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Digital Twins Gain Traction in Manufacturing

In manufacturing, digital twins are helping with system design, IoT, predictive maintenance, plant productivity, and design for manufacturing.

Digital Twins are gaining momentum in all areas of manufacturing from aerospace and medical devices to heavy equipment and automotive. The digital twin is usually combined with other smart manufacturing technologies such as cloud computing, additive manufacturing, simulations, IoT, edge computing, big data, analytics, and augmented reality. The digital twin is transforming the industrial world and the way we design and build products and systems.

Through sensors embedded in the manufacturing process and the products themselves, the digital twin gathers data about the behavior of its physical twin. The digital twin is deployed to design the production line. It is also used to monitor the production lines to prevent accidents, predict asset downtime, or optimizing next-generation products.

The Digital Twin is born at the product design and engineering phase. It gets developed through technologies such as CAD, CAE, simulation, and even generative design. As this 3D digital model progresses through its product life-cycle journey, it show the way to produce the physical Twin. The 3D digital model becomes a product on the manufacturing floor, and later it gets deployed in the field.

According to Deloitte, digital twins can simulate any aspect of a physical object or process. They can represent a new product’s engineering drawings and dimensions, or they can represent all the subcomponents and corresponding lineage in the broader supply chain from the design table all the way to the consumer.

This slideshow shows the wide range of digital twin technology through the manufacturing process.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

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