For companies that develop products or processes, Digital Twin technology promises to improve the performance of your business. It will not only increase your engineers’ creativity, innovative power and effectiveness as a team, it will also impact marketing, sales and the way you service and manage your customer base. Overall technology will greatly improve the efficiency of your business, bring you closer to your customers and will lead to better returns and a stronger competitive position.

What is a Digital Twin?

Your engineering department almost certainly makes use of computer aided design and manufacturing technologies for physical components, including simulation techniques. These technologies provide a relatively constrained and isolated view of the operation of an entire system. A digital twin takes the process of understanding the design and operation of an entire system to an entirely new, holistic level.

A digital twin is a working, virtual model of an entire product, process or service that is highly accurate both in its portrayal of a system and also the environment in which the system operates. The world in which a digital twin is constructed contains governing rules and principles which are applied to the twin itself, in much the same way that a system in the real world is subject natural laws and principles. For example, gravity, friction, temperature and light are fundamental constituents of the virtual world of a digital twin. This means that the way in which a digital twin behaves in its virtual world is the closest analogy to an equivalent real-world system that technology can produce at the current time.

This has huge, valuable consequences for business. Clearly, the ability to visualise a system under development and to easily communicate about it with stakeholders has advantages. Customers can be involved in the earliest stages of system design and can provide valuable feedback at a moment when changes can still be made cheaply. But engineers can also study the operation of the system and optimise its design and construction before it becomes physically manifest, saving both time and money. Marketing stories can be developed in advance of a physical prototype being available and sales can engage with new customers by showing them the