The power of digital twins
A digital twin system is a digital replica of an asset, process or system, capable of providing insight into how things are now, how they will be in the future and how they may change due to specific conditions.
It’s a technology that can be applied to almost any use case, from managing individual pieces of equipment to huge industrial projects, or even entire cities or countries. And that’s why Ben Lomax Thorpe believes digital twins will have a huge role to play in the transformation of our society.
Ben is our Global Leading Professional Digital Twin. As someone with vast experience in this field, there are few people better positioned to talk about the best approaches for deployment and what the future of the technology may look like.
In his own words, Ben believes that the first step with any successful digital twin project is understanding your goals and needs.
“When building a digital twin, it is important to understand what is required of it,” he says. “Therefore, before looking into the technology part, it’s important to focus on the business or societal need.”
Once your goal is established, a digital twin can play three important roles in helping you to achieve it. Firstly, it will provide insight into the current situation, using tools like dashboards and GIS maps to share real-time data about how your assets, processes or systems are performing.
Secondly, it will provide vital decision support, delivering the data and predictive simulation capabilities that fuel choices related to everything from day-to-day processes to major company investments.
For example, you can ask your twin any number of ‘what if’ questions to see the results of your decisions before they are made – thus saving yourself from the time, money and damage incurred by making the wrong choices.
Finally, armed with both real-time and historical data, your digital twins may even be able to act as virtual operators of assets or business processes, removing manual effort, improving accuracy and optimising performance.
Based on an interview with Geospatial World Prime (GW Prime), Ben goes on to talk about why location is key to the creation and management of a digital twin.
He also discusses the importance of looking beyond data siloes, building a digital twin ecosystem at an organisational or even national level, to optimise performance and better predict and visualise future outcomes. You can read more about this concept in our National Digital Twin White Paper.
You can read the full Geospatial World Prime article and learn more about this topic, here.