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What is Digital Twin technology and what value does it bring?

  • Date 6 Apr 2021

The definition of what is a digital twin is a heated topic.

The term digital twin is often used to describe an evolution of IoT solutions where sensory data is captured and stored digitally about a physical asset or process, and that digital data is represented in a meaningful way to do something actionable, in an automated way.  

The definition I most resonate with is from Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in the UK:  

“Live digital coupling  
of the state of physical assets or process  
to a virtual representation  
with a functional output” 
 

This definition implies that for a technology solution to be considered a digital twin it should:  
 

  • Have a means to monitor physical assets or processes digitally (e.g. with sensors connected to the internet) often enough to be considered “live”  
  • Have a means to represent the digital data (e.g. digital data stored with context of the physical asset or process)  
  • (Most often) have a means of visualising the state of the physical counterpart, and the solution must do something useful.    

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