Industrial applications of digital twins
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 2021, 379 . 10.1098/rsta.2020.0360
A digital twin (DT) is classically defined as the virtual replica of a real-world product, system, being, communities, even cities that are continuously updated with data from its physical counterpart, as well as its environment. It bridges the virtual cyberspace with the physical entities and, as such, is considered to be the pillar of Industry 4.0 and the innovation backbone of the future. A DT is created and used throughout the whole life cycle of the entity it replicates, from cradle to grave, so to speak. This article focuses on the present state of the art of DTs, concentrating on the use of DTs in industry in the context of smart manufacturing, especially from the point of view of plantwide optimization. The main capabilities of DTs (mirroring, shadowing and threading) are discussed in this context. The article concludes with a perspective on the future.