Digital Twin: What is it, and What is it useful for?

Digital twin in engineering

Digitization has left a significant mark on the world economy, opening up possibilities previously unimaginable. Today, successful companies are leveraging the opportunities offered by complete digitization, to great effect: lowered costs, improved quality, individualized production, improved flexibility, faster response to customer and market demands, and greater adaptability to new business models. We are in the midst of a digital industrial revolution, and it is a process that has changed the way we think about doing business.

The concept of Digital Twin can be defined as an accurate and extensive visual representation of products, processes, operations, and performance, realized in real-time as replicas of any or all of them. In the case of products and assets, a digital twin flows from a geometric model. It is important to note that Digital Twin is not a single representation, but a kind of virtual “twin” for each product sold, each piece of equipment in a factory, or every item in an installed base. It is immensely beneficial, providing a DVR-like capability. One can rewind to see what happened in a particular process, or fast-forward to predict what might happen, as in the case of a simulation – and at the same time, it provides a high level of accuracy.

The Scope of Digital Twin

Digital Twin allows you to test how the product, with all its primary and sub-assembly parts, will be built, across manufacturing processes, production lines, and automation. As far as Manufacturing Process Planning is concerned, there are three models critical to all manufacturing entities:

  • Manufacturing Process Model,which provides an accurate description of how the product will be produced; simply put, it is the “how” aspect of the process.
  • Production Facility Model,which provides a full digital representation of the production and assembly lines needed to manufacture the product.
  • Production Facility Automation Model,which provides an accurate description of how the automation system (SCDLA, PLC, HMI, etc) will support the production system.

When utilized to its complete potential in manufacturing, digital twin offers the unique possibility of virtually simulating, validating, and optimizing the entire production system across the above-mentioned models.

Within the digital twin model, logistical aspects can also be incorporated. The digital twin of the in-process logistics systems can help planning teams design an effective sideline logistics solution to ensure the production lines run smoothly. The automated guided vehicles, the racks, the box, and the conveyors, are all potentially a part of the production system’s digital twin, integrated into a single system as the ‘Smart factory.’

Enter MTC’s Smart factory, where everything is connected and manufacturing processes are seamlessly streamlined. Our system covers the following areas:

  • Digital Twin Product with Product Manufacturing
  • Digital Twin Production with an Integrated Manufacturing System
  • Digital Twin Performance with an Industrial IoT system

At MTC, we are dedicated to industry-relevant training for enterprises and institutions, offering users access to over 30 courses with rich digital content on Robotics, AMT, CNCs, Mechatronics, and Smart Factory Automation.

As experts in modern factory technologies, we bring you essential course material that will help empower you, your employees or your students to deal with today’s dynamic technological environment.

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