Small handbook on the digital twin

A digital twin is a virtual model designed to reproduce in detail a physical object. It is mainly used to run simulations, study performance issues and generate possible improvements. All with the aim of generating valuable insights – which can then be reapplied to the original physical object.

The object is equipped with several sensors connected to the functional areas. These sensors procure valuable data to create the digital copy starting from the performance of the physical object.

More efficient at every angle

Among the various benefits, there is certainly the improvement of product research. Digital twins lead to the creation of more efficient products through increased awareness of performance with a refinement of manufacturing processes. Even when the object has been produced, the digital twin can monitor its performance, so that all efficiency objectives are achieved. Not only. When the product has finished its usefulness, digital twins allow to understand which parts to recover and how to recycle them.

The digital twins market is rapidly expanding. A market that is hypothesized to reach nearly 50 billion dollars in 2026. However, this will not happen in all sectors primarily because it is not necessary and is very expensive. But very useful for certain sectors of the world economy. Like that of great engineering: designing bridges, structures or large buildings increasingly requires a digital twin even for the strict engineering rules. Even in the design of energy supply equipment or in the projects of airplanes, trains or cars, efficiency must be continuously improved and this can only be achieved by creating a digital model.

What is it useful for?

There are some areas where digital twins are widely used. This is the case with large structures such as buildings or platforms. But also in the design of power generation equipment, large jet engines for locomotives. In these cases, having a digital twin also helps with maintenance.

In addition to the production stages, having a digital twin has proved very useful in civil engineering. Engineers involved in urban planning activities can benefit greatly from real-time 3D and 4D spatial models, integrated with augmented reality systems.

A different sector and way of using the digital twin is healthcare, where the digital twin is used as a simulator of a range of health indicators useful for generating key insights for patients seeking healthcare.

Digital twins are widely used in car design, both to improve vehicle performance and to increase the efficiency of their production.

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