Tuning to the Digital Twin: The face of Smart Cities in Industry 4.0
“Digital Twin is not just a concept that has got a lot of traction in the world of emerging technologies but also a perspective that entails the very purpose of an emerging technologies’ capabilities.”
Digitization has become the new normal in Industry 4.0. From manufacturing to healthcare and education, almost every industry across the sectors is leveraging the benefits that come with digitization, and that’s where the utilization of digital data and technology becomes imperative.
Digital twin, which sounds like the title of a sci-fi movie, is the very authentic technology behind creating a simulation of a real-world object, concept, or area within a digital space, enabling an all-new virtual customer experience.
It utilizes a 3D representation of all physical assets, operational systems, and structures within an entire facility to enable a hugely comprehensive digital twin system.
For instance, by using industrial IoT sensors, a manufacturing company can see its entire shop floor in virtual space, thereby avoiding the need for an actual view of the manufacturing company, which is costly and dangerous sometimes.
Digital Twins allows organizations to have a real-time view of the location of every asset, its uptime, and maintenance needs in a real-time virtual format saving millions of dollars.
Another example of the significant application of digital twins is using digital twins and machine learning in tandem, enabling manufacturing leaders to predict maintenance tasks and find times to better utilize the equipment and reduce bottlenecks.
By utilizing the digital twin, company leaders can train employees at a safe distance before introducing them to the non-simulated machines on the floor and test ideas for operational changes before spending money, time, and energy implementing them in the actual state.
The more complex the “digital twin” term looks, its advantages are more beneficial.
With the ever-rising emergence of emerging technologies, having something that saves time, increases productivity, improves performance, and promotes a culture of having a real-time view of things and places in a virtual format is always a win-win situation.
The concept of the digital twin is not a novice; instead, it originates in April of 1970 when NASA engineers used copies of the spacecraft systems initially intended for training to support the rescue of Apollo 13 after a disastrous explosion of its oxygen tanks.
A process usually meant to take two days on the launchpad was completed within two hours, giving rise to an extraordinary feat. Since then, technology has matured a lot in innumerable ways.
Recent research suggests that the global value of the digital twin market will reach USD 48 Billion by 2026. Factors such as the rise in digital technology, internet penetration, and surge in achieving the maximum with minimum investments have led to the growth of the digital twin market.
Another example that talks about the tremendous potential digital twin hold are the instance of Singapore, which has created a complete digital twin of the city-nation to track traffic, pollution, climate, and city layouts to test accessibility options, the potential impact of new construction, manage emergency responses and monitor city health, ultimately contributing to the smart city projects.
The above-discussed applications and potential cases of digital not only tell the story of what digital technology holds but also depict a significantly expanded use in the industry, such as IT, which gets integrated into a digital twin by connected sensors, Big data analytics, and increasingly AI, among others.
As digital twin solutions are becoming more robust with each passing day, they are also limited to the aerospace and heavy machinery market.
However, with the changing market dynamics, various sectors, such as smart cities, healthcare, insurance, and utilities, are leveraging the very applications of digital twins.
Emerging technologies are the new normal. With Industry 4.0, digital data and technologies have surpassed the significance of revolutionizing the ways of doing business.
With IoT, AI, and Blockchain, Digital twins are also among the technologies holding a significant potential to change the world, and it will only get better in the upcoming days.