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Bridging the virtual and real: Benefits of a digital twin

, 十月 24, 2019

Get up to speed on how digital twin technology is changing how manufactured products and infrastructure projects are designed, brought to market, and maintained.

What exactly is a digital twin? A digital twin is a fully working virtual copy of a real-world system. It combines data sets across multiple sources, from design data (e.g., CAD) to Internet of Things data. Feeding these data into digital twin software built on top of a real-time 3D platform, you can create a digital system model to simulate the behavior of a system, exactly as it would perform in the real world. 

We recently teamed up with Engineering.com to host a webinar, “Real-time 3D and digital twins: The power of a virtual visual copy.” In addition to Unity experts, we were joined by Guido van Gageldonk, co-founder and CTO of Unit040, one of our Verified Solution Partners that provides Prespective, a digital twin platform for the industrial market.

Watch the webinar on replay to find out: 

  • What you need to build a digital twin
  • How to create a digital twin and use it across the product lifecycle
  • Real-world examples of digital twins in manufacturing and infrastructure

 

Watch the webinar

 

Before watching the whole thing, you may want a quick primer on digital twins. Here are some key topics covered in the webinar:

Where is a digital twin most beneficial? 

A true digital twin is used across the entire lifecycle of a product or infrastructure project, from R&D and production/construction all the way through to training and maintenance. It unlocks synergies by providing a single source of truth across every department, from design to training to marketing.

What are the benefits of a digital twin?

  • Test and validate the product before it exists in the real world
  • Predict and show what will happen across various scenarios
  • Analyze how your product behaves and is used in the real world over time

According to Unit040, digital twin technology reduces time to market by up to 20% and reduces costs by up to 25%. Having better designs from the start pays dividends over a project’s lifetime, as 80-90% of costs incurred during the production, use, and maintenance of a facility are determined at the design stage. 

What’s driving demand for digital twins in the industrial market?

Design and engineering teams across the industrial sector are increasingly using real-time 3D technology to design in more immersive and interactive ways. But once the product is manufactured or the infrastructure project is completed, these teams have very little visibility into the actual usage of their creations and whether their behavior follows the initial design intent.

A digital twin bridges the gap between design and usage in real-time to uncover a whole world of insight. These insights can inform the design of new products but also be used to update and upgrade existing products and services remotely based on ongoing consumer feedback. Ultimately, you can design better and operate and maintain your products in a more cost and energy-efficient way. 

What’s an example of a digital twin?

Unit040 showcased a digital twin of a bridge in the Netherlands, which is operated by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. This bridge’s virtual counterpart is used at various stages of the project lifecycle. For instance, it is connected to the bridge’s real control software and Human Machine Interface (HMI) to verify the accuracy of their software across different scenarios (e.g., different times of day, weather, and traffic involving cars, boats, pedestrians, and cyclists). It is also used to train operators, including scenarios that are difficult to replicate in the real world. Finally, it provides an IoT container that can mirror the real-world behavior and status of the bridge virtually at all times.

Courtesy of Unit040

 

Watch the webinar

There’s a lot to be excited about with digital twins, and we’re committed to streamlining this process for our customers. Data is the lifeblood of a digital twin, and together with our partner PiXYZ, we’re focused on making it easier to bring any kind of data into Unity. We also partner with companies like Unit040 that augment our platform by providing a dedicated digital twin solution on top of our engine. 

Watch the webinar to learn more about the importance of digital twins.  

 

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  1. Digital twins consume historical context and performance data to understand the past, use direct and indirect data to view present conditions, and apply machine learning and knowledge to predict the future. At GE Digital, we define a hierarchy of digital twins most common being: component, asset, system, and process. By knowing current context and predicting future state of a digital twin, you can effectively monitor, simulate, and control an asset or process(source: https://www.bathroomrenovationswesternsydney.com.au/), and optimize lifecycles whether it is online or offline

  2. The digital twin “can include a description of the devices, a 3D rendering and details on all the sensors in the device. It continuously generates sensor readings that simulate real life options.”

    The predictive twin “models the future state and behavior of the device,” Puri writes. “This is based on historical data from other devices, which can simulate breakdowns and other situations that need attention.”The twin is constructed so that it can receive input from sensors gathering data from a real-world counterpart. This allows the twin to simulate the physical object in real time, in the process offering insights into performance and potential problems. The twin could also be designed based on a prototype of its physical counterpart, in which case the twin can provide feedback as the product is refined click us here; a twin could even serve as a prototype itself before any physical version is built.

  3. The digital twin “can include a description of the devices, a 3D rendering and details on all the sensors in the device. It continuously generates sensor readings that simulate real life options.”

    The predictive twin “models the future state and behavior of the device,” Puri writes. “This is based on historical data from other devices, which can simulate breakdowns and other situations that need attention.”The twin is constructed so that it can receive input from sensors gathering data from a real-world counterpart. This allows the twin to simulate the physical object in real time, in the process offering insights into performance and potential problems. The twin could also be designed based on a prototype of its physical counterpart, in which case the twin can provide feedback as the product is refined click us here; a twin could even serve as a prototype itself before any physical version is built.

  4. This site is very helpful indeed, I made some research and it says, These two digital-twin examples – the car and the cargo vessel – give you a sense of potential use cases. Objects such as aircraft engines, trains, offshore platforms and turbines can be designed and tested digitally before being physically produced. These digital twins could also be used to help with maintenance operations. For example, technicians could use a digital twin to test that a proposed fix for a piece of equipment works before applying the fix the physical twin. Furthermore, “The Process Digital Twin is the next level of digital transformation, compounding Product Digital Twin benefits throughout the factory and supply chain,” Microsoft states. The associated limestone retaining walls perth highlights some advanced manufacturing scenarios that product digital twins don’t support, but that process digital twins would.

  5. At PAULEY Interactive we have been building a digital twin in the HoloLens of the soon to be built Old Oak Common station in London, for the High Speed 2 Project in UK.

    Can attest to the fact that the only reason this has been possible is due to unity and its fantastic technology.

  6. This is really cool. However, I have been using unity to design a DT system for a very complex manufacturing process for 2 years and the results I am collecting are simply impressive. I am expecting more from Unity!

  7. Honestly, I’m usually not much for the not-game-related posts as I primarily work in, well, just games, but the whole concept of digital twins is pretty cool