4 Applications Of Digital Twin Technology

4 Applications Of Digital Twin Technology

If there was a way for manufacturing designers to prevent or correct all errors in the design of whatever they’re building or creating, they would try to change and modify them before releasing the product to the market. And that’s why, perhaps, more industries and sectors are starting to utilize digital twin technology today. 

What Is Digital Twin Technology

Essentially, digital twins are virtual or digital replicas of their counterpart things or items that physically exist in the real world. They’re used to test how the real things or entities would react or be impacted if they were subjected to pressures, circumstances, and conditions that play out in the real world through digital twin mapping

Thus, this technology can help businesses decide what to do next based on the forecasted impact of various possible real-world scenarios on the product, item, process, system, or entity. 

With that said, here are some of the common applications of digital twin technology.

1. Applications In Healthcare Industry

There are multiple uses and applications for digital twins in the healthcare industry. For instance, healthcare providers and institutions can use digital twins to create a virtual realm for their patients’ experience and healthcare service journey. This can enable a healthcare provider to optimize the various aspects of giving care and health services. More so, they can also use digital twins to analyze how they can give the best quality care and improve their performance while trying to keep costs manageable.  

In addition, digital twin applications can also be essential in evaluating the operational efficiency of a healthcare institution. For instance, they can be used in continuous improvement studies on how to improve the operational performance of a hospital or healthcare institution. They can also be used to do a deep analysis of the staffing, operation strategies, capacity, and caregiving models used by healthcare organizations.

An advanced application of digital twins is in designing a personalized caregiving model for each patient. This can be done by creating models of the medical history and lifestyle of patients, as well as their physiological traits and genome code. This can allow health providers to formulate a personalized diagnosis, treatment plans, and medical prescriptions. 

2. Applications In Manufacturing Industry

There are numerous opportunities for applying the concept of digital twins in the manufacturing industry. This is especially true since manufacturing companies use complex machinery and heavy equipment that often process large volumes of system information and transaction data in their business operations and manufacturing processes. 

To start. here are some of the common applications of digital twins in the manufacturing industry:

  • Custom Design

Manufacturers can use digital twins to create multiple versions of their product design. They can also even customize and make personalized models of their designs, which are tailored to the specific requirements of their clients.

  • Product Development

Digital twins are also considered highly useful to the manufacturing industry during the product development process. They can be helpful to engineers who can do feasibility tests before the company launches the products. More so, engineers can use digital twin technology to test both the technical viability and market feasibility of their proposed products.

  • Production Performance Improvement

Digital twins can also be used in analyzing the production workflow and process of an organization and finding opportunities to improve product performance. 

Utilizing digital twin technology can help monitor the production process to identify gaps that can be further enhanced. They can also be used to evaluate the final products to see if there are still areas needing improvement and modification. 

  • Predictive Maintenance

Digital twin technology can also be used to optimize the maintenance processes of a manufacturing company. For instance, they can apply digital twins in predictive maintenance. Digital twins can then be used to predict the forecasted events when the manufacturing machines go downtime. 

This can help technicians do maintenance checks even before the downtime happens, thus, potentially reducing losses from disruptions and downtimes. Keep in mind, though, that you can’t scale predictive maintenance because the data in a machine replica may apply only to that specific machine.

4 Applications Of Digital Twin Technology

3. Applications In Supply Chain Management (SCM) 

With the continued emergence of eCommerce and online selling, both manufacturers and traders are grappling with challenges on how to come up with the most optimal supply chain systems and logistics management applications. For one, manufacturers need to make sure they’re making the most profit from every unit and selling the highest volume that they possibly can. While on the other hand, sellers want to make sure they’re getting items at the lowest prices possible and only when they need them.

There are multiple applications for digital twins in SCM and logistics, especially with more companies launching their digital transformation. They can be used to create virtual warehouse models, which can help in optimizing warehouse floorplan and layouts, retrieval workflows, and loading mechanisms. 

In addition, digital twins can also be used to evaluate whether the packaging materials are strong enough to protect the items inside the package. They can even be used to create virtual models of road networks where the transportation fleet of logistics companies has to pass for their pick-up and delivery routes.

4. Applications In Automotive And Aerospace

Digital twins are also widely used for design, modeling, and testing in automotive and aerospace manufacturing.

  • Automotive

Conceptualizing and designing new cars are now being done frequently using virtual design and modeling software applications. 

In this case, digital twins are used by creating a virtual model, which is then connected to an actual vehicle. The running performance of the connected vehicle is then replicated in the digital twin, and the data is stored in the design modeling servers. 

  • Designing Self-Driving Cars

There have been various uses and applications for digital twin technology in designing self-driving cars than they have in manufacturing conventional automobiles. From its design stage, self-driving automobiles collect large volumes of data through multiple sensors installed in the vehicle. These sensors collect data about the location, position, and movement of the car, as well as its environment. 

More so, digital twins have been particularly useful in road testing and vehicle maintenance. Self-driving car designers have to make sure that the driving systems of their vehicles are working properly to avoid potential accidents and injuries. And with the use of digital twins, design engineers can test the performance of a self-driving car by subjecting it to simulated and virtual driving and road performance tests before building the physical vehicle.

  • Aerospace Engineering

The idea of twinning was first applied in aerospace engineering. NASA scientists and engineers came up with physical twins of the Apollo 13 spaceship. They used the physical twin to simulate the conditions of the ship in outer space and come up with solutions whenever something critical breaks out in the ship itself. 

Final Words

Today, more companies are realizing the enormous potential of using digital twin technology in helping improve their production processes, workflow systems, and product designs. They’re seeing the benefit of testing everything in the virtual realm before producing the physical items and products. 

This way, they can test how their products would do under the most strenuous of conditions. It also helps them set more realistic customer expectations. And more so, they can also further improve their user guide and product safety manuals that come with the product or item sold.