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Digital Twin Technology Application and Challenges

Jagreet Kaur | 09 February 2022


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Introduction to Digital Twin

Everyone has met the digitization process around in life. Books have become ebooks. Music has transitioned to MP3 records. The theory of digital twinning is similar but also slightly different. This article will give an insight about Digital Twin Technology and it's benefits Think of a video game. You have an on-screen avatar — your digital twin — but the production of that on-screen copy doesn't exclude you. It represents merely you and your actions in a digital ecosystem. The exception is that if your avatar were a valid digital twin, it wouldn't remain static.

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A digital twin is the ability to take a virtual representation of the element and the dynamics of how an IoT device operates and works. It is more than a blueprint or more than a schematic. The Internet of Things acts as a foundation for digital twin technology. With the evolution of IoT, Gartner has listed Digital twin technology amid its ''Top 10 Trends'' for the past two years. The digital twin is a virtual ringer of the real-world thing. Digital twin, as the name indicates, has two versions of something: the physical one and the other is a digital one. Digital twins use sensors joined to physical objects to receive and broadcast data regarding those physical devices. The ultimate concept for the digital twin is to build, test, and build equipment in a virtual environment.

The technology after digital twins has grown to incorporate more substantial items such as structures, workshops, and even towns, and some have said personalities and methods can have digital counterparts, extending the theory even farther. It's not just a 3D model, it is a living model that sees all the intricate parts of the physical things, e.g.- car as a part of complex technology ecosystem of navigation, communication collision avoidance, climate change and so on. Aviation designers today can utilize the digital twin to pinpoint and examine under what condition, or after how many hours of operating a critical part of the sensor will fail.

Data - Pillar of Digital Twin Technology

The implementation of digital twins is not that easy. The central pillar of the digital twin is data. Gaining access to these data across industries is a complicated process. This hurdle can be solved if organizations properly manage their data. A holistic approach to store and manage data should be followed, but this is often easier said than done. The base or start of a digital twin is mining data. The mining of data from the system is done to monitor performance. Digital twin makes a decision based on facts, not fiction.

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How to monitor the state of Equipment-Predictive Maintenance?

Digital Twins can help the business to monitor the state of equipment at remote sites, and optimize product designs. The sharing and summary of digital twin data enable organizations to make determinations that immediately influence their key performance pointers. For example, Manufacturing machines can often be a complicated and costly process. Assembling a prototype from the parts that haven't been developed to tested together will often cause problems, and guessing everything to function correctly may require significant material and human effort. This might fails as many of the inner part testings has not done yet.

For the solution of this problem, Digital twins come into existence that is a virtual based physics machine capable of simulating the behavior of the device in real-time by analyzing the data. A digital twin is used for a wide range of scenarios. From one point of view, there are digital twins that model and represent a single sensor within a device. On the other end of view, some digital twins reflect many aspects of a whole campus of buildings, comprising energy, usage, topology, and more.

IoT in Digital Twin - Resource of Real Data

IoT is a significant technology involved in the twin. Collecting operation data is getting cheaper because of sensors of IoT. The physical assets help to make the digital twin as it gives the data that makes the digital twin a real twin. Sensors combined with the physical stock receive data and transfer it back to the digital twin, and their communication advances optimize the product's performance. For example, sensors within an aero-engine might recognize when components require changing or fixing. Jet engine maker Rolls-Royce already uses Engine Health Management (EHM) to track the shape of thousands of engines, using onboard sensors and live satellite feeds.

These data are used to improve maintenance regimes. Ultimately, they could be used in the initial aero-engine design process. Twin helps to demonstrate different aspects of IoT devices or Physical devices. By providing a model and API, the digital twin makes working with IoT very easy. Thus, a digital twin is the representation of the thing itself and work with different capabilities and feature of that thing. Digital twins can, for example, implemented in industries. We can take an example of the manufacturing process. By equipping machines with sensors, we can collect a variety of operational data Like the behavior of the equipment(control physical elements). Condition of the machine(control real-time dynamics of how an object or a system interacts with other items in the physical environment, as well as with the situation itself). By the time, if the deviation in performance is visible, the manufacturer can take action to optimize their production process.

