The Rise of Digital Twins and its Impact on our Industries

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One responsibility manufacturers need to do is to ensure that their programs or products are safe and efficient for use. Planning is the most crucial step for this. Presently, there is a way of planning that can ensure the best results for the product, which is developing a digital twin.

Since its development over 20 years ago, having a digital twin has impacted most industries. Here is a brief idea of having a digital twin, its advantages, and some examples of the innovations developed in different industries using a digital twin.

Digital Twin

A digital twin is precisely what it sounds like: a digital version of a physical, real-life object or concept, like a system or procedure. Creating one is essential to test or simulate the effects of what is being developed. The testing results then assist in further developing the item or system.

The digital twin concept was believed to be publicly introduced in 2002 by Michael Grieves at a conference held in Michigan, USA. However, the idea had been practised around 50 years ago, when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was developing a plan to rescue the Apollo 13 crew.

Since the 2000s, the use of digital twins for various industries has been growing, with the term digital twin suggested by a NASA researcher in 2010. The trend for this field only grew from there.

Recently, an Australian company called IntelliSpatial launched an event in Melbourne, a panel discussion of experts providing suggestions for tackling concerns with above ground and underground digital twins. The event was fruitful, providing insight into future solutions and ideas.

IntelliSpatial is a company that utilises geospatial data to provide further insight on specific assets and solutions to help flourish said assets. They offer services like data management, analytics, and visualisation to make the most of their client’s data.

More and more industries and even individuals worldwide use this technique to create, improve, and innovate things that can eventually help make our lives easier.

The Pros of Developing a Digital Twin

Here are the significant advantages rendered by using a digital twin:

It Saves Costs, Time, and Other Resources. The aim of having a digital twin is to have a virtual model you can subject to tests or simulations to identify the best course of action. This saves anyone time, money, and other resources, especially if you make a digital twin of a physical item. Having a physical item undergo various tests can cost so much money, time, and resources, so it helps to test things digitally, saving you precious time.

It Reduces Risks. An item or procedure can be subject to risks, which can come when one least expects it. Having a digital twin of the item or procedure can help reduce risk; one can practise safety by doing tests with a digital twin before testing the real thing.

It Can Serve as a Guide. You can develop a digital twin of something even when the real-life counterpart has not been created yet. The digital twin can be created first and will serve as a guide for the actual item. It can be a precise, organised way to develop a real-life item or procedure.

Industries That Utilised Digital Twins

At this point, so many industries are now utilising or have tried a digital twin on their item or system. Here are some industries using digital twins and some known examples.

Aerospace. The earliest use of a digital twin dates back to the 1960s, with NASA’s development of Apollo 13. The agency had used something similar to a digital version of the craft for rescuing the crew in 1970, when the craft’s oxygen tanks exploded too early, leaving the crew at risk. A digital twin of Apollo 13 was used to undergo simulations to identify the best way to save the men onboard, which was successful.

Presently, NASA continues to be utilising digital twins in many of its assets. To improve their performance in space flight and assist with climate research, they have recently announced creating two institutes to help develop new tech. One of these institutes will utilise digital twins for 3D-printed parts from spaceflight materials to study said parts to check out their capabilities.

Infrastructure. Infrastructure is one of the crucial builds in a society. These should be planned carefully to ensure the safety of all that come across them. It helps to use a digital twin to see that its components are secure enough to hold it in place and strategise the best way to build it.

Many companies or governments have already tried having digital twins on infrastructure, and more will surely be on the way. For instance, the European Union (EU) announces plans to use digital twins for infrastructure that can provide energy sustainability and help fight climate change.

Machinery and Transport. Many of our livelihoods now often rely on machines and transport to help us produce products and other outputs more efficiently. A digital twin for machines can help ensure this efficiency and even the safety of the people using them.

To Conclude

Digital twins make a significant breakthrough in how we produce a variety of products and systems and ensure that they can work the best they can for as long as possible. With more and more industries and companies applying this practice, many products and services can operate efficiently, saving time and money.