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  • Writer's pictureLyat Avidor Peleg

Understanding Digital Twin: Uses and How it Works

Updated: Jun 10

A digital warehouse

A digital twin is a virtual model of a physical object or system. It is built using data collected from the real-world version and is continually updated with real-time data. Digital twins act as a model to allow businesses to run simulations and test various scenarios in a virtual environment and evaluate the results before making costly changes to the physical environment.


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Exploring Digital Twin Technology


Definition and Concept of Digital Twins

A digital twin is a digital duplicate of a physical object or system. This virtual model is built using data collected from the real-world version of that object or system. The data comes from various sources such as sensors, IoT (Internet of Things) devices, and other technologies that capture detailed information about the physical asset.


The key to a digital twin is that it gets continuously updated with real-time data from its physical counterpart. This means any changes, updates, or issues with the real-world object are immediately reflected in the digital model. For example, if a sensor detects that a machine is overheating, this information is sent to the digital twin, which then shows that the machine is experiencing an issue.


Digital twins offer a comprehensive view of how the physical asset is performing and what condition it is in at any given moment. This virtual model allows businesses to run simulations, conduct analyses, and control the physical object in a virtual environment. Essentially, they can test how different scenarios might play out without risking any real-world consequences. By leveraging digital twins, organizations can foresee potential problems, fine-tune their operations, and improve the overall performance and reliability of their physical assets.


Importance and Benefits of Digital Twin Technology

The main benefit of a digital twin is the improved access to data in an efficient and cost-effective way. Rather than testing different scenarios in “real life” which likely come with a financial cost and can take a long time, many different scenarios can be tested virtually in a short period of time for a much lower cost. The benefits of this include:

  • Enhanced Decision-Making: By simulating different scenarios in the virtual model, organizations can make informed decisions without risking the physical asset. They can also preempt failures and intervene early to reduce risk.

  • Operational Efficiency: A digital twin allows organizations to test adjustments to operational processes without interfering with their current operations. This helps increase efficiency and reduce downtime.

  • Cost Savings: Digital twins help optimize the use of resources and reduce unnecessary expenses. For example, maintenance can be done based on actual needs rather than scheduled intervals, saving time and money.

  • Innovation and Development: Digital twins allow new ideas and innovations to be tested risk-free. Engineers can experiment with different designs and processes virtually before applying them to the physical asset.


In addition, planning products using digital twins from the beginning means being able to make better design decisions, reducing the risk of defects, and creating higher-quality products.

A digital grid with text

How Does a Digital Twin Work?

A digital twin operates through a continuous feedback loop between the physical and virtual worlds. Here’s how it typically works:

  • Data Collection: Sensors and IoT devices gather real-time data from the physical asset about its condition, environment, and performance.

  • Data Integration: The data is integrated into the digital twin model. Advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques are used to process and analyze this data.

  • Simulation and Analysis: The digital twin can then be subjected to different conditions, showing potential outcomes if those changes are made to the physical asset itself.

  • Feedback and Control: These insights are used to make informed decisions about the physical asset including maintenance actions, operational adjustments, or design changes.

  • Continuous Improvement: As the physical asset operates, new data continuously updates the digital twin, refining the model and improving its accuracy over time.


Types of Digital Twin


Physical Digital twins

Physical digital twins are virtual representations of tangible assets such as machinery, buildings, vehicles, or production lines. These models help monitor the physical properties and operational states of the assets, providing insights into wear and tear, performance issues, and maintenance needs.


Virtual Digital Twins

Virtual digital twins are focused on intangible systems or processes. These can include digital representations of workflows, supply chains, or customer experiences. Virtual digital twins can help optimize these complex systems and improve their overall efficiency.


Challenges Virtual Twins Have Solved

Digital twin technology has played a crucial role in addressing and solving significant challenges across various industries, including:

  • Preventing Equipment Failures in Manufacturing: Digital twins are used to continuously monitor equipment health and predict failures before they occur.

  • Optimizing Urban Traffic Flow: Digital twins of city infrastructure help simulate traffic flow in urban areas with severe traffic congestion and manage and optimize traffic in real-time.

  • Improving Patient Outcomes in Healthcare: Digital twins of hospital operations help optimize patient care pathways, streamline operations, reduce wait times, and improve patient outcomes.

