A living, breathing infographic? The digital twin as an infinite representative of the physical
By Yaki Naude (IoT.nxt Head of Marketing – Brand and Creative)
What is a Digital Twin?
Digital twins are digital replicas (digitalised duplicates) or representations of devices, machines, connected products, processes, or (and this is where it becomes most useful) complex business eco-systems. “It really is what I refer to as dashboard 4.0. It’s a living breathing infographic giving all information needed in real-time.” says IoT.nxt® Digital Evangelist, Tobie Alberts. “It is unequivocally the next way for data scientists or data analysts (or even dashboarding companies) to create a simplified and easy way for end-users to experience their data as information.”
This information or data can relate to a multitude of objects, functionalities and processes. A good example is a cellular base station or cell tower, which we call an Intelligent Cell Site. In a project IoT.nxt is currently rolling out for a global leader in telecommunications, entailing the digitisation of 12,000 cellular base stations, each site is relatively complex with 144 connected or subdivided systems that have to be monitored in real-time. The digital twin can communicate intricate information visually, without the end-user needing any engineering experience.
IoT.nxt® has invested time and resources into creating a practical and fully agnostic platform that makes creating a digital twin a drag and drop away. This allows clients to position these digital twins and subsequently link the relevant data onto a visual representation of the real McCoy. Imagine trying to track 12,000 base stations without a digital twin. As more businesses become completely digitalised, it is more vital than ever to have complete visibility of an entire ecosystem and the insights to drive innovation without disrupting productivity.
The data generated by connected assets or sensors would present a massive problem for anyone creating reports or using traditional dashboards. Marrying various reports and many different data sets into one sexy image is not only practical but also allows for the customer to have a holistic view and gain an understanding of their assets or processes. This, ultimately, is where the power of the digital twins lies.
The digital twin duplicates the physical and helps enterprise understand their processes and/or assets in real-time, aiding in maximising overall equipment and process efficiency. Data is represented in moving 3D parts, flat digital twin designs or even process designs. “Take for instance the manufacturing industry. Here we find highly instrumented devices, with a multitude of sensors. These need to be monitored by accurate digital twins which precisely simulate performance in real-time, to enable machine learning – predicting future performances and possible failures.” Alberts continues.
Multiple twins in a business owner’s eco-system creates an even bigger picture. When introducing twin to twin dashboards (one twin representing a product or process and the other for argument’s sake, a device) the interaction between the various twins can be visualised! Now, rinse and repeat, for an even bigger overview of digital replicas of the process within the inter twins. The concept around digital twins remains power:
- A magnitude of data can now be collected in an easy and seamless way.
- It is a tool or platform used by end customers to understand a process, product or device better.
- Generating value. This value can either be in understanding the process, predicting failures or to manage devices better in a more holistic way.
- It reiterates IoT’s true value!
A culmination of technology and digital art has brought us, at the dawn of this decade to an elevated level of visualisation in the IoT space, a function that IoT.nxt® has embraced to provide holistic overviews and a legion of solutions for any business owner across the globe.
Deploying our solution and platform, users not only have oversight of, and insight into, their entire value chain, but can bring together vast amounts of data from devices and sensors and effect real change rapidly and remotely. Any process. Any industry. Unlock an end-to-end solution that simplifies digitalisation, deploys fast and works for your business.
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