Author - Dr. C. S S Bharathy
Founder - Fusion VR
Certified Industry 4.0 Professional
Publication - Business World
Date - February, 2021
Read From Source: Business World
A Digital-Twin (DT) is a fully functional digital instance (proxy) of a physical entity such as equipment and plant in all aspects. It digitally represents all aspects such as mechanical, electrical, process, time-historical data, etc. Digital Twin demonstrates the concept of bridging the physical & digital assets through sensors and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). These comprehensive data-driven digital models help to increase the efficiency through the whole life cycle of its physical counterpart. This digital environment with live streaming data opens up whole vistas of new possibilities for AI-based data analyses in simulated digital scenarios.
This digital proxy can talk to other proxies and form a whole network of intelligent digital eco-system with enhanced accuracy of predictive models. Findings from these predictive and prescriptive simulation models can be applied for the physical assets to deliver increased productivity in real life. These intelligent virtual assists also enable intelligent decision-making on physical operations and optimize them over the period.
In a nutshell, digital twins can be effectively deployed to improve any manufacturing process, equipment, or system which can be simply compared with how essential the Flight Simulators are for a Pilot.
Let me broaden our understanding of the different types of digital twins. Though the core idea of building a Digital-Twin is enabling real-time operation monitoring and simulation of performance, there are also various other associated use cases based on the type of the DT.
These immersive twins enable the transformation of the workforce by inheriting several years of knowledge and experience in an extremely short duration. Such advances improve productivity, thereby saving years of training time. It’s worth mentioning that PWC’s latest study indicates that VR training is 4 times faster and more focused compared with conventional class-based training approaches. It has been found to be 3.75 times more emotionally connected with a40% improvement in employee confidence.
The business and manufacturing environment has changed dramatically during the past year and business leaders need to make strategic shifts and move towards investing in disruptive technologies. The conventional wisdom that drives tangible investment towards upgrading machinery, improved controls and cost-cutting may not be sufficient towards achieving sustainable business growth in the future. Intangible and intelligent digital assets and intellectual property (IP) effectively deployed into manufacturing and business processes are critically important to increases all-round efficiencies and deliver businesses significant competitive advantages.
Bold strategic decision-making can happen only if CEOs and the Senior Leadership have radical thinking and end to end understanding of Industry 4.0 and DTs. They should also develop capabilities to prioritize the implementation of appropriate use cases with measurable benefits and financial returns. Mere adoption of this technology alone is insufficient. It requires using the right expertise, choosing proper use-cases, blended with imagination and pragmatism to make success a practical reality.
It is essential that clear objectives are established and identifying appropriate technologies needed to accomplish them and not work in reverse by designing products for a chosen technology. One of the biggest advantages during the development and implementation of DTs is that physical assets and the activities on the shop floor remain unaffected. This seamless adoption is a sure winner for the organization.