  • Enhancing Supply Chain Resilience: Digital twins of supply chains are used to simulate different scenarios and develop strategies to predict and manage disruptions, such as those that occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Digital Twin Use Cases and Applications

Digital twin technology has fundamentally changed how industries innovate. Sectors such as healthcare, urban planning, manufacturing, and logistics have seen significant enhancements in efficiency, accuracy, and decision-making. By allowing organizations to predict and mitigate risks, optimize resource allocation, and streamline operations, digital twin technology has not only improved operational performance but also facilitated groundbreaking advancements in product development, disaster preparedness, and urban management. Some of its applications include:


Automotive Industry

In the automotive industry, digital twins are used extensively throughout the vehicle lifecycle. Engineers create digital twins of new car models to test aerodynamics, safety features, and performance, while digital twins of assembly lines help monitor production in real-time and ensure quality control. Car manufacturers also use digital twins to predict when parts will need maintenance or replacement. This helps avoid unexpected breakdowns and extends the lifespan of the vehicles.


Disaster Management

By creating digital twins of critical infrastructure such as bridges, dams, and power grids, authorities can simulate disaster scenarios like earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes and prepare effective response strategies. During a disaster, digital twins can provide real-time data on the status of infrastructure and resources, helping emergency responders make informed decisions.


Smart Cities

Digital twins help urban planners and administrators manage city resources and services more effectively. Digital twins of entire cities can be used to simulate the impact of new infrastructure projects, zoning changes, and population growth. Cities can also use digital twins to monitor and manage utilities such as water, electricity, and waste. For example, a digital twin of a city's water supply system can help detect leaks, predict demand, and optimize distribution, ensuring a reliable and efficient water supply.


Manufacturing

Digital twins of factory floors are used to simulate the assembly line process and identify areas for improvement.


Healthcare

Digital twins of hospital departments are used to improve efficiency and test ways to offer more personalized care.


Retail

Digital twins are used to simulate customer behavior in different situations, such as to test different types of store layouts.


Digital Twins and RTLS

Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) and digital twin technology are a powerful combination. RTLS uses technologies like GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth to track the precise location of objects or individuals in real-time. When integrated with digital twins, RTLS provides dynamic, real-time data that updates the digital models continuously, offering a highly accurate and actionable representation of the physical world. This continuous data feed is crucial for the digital twin's ability to reflect real-time changes and maintain its relevance and accuracy.


However, not all real-time data is created equal. The effectiveness of a digital twin heavily depends on the quality and precision of the data it receives. High-quality RTLS data ensures that the digital twin can provide accurate insights and predictions. Optimizing the information from RTLS is essential and involves filtering out noise, ensuring data accuracy, and integrating multiple data sources.



How Deeyook Can Help

Deeyook's RTLS solution offers unparalleled support for companies seeking to develop digital twins, particularly through its cutting-edge technology and seamless integration capabilities.


  • Cutting-Edge Technology: Deeyook employs advanced interferometry technology, setting it apart from traditional RTLS solutions. This innovative approach provides exceptionally precise location data, with accuracy levels down to a 10 cm (4 inch) radius. This precision is vital for digital twin development, ensuring that the virtual models accurately reflect the physical environment.

  • Seamless Integration: Deeyook seamlessly integrates with digital twin platforms, facilitating the flow of real-time location data into the virtual models. This seamless integration streamlines the development process, allowing companies to focus on refining their digital twins without compatibility concerns or implementation hurdles.


Ready to enhance your digital twin development with Deeyook's cutting-edge RTLS technology?

FAQ's

What is a digital twin and how does it work?

A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical object, process, or system. It works by continuously collecting real-time data from sensors and other sources, which is then used to update the virtual model. This allows for accurate monitoring, analysis, and simulation of the physical counterpart.


What are the different types of digital twins?

Digital twins can be categorized into two main types: physical and virtual. Physical digital twins replicate tangible objects like machinery or buildings, while virtual digital twins represent intangible systems like workflows or supply chains.


How can businesses benefit from digital twin technology?

Businesses can benefit from digital twin technology in various ways, including predictive maintenance, resource optimization, product development acceleration, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced risk management.


Can you provide examples of digital twin applications in real-world scenarios?

Digital twins are applied across a range of industries. For example, in manufacturing, digital twins are used to monitor equipment performance and predict maintenance needs. In healthcare, digital twins simulate patient care pathways to optimize treatment processes. Smart cities use digital twins to model urban infrastructure for efficient resource management and disaster preparedness.


How does Deeyook leverage digital twin technology in its solutions?

Deeyook leverages digital twin technology in its solutions by integrating real-time location data from its advanced RTLS technology into digital twin platforms. This integration enhances the accuracy and functionality of digital twins.


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