Innovation Update on Digital Twin Technology
IPU hosted an event on March 26th in collaboration with IDA Mechanical with focus on the digital twin technology. Besides an introduction to the technology, multiple cases showing how digital models and simulations are used at IPU were presented.
The Digital Twin technology often associated with Industry 4.0 and Digitalization is the most hyped technology in 2018 according to the hype cycle from Gartner. The general understanding of the technology is to have a digital model of a physical system, combining simulation data with sensor measurements in real-time to optimize the operation of the system. However, Digital Twins are also used during development of new products or processes to optimize design and performance and speed up the development time.
Through simulations, it is straightforward to get a better understanding of system behaviour and dynamics and thereby optimize design and performance. Moreover, simulation can be used to substitute expensive and time consuming experiments or give an indication of which test should be performed, and thereby speed-up the development time.
Digital models are also used during the development of complicated algorithms and control software. The idea is to test software functionality up against a model through simulations – a technique called Model-in-Loop (MiL). Besides increasing the software quality, the MiL method enables software development to take place in parallel with design of the physical system. Thus, the method will decrease the time-to-market for future products, where Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in smarter products will require large efforts on SW development.
Lack of standards, norms and tools to easily develop and use digital twins across physical domains makes the technology difficult to be introduced in the industry. Furthermore, introducing digital models typically requires adjustments of the workflow and processes within a company to be centred on models and simulations. This transition takes time as new competences are needed and companies must build up their own experience.
At IPU we specialize in using digital simulation models within R&D of new technologies, products and processes for our clients. To find out more about what we discussed during the event, feel free to download the presented slides here.