WHAT IS A DIGITAL TWIN?
The emergence of “digital twins” is further proof of the power of technology and its advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). A digital twin is a replicated digital version of a real object or service, and has its origins in NASA’s Apollo program. It was used to troubleshoot the spacecraft from Earth, creating a digital twin model on which it is possible to experiment and predict changes similar to those that would occur on the real object.
HOW DOES A DIGITAL TWIN WORK?
A digital twin works as follows: sensors connected to different parts of the real model collect data that are transferred to a cloud. Allowing to reconstruct its digital replica and to know in detail what happens in the real model without the need to be present. It is through this constant collection of data and its subsequent interpretation that allows to optimize processes and operations in the real model.
The creation of a digital twin allows to detect and prevent problems, perform simulations and plans minimizing errors, without the need to have the real model present. Its application in different industries (aerospace, construction, automotive, energy, etc.) has revolutionized the process of manufacturing these products, allowing the creation of the real model in less time and with greater efficiency.
The use of digital twins is booming because it allows to reduce production costs, errors, manufacturing times, and in turn produce an increase in consumer satisfaction and confidence due to the detection of possible errors in the digital model, even before they occur. It is estimated that in 5 years there will be billions of products connected to your digital twin.
PURCHASING APPLICATIONS OF DIGITAL TWINS
In the Purchasing sector, the use of digital twins by suppliers will produce a competitive improvement over suppliers who offer their products or services in a traditional way. Thanks to the creation of digital twins, the supplier will be able to save time and costs in the manufacture of prototypes, since this can be done virtually, and will be able to detect future errors and correct them, thus avoiding cost overruns.
The buyer will benefit from more competitive prices and a lower risk of errors. Knowing through digital twins predictions of product behavior before they occur in the real version. It will also be able to collaborate with suppliers in the creation of the final product, as the digital twin will be able to allow further customization and optimization of the product before it is actually manufactured. Once manufactured and commissioned, the constant collection of data from the digital twin to the cloud will enable continuous improvements. The procurement of goods and services produced and monitored by digital twins will therefore provide added value to the organization that will translate into a competitive advantage over other companies.