Digital Twins: Why? What’s the Application? What’s the Value?

So what is the value behind a digital twin?

When I am talking about digital twin, I’m talking about feeding virtual sensor data from simulations to your IoT platform. So you have a real-time mimic of your physical product.

To begin to understand the value of the digital twin, you need to understand the dynamics of an IoT smart connected product. The idea is that you have remote sensors running on a product and you’re streaming the sensor data onto the IoT platform. However, remote sensors can lead to some issues. One issue that some companies run into is the bandwidth is not big enough for streaming between the product and the IoT platform. Another problem you run into is that you are not always able to put a physical sensor in the right place where you need to measure something.

So what you can do is set up the digital twin running alongside the IoT platform. You feed the digital twin the physical sensor data while the simulation is running. That physical sensor data augments the virtual sensor data from the simulation, and then both feed into the IoT platform. And as a result, there’s a larger dataset that can be analyzed using machine learning and artifical intelligence for better insight into the physical product’s operation.

An alternative is having the digital twin run on the product for immediate sensor data retrieval. In this case, the data is running on compute power that is actually on the product. And as a result, you have more data to use to develop conclusions. So there at the edge on the product, you can have the digital twin running. As soon as there’s an anomaly, that’s the only thing that gets sent over to the IoT platform, not all the sensor data.

So, both of these situations address the thin pipe between the product and the IoT platform. However, there are different implications for each. You’ve got to have compute power running on the product if you want it going there. And there’s a lot of things to think through. So that’s it. That’s part of the reason why and the value of running a digital twin for a remotely connected product.

That’s it. Thanks. Take care and talk soon.

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