created by using applied mathematics and the data that is populated about the product or service being replicated. The model will then be designed with a virtual computer model which can be updated and changed as the data is delivered through real-time feedback.

Get all that? You might want to watch a video of how this is done because it does feel quite mind-bending without a real example unfolding in front of your eyes. If you are interested in a specific industry – make sure that’s where you look first!

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As we move closer to technology like this, the opportunities really are as big as your ideas. If you are working in an industry that could do with some more creative brainstorming or needs to tighten up the quality assurance – digital twin technology might be right for you. When you speak with a digital twin agency they will be able to show you fine examples of previous work which may actually fill some gaps for you in imagining what is actually possible.

What do you think?

Written by Keith Nallawalla

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