Digital twin is the phrase used to describe a computerized (or digital) version of a physical asset and/or process. The digital twin contains one or more sensors that collects data to represent real-time information about the physical asset.
For example, a robotic manufacturing arm may contain a sensor that records data about movement speed and direction while another sensor captures information about internal and external heat.
Digital twins have a history in applications related to expensive objects, like aircraft engines and the likes, but today we see digital twins used in automotive, manufacturing, medical and many other industries.
Why Use a Digital Twin?
The digital twin is a way to bring static objects, usually machines, into the digital world: for example, using data from sensors attached to the object a software model to show current status, shape, condition, speed and other important information, creating an intelligent monitoring system.
As digital twins are designed to mirror the entire system and processes, over time engineers would create algorithms to collect and analyze this unstructured data, recording data connected to system and reactions. The end result is an intelligent maintenance system that detects potential issues within the system and refines or resolves the process before it becomes a problem.