Smart-IoT connectivity from satellite greatly enhances the value of virtual modeling
A digital twin is a virtual model of an object, a process, service or environment. Once set up, the digital twin can run simulations that mirror the real-world application based on data delivered by sensors in real time.
While digital twins can be used to model a wide variety of things, they are most effective when paired with IoT devices that collect data in real time and feedback information that analyze and predict behavior. As such, digital twins must have reliable connections to the sensors to make it work, which often excludes terrestrial networks that can’t reach remote places — or which are prohibitively expensive or difficult to install. This makes satellite networks such as the one being created by E-Space invaluable toward realizing the full potential of digital twin simulation.
Some examples of how digital twins are used in industry include:
Manufacturing and operations: By placing IoT sensors on machinery that can measure things such as temperature, vibration, level, flow, position and motion, operations can be remotely modeled to improve processes. When testing the heat tolerance of a piece of manufacturing equipment, it’s much safer and more efficient to push the limits using the digital twin than on the equipment itself. Digital twins are particularly useful in this area since they can be used to mirror the entire lifecycle of a product or process while also being instrumental in the initial design.
Asset management: Digital twins can be created to represent asset performance by tracking them over time to identify potential problems and improve decision making. This approach can extend the life of the asset by using it more efficiently and aid in cost reduction by avoiding unnecessary maintenance.
Energy/power-generation: Whether it’s a large engine on a jet, locomotive or a power plant, tracking its performance with a digital twin enables precise timing of maintenance for optimal efficiency and lifecycle management.
Automotive: Digital twins are useful in automotive design to improve vehicle performance and for tracking emissions in real time.
Large infrastructure and system projects: Buildings, bridges, roadways and other complex products and systems benefit greatly by digital twin mirroring. Virtualizations can be enormously helpful in the design and implementation or construction process while also driving efficiencies with ongoing inspections and maintenance operations.
Alongside the benefits digital twins provide in the design and lifecycle phase of products and processes, they can also help with lifecycle end considerations. That includes determining when it’s time to retire the product as well as what components can be recycled or otherwise used instead of being discarded.