The digital twin is a comprehensive digital representation of a set of physical objects. It maps all relevant characteristics and states of the physical product or system and can contain, for example, product data from CAD and other models, but also operating and process data.
However, the digital twin is much more than just a container for data: By supplementing the models with historical data and current condition data, the digital twin can be used to implement services such as product tracking, usage analysis, or predictive services for optimized maintenance. The digital twin ensures that all the necessary data is available, that analyses can be carried out, and that the data can be accessed in a user-friendly way thanks to corresponding service protocols.
Fraunhofer IPT has already designed and implemented a wide variety of digital twins for applications in different industries. Due to the concrete application reference, the data collected, structured and merged with modern sensor technology not only cover different products, but sometimes also entire plants and even buildings, so that these units are almost completely digitally mapped in the corresponding digital twins for the purpose of production optimization.