By mirroring the physical world in a digital space, digital twins technology can add insight and control to production, fabrication, and assembly. This helps manufacturers predict, analyze, and optimize processes.

Many industries are already benefiting from digital twins. For example, the aerospace sector uses them to simulate aircraft systems and components under different conditions, leading to improvements in both safety and performance. In the automotive industry, digital twins are used when designing and producing vehicles, helping to keep them safe.

What are Digital Twins?

A digital twin is a virtual model of a physical process, product, or service, or a digital replica of physical assets across their lifecycles. In manufacturing, this means digitally mirroring the entire production process, from initial design to assembly. Teams then use these virtual replicas to simulate and analyze the manufacturing process in new ways.

Precision is the goal, and digital twins allow manufacturers to practice that precision, so to speak, in safe environments. For example, manufacturers can use them to simulate production, spotting potential issues and testing solutions without stopping production or wasting resources.

Revolutionizing Fabrication

Within fabrication, complex components must meet stringent specifications. Digital twins help this process along by providing detailed insights into how materials behave under various conditions. Manufacturers can simulate different fabrication scenarios, such as changes in temperature or pressure, to see how they would affect the material properties and the final product. This level of analysis helps them to ultimately improve fabricated component quality.

Assembly with Precision

The assembly phase benefits significantly from digital twins. By creating a digital replica of the assembly process, manufacturers can predict how different components will fit together and function as a whole. This predictive capability helps them to see potential assembly issues before they occur. Digital twins also offer the ability to test various assembly sequences and methods virtually.

Continuous Improvement

Digital twins contribute greatly to continuous improvement efforts. The digital twin evolves with its physical counterpart, incorporating real-time data from sensors and other sources. This flow of information allows manufacturers to not only monitor but also to regularly optimize the production, fabrication, and assembly processes. The result is a perpetual cycle of improvement.