The Internet of Things, or “IoT” for short, refers to the interconnectedness of physical devices and objects that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and other components which allow these objects to collect and exchange data.
The data that is collected by IoT devices can be used in Digital twin technology to create a digital twin – a digital replica of a physical object or system. Some businesses are already using IoT data to create digital twins in real time.
By integrating smart technologies, transport routes can be saved and consequently reduce energy consumption in production. Simplified and more efficient planning of inventories with the help of intelligent software can drastically reduce CO2 emissions and thus increase the sustainability factor of production.
What is a digital twin?
A digital twin is a high-detail virtual replica of a physical device, place, or system. It allows information technology (IT) and data specialists to simulate the function of an object before it exists or monitor an extant object in real time. The twin also makes it easier to visualize data and how it relates to the item being modelled.
End-users can leverage digital twins to represent almost anything that exists in the real world, from individual components to large cities or supply chains. In practice, digital twins are most commonly used to test component designs, simulate machinery or buildings, and visualize the flow of goods through a supply chain.
The term “digital twins” took off after Gartner Inc named it as one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017. Gartner estimated that within three to five years, “billions of things will be represented by digital twins, a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system.”
A year later, Gartner once again named digital twins as a top trend, saying that “with an estimated 21 billion connected sensors and endpoints by 2020, digital twins will exist for billions of things in the near future.”
Digital twins and IoT
The explosion of IoT sensors is what makes digital twins possible. With refined IoT devices, digital-twin scenarios can include smaller and less complex objects, giving additional benefits to companies.
Digital twins are a powerful tool that can be used to predict different outcomes based on variable data. This is similar to the run- the-simulation scenario often seen in science-fiction films, where a possible scenario is proven within the digital environment.
With additional software and data analytics, digital twins can often optimize an IoT deployment for maximum efficiency, as well as help designers, figure out where things should go or how they operate before they are physically deployed.
How IT Professionals are Integrating IoT and Digital Twins
A digital twin is only as good as the data it’s based on. If you want to use a digital twin for real-time monitoring, you need a data source that’s relevant to what you’re trying to monitor. That can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a dedicated IT team. And if you want to do more than just monitor, you need a solution that’s flexible and adaptable so you can keep your digital twin up-to-date with the latest relevant data.
IoT sensors are the answer to this problem. They are constantly becoming more popular for uses such as monitoring, remote
access, and asset tracking. With IoT technology, data is collected and sent to the cloud automatically by the devices. This data can then be used by digital twins and other systems.
For example, supply chain managers can use IoT devices to improve supply chain visibility by gathering data that can be used to create a digital twin of the supply chain. This data can help businesses observe the flow of goods and optimize their shipping processes.
Asset trackers attached to cargo containers can continuously monitor and report information on the location, shipping, and environmental conditions of the container. This data can be used to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and reduce costs.
A business that maintains a digital twin of a building can use that same data to capture information on air quality, lighting, or foot traffic. For example, a manufacturer could use IoT monitors in conjunction with a digital twin to create a preventive maintenance tool or a real-time model of machine health. By doing this, the manufacturer would have a better understanding of their machines and could predict when they might need maintenance or repairs.
Digital twin technology is becoming increasingly popular as a way to manage data and processes for businesses. These platforms allow businesses to better integrate their digital and virtual processes by using data from IoT devices.
This data helps create a digital twin, which is a representation of the information that is easier for people and analysts to understand.
Microsoft’s Azure system is one example of a digital twin platform that is built with IoT data sources in mind. This platform can help businesses improve their operations by making it easier to manage and understand data.
Risks and benefits of digital twins
Digital twins are a revolutionary technology that offers users a real-time look at what is happening with physical assets. This can drastically reduce the burden of maintenance costs.
For example, Chevron is rolling out digital twin technology for its oil fields and refineries and expects to save millions of dollars in maintenance costs. Additionally, Siemens asserts that using digital twins to model and prototype objects that have not been manufactured yet can reduce product defects and shorten the time to market.
According to Gartner, digital twins may not always be necessary and could potentially increase complexity. “[Digital twins] could be technology overkill for a particular business problem. There are also concerns about cost, security, privacy, and integration.”
Taking Advantage of IoT Data with Digital Twins
Digital twins can provide significant benefits for a range of industries, but they require a large amount of information to work well. IoT devices can generate and transmit vast quantities of data from real-world objects, like buildings and heavy machinery, that businesses can use to build their digital twins.
IoT devices can make digital twins even more useful, offering real-time data that can accurately represent a modelled object. By using digital twins powered by IoT data, companies can keep track of their physical assets in real time and make changes to their models as needed, ensuring that their products are always up-to-date.
Armed with a Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) degree, Lucas Noah stands at the intersection of technology and creativity. As a seasoned writer for Creative Outrank LLC and Oceana Express LLC, Lucas brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to the dig... Read more