The term ‘digital twin’ is translated as digital twin and has its origin in NASA.
The famous phrase “Houston, we have a problem” referred to the communication that the crew of a ship established with the American headquarters to try to guide them in the resolution of a problem. This posed the challenge of trying to proceed telematically on a technology that, physically, was at a sidereal distance.
Since 2012, however, the concept has been used in the business world to establish a point of contact between those technological improvements that, even when dealing with physical spaces, such as an office or a factory, operate through virtual environments, digitized through the cloud or Artificial Intelligence systems . In this way, digital twins monitor the life cycle of a process replicating its operation in a virtual model that serves as the basis for experimentation.
The so-called Factory 4.0 that determines the new Industrial Revolution makes this type of operations increasingly essential. According to the Gartner company, it is one of the technologies that will most influence modern business life in the coming years.
Therefore, it is worth asking how it can influence companies to meet their business objectives.
DIGITAL TWINS: HOW DO THEY CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BUSINESS?
As we have already mentioned, digital twins are digital avatars of the devices and processes that make up a factory or a work environment, and that work in connection with the real operation that they replicate through Cybernetic Systems (CPS).
Its implementation in the business world is still an incipient issue, but the new markets are constantly evolving, and little by little it will be a crucial element to harmonize the distance between the virtual and traditional work plane.
Now, what are the great benefits that can help economically grow those companies that bet on their services?
ADVANTAGES FOR ENTREPRENEURS
The Artificial Intelligence components use IoT sensors to obtain data on the status of a live industrial process, to regulate the working conditions or the location of the elements in the manufacturing plant.
These sensors remain linked at all times to a system installed in the cloud that collects and analyzes all the data they process. In this way, the entry is read to establish a comparison between the business data and other useful information in the procedure.
ADVANTAGES FOR MANUFACTURERS
These circumstances mean that most manufacturers in the new industry see the return on investment as the most desirable benefit of digital twins.
In the same way that a videogame player experiences a series of physical movements in a fictitious environment, a digital twin can replicate the incidences of a business in its own virtual world.
This makes it easier for problems and solutions to be digitally tested, yielding data that can be used to refine processes later.
The result of this continuous test will be that the physical version of the model to be built will be enriched thanks to all that experience, and without having to make tests or investments in the physical installation.
ADVANTAGES FOR SUPPLIERS
Of the same that the benefits for the manufacturer are evident, thanks to the saving in costs, the providers will also be affected for good.
Thanks to digital twins, designers and engineers will be able to manage a product and refine it online, instead of creating expensive physical prototypes.
Therefore, suppliers will be able to send manufacturers a digital double of the product they need to test the assembly of their components in a virtual factory , detecting the problems in a preventive way.
ADVANTAGES FOR READING THE DATA
The Big Data is one of the great allies of this improvement. The overwhelming amount of data generated by the storage and information processing systems makes it difficult to follow up on the work clearly and functionally, which can not always meet such huge amounts of data.
Therefore, Big Data technologies can be complemented with ‘digital twinning’ to create alternative production scenarios.
ADVANTAGES FOR PLANT DIGITALIZATION
Factories that use the Internet of Things and systems of Industry 4.0 will streamline the diagnostic and maintenance tasks of their production equipment and communication networks.
Thanks to this implementation, it will be possible to operate the different applications in different locations to carry out specific audits or to track resources.
CHALLENGES FOR 2018
Given the advantages of this model, it is concluded that the Spanish business fabric must be attentive to the advances made in the technological-industrial sector.
All those businesses that use widely digitized environments and that use intelligent systems to monitor production processes can take advantage of the situation and be one step ahead of the competition.
By having a product intelligently connected to its virtual representation, it will be possible to achieve more ambitious objectives .
As a result, companies that opt for simulation using digital twins can develop the results obtained in 2018 over time, improving their ability to collect and visualize the data , applying the appropriate analysis and effectively addressing the business objectives that have been fixed.