Contemporary innovations

Applications of digital twin technology

| Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais / Ahlam Rais

By making use of the digital twin concept, Boeing has been able to improve the quality of its parts and systems by 40 % for commercial and military airplanes.
By making use of the digital twin concept, Boeing has been able to improve the quality of its parts and systems by 40 % for commercial and military airplanes. (Source: Deposit Photos)

Digital twin is rapidly being explored across three core industries – aerospace, manufacturing and healthcare. The numerous plus points of this technology have increased its popularity in a world which is observing the many dimensions of artificial intelligence in all walks of life.

The age of digitalisation is here. Right from receiving YouTube recommendations online to using Amazon Alexa smart speakers in our homes, examples of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning can be witnessed all around us. These new-age innovations can be applied to industrial scenarios as well in fact it offers something more. For instance, the digital twin technology is one of the most exceptional concepts for factories of the future. Used across varied industries, this technology has transformed production processes like never before.

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Digital twin technology in action

Aerospace:

Designing aircrafts is a complex task and requires a lot of investment in terms of time and money. With the help of the digital twin technology, industry players can enhance the design of the aircraft as well as the quality of its parts. This process not only makes production but also the maintenance process of the aircraft quite smooth. For example, with the help of the technology, it is possible to reduce unplanned downtime for engines and other systems as the digital twin innovation is able to predict the behaviour of the components in various real time situations such as weather conditions and other related variables. It also offers a plan of action which proves beneficial for increasing the life span of the aircrafts. By making use of the digital twin concept, Boeing has been able to improve the quality of its parts and systems by 40 % for commercial and military airplanes.

Manufacturing:

The manufacturing industry makes use of the digital twin technology to design, manufacture and enhance production on the shop floor. A prominent example of this is the automobile sector which is actively exploring this technology to develop electric vehicles as well as autonomous or driverless cars. The giant US carmaker Tesla is using the digital twin application in each of its electric vehicles to enhance the functioning of its existing vehicle as well as to better the production of its future cars. For this purpose, sensors are attached to the vehicles which then send and receive data from its digital twin about various aspects that help engineers identify areas that can be improved and the firm is also able to gain useful data for the production of its self-driving cars.

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Healthcare:

The technology also assists doctors to simulate the results of a procedure before a surgery is to be performed. This means that specialists can create a digital twin of an organ such as the heart and then carry out the necessary operation in order to identify the challenges and risks involved. Thus, it acts as a platform wherein one can carry out numerous trials in order to understand the best possible method to solve complex surgical problems.

Digital twin is venturing into new zones and eliminating issues that were earlier considered as impossible to deal with. In the future, as technologies advance, more of such innovations will emerge and change the methodology of work forever.

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