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What are the benefits of enabling Digital Twin technology?

The benefits of enabling digital twin technology are listed below:

Innovatory product design

First of all, a digital twin accelerates innovative product design. Now, we need not construct an expensive prototype; instead, a virtual template would replace the manufacturing process. The virtual model is first tested and optimized. Then after this test, we can make the product.

Tracking of product

A digital twin keeps on tracking the product during its entire lifecycle. Sensors of IoT keep on sending feedback from time to time about the performance of the product. Digital twin analyzes all the data, and it continuously improves the quality.

Predictive Maintenance

On top of the improvements to the final product, these sensors allow for the implementation of predictive maintenance. Rather than guessing when the product needs service, we could have thousands of sensors blanketing the product and monitoring the health. The ongoing transmission of control values to the cloud makes it possible to detect any irregularities quickly and with ease. They can also determine when maintenance is necessary based on use and wear and tear. This helps avoid expensive and unexpected repairs.

Detailed information on the product

The information provided to digital twins by the physical product is providing manufacturers with more insight into their products and making it possible for them to predict more than they ever could before. Through properly created interfaces, it is simple to communicate with the model and ask the what-if questions to the figure to resemble many provisions that are unrealistic to perform in real life.

What are the challenges of adopting Digital Twin?

  • The first step in developing a digital twin is to have 3D drawings. There was a survey where the user believes 2D illustration is highly essential. Digital Twin, with a 2D design model, is not possible. Most of the industries are still working on 2D drawings.
  • Secondly, the major success behind digital twins will be digitization. Many industries that have to adopt digitization has a digital twin. For the successful implementation, many of the small-scale suppliers need to become aware and assist in embracing digitization.
  • To unlock the real advantage from the digital twin theory requires a holistic road to the store, manage and handle the digital data of the product. There is also a requirement to have a robust engineering change administration process in place to assure that the digital twin perfectly manages the practical and physical arrangements.
A digital illustration of a physical thing/object, and the mechanism inside the digital twin involves sensors which are attached to the physical object for collecting data. Click to explore about, Digital Twin Consulting Services

What are the applications of Digital Twin?

With the existence of Industry 4.0, connecting the things or digitization is well recognized in every business. The development of IoT results in the representation of physical objects digitally. The digital twin concept predicts the present as well as the future of the product or thing. Digital twin reduces operational cost, increase productivity, efficient production cost, performance improvement, and predict the behaviour. The primary application area of the digital twin is as follows -


Digital twin had a significant impact on designing and manufacturing the product. It changes the old process where we directly produce the product after getting the information.

Space Research

During beforehand days of space, NASA has to face lots of hurdles. One of the significant ways how to diagnose and repair the craft in the area. NASA created a Digital Twin of spacecraft where all information is kept stored, and they simulate the conditions. That way, they solve their problems.


It can be also be designed to make the virtual model of vehicles before its actual construction. It helps in capturing the behaviour of the car when it is working. We can get time to time feedback about the performance and maintenance it required. Thus, it helps in delivering the best facility to the customer.

Wind turbines

General Electric(GE) uses the digital twin to monitor and control turbines on its wind farms. They resolve the problem when it generates some updation about turbines.


Digital twin provides healthcare by analyzing the reports and history of patient health. It becomes easy for the doctors to give proper medication to their client.

Industries IoT

Industries are now widely using Digital twins to check the position of their complicated machinery. It's the property of predictive maintenance helps in predicting future operation and anomalies.


Appealing consumer experience is critical in the retail sector. Digital twin implementation can play a crucial role in augmenting the retail customer experience by creating virtual twins for customers and modelling fashions for them on it. Digital Twins also helps in better in-store planning, security implementation, and energy management in an optimized manner.

Concluding Digital Twin

Digitization brings all together, every idea, every process, every machine, stakeholder, and the thing you do, ultimately forming a unified digital enterprise. With this advancement, Digital twins will become standard in many industries. The digital twin, combined with the advanced analytical tools and machine learning, will change the traditional way of analyzing and tracking the equipment. It will enable a new era of predictive maintenance.