Last edited 14 Dec 2017

Digital twin

The term ‘digital twin’ refers to a virtual model or replica of assets, processes, systems, and so on. The term emerged with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) which is the application of unique identifiers to physical objects that enables them to be connected to a network allowing the transfer of data to and from those objects.

Digital twins can be used as a means of optimising the operation and maintenance of physical assets, systems and processes. By analysing the virtual model, lessons can be learned and opportunities exploited in the real physical twin.

Digital simulations can be undertaken that can help prevent actual problems. Artificial intelligence (AI) and software analytics, can update the digital twin is its physical twin changes. Smart components connected to a cloud-based system can gather data using sensors which allows analysis of real-time status and comparisons with historical data.

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