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Digital twin: control, efficiency, safety

26.08.2021

Digital Twin is a technology that allows you to create a virtual duplicate of physical assets and processes. The copy is used to collect data throughout the entire life cycle. Therefore, it contains comprehensive information about the characteristics of the original.

The digital twin allows you to simulate various situations in real time – from manufacturing operations to business processes. Based on the analysis of virtual processes, instructions, prescriptions and plans for the management of physical assets are created. And the decisions made are effective, cost-effective and safe, since all risks were taken into account during the virtual simulation.

The wide range of applications ensures a high demand for such solutions, and in the future, the role of the Digital Twin in production management will only increase. By the way, experts predict the rapid growth of the digital twin market over the next few years – from $ 4 billion to $ 36 billion by 2025.

Virtual production environment

Flexibility and versatility of functionality is one of the reasons for the growing popularity of digital twins. By combining technology with other intelligent solutions, you can find the shortest or most profitable path to meet your specific business goals.

For example, it can be a global control system built on the basis of the Industrial Internet of Things, in which the Digital Twin will become a key tool for the digital transformation of production. It will allow you to use real numbers to make key decisions.

In a virtual environment, you can design a production line, add new equipment, test alternative scenarios, compare potential performance with current results, and only then start upgrading.

The overwhelming majority of companies have already recognized the value of digital twins in production management. According to Gartner, in 2019, about 75% of enterprises plan or are already using technology to build global information systems.

These systems combine VR manufacturing with real-world manufacturing, enabling data exchange between product development, operations management and maintenance centers.

Data interpretation and analytics

The digital twin accumulates a huge amount of asset and process data without the need for additional staff. However, the next step on the path of digital transformation should be the search for effective means for interpreting the information received.

Artificial intelligence (AI) platforms do an excellent job with this task. They analyze raw data, simulate scenarios, and enable testing in a safe environment with increasing success rates.

AI-assisted forecasting is the way to get the most value from assets with the least damage to the technical condition of equipment. The digital twin collects operational data and sends it to the think tank. Artificial intelligence calculates the likelihood of failures with high precision and creates prescriptions for technical services. This approach maximizes equipment availability and reduces unplanned downtime.

The combination of digital twins and artificial intelligence also allows for the creation of closed economic processes. Systems based on these two technologies highlight the main sources of industrial waste, carbon emissions and waste of energy. Interpretation of the obtained data is the way to optimize processes and implement “green” initiatives in the enterprise.

Operator training can be another interesting area for using AI and digital twins. A virtual production environment is an ideal space for practicing potentially risky scenarios. With the help of special simulation tools, employees can gain valuable practical experience and increase the speed of response in emergency situations.

Benefits and perspectives

Let’s summarize and highlight the main tasks that the digital twin helps to solve:

  • Optimization of maintenance costs – identifying potential sources of disruption and reducing the cost of maintenance and repair of assets that do not create value for the enterprise.
  • Operational Efficiency Improvements – Reduce downtime and increase equipment productivity through more accurate planning.
  • Reduced cycle times – Optimize and automate critical processes, including production lines.
  • Creation and testing of products – acceleration of development processes, the ability to check the feasibility of projects before launching, tools for customizing the design.
  • Return on investment – virtual modeling of business processes, accurate forecast of return on investment, effective anti-crisis measures and financial stability of production.

In addition, the digital twin is now becoming an integral part of the strategy for building a circulating economy and energy efficient production. To accomplish such tasks, you will need the help of an experienced team to create and integrate digital solutions. SmartEAM is ready to offer effective tools and modern software products to achieve any business goals.

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