Machines today are designed with corresponding virtual representations. The physical and digital counterparts exchange data, which is constantly captured by sensors. This way, companies can detect faults earlier in the development phase—and even monitor machinery and components after distribution.show more
A perfect look-alike, just in case
Greater product diversity, higher quality and lower production costs: Digital Twins are revolutionizing how industry works. Virtual twins accompany a physical product from the initial conceptualization and the design process right through production and updates - helping digital machine construction run better.
3D models instead of prototypes
Digital Twins are digital representations of physical machines. In industry, they are used to optimize product design and ensure error-free operation. They are formed on the basis of a high-precision 3D CAD model that has been assigned all the properties and functions of the planned product - from its materials and sensoring systems to the movement and dynamics of the real machine. This is an important step towards identifying malfunctions early and resolving them before the start of production - and eliminating the need for development of a costly prototype.
Constant exchange of data
The twins are constantly in connection with one another - even after production and sale of the physical product. The real machine is outfitted with sensors that send status data to its virtual reproduction on a constant basis. A requirement management system functions as a digital requirements library, gathering the incoming data and comparing it against the specifications by which the product was created.
If a discrepancy is detected, then engineers can work on potential solutions directly on the digital twin - after which the real machine can then be updated to resolve the problem as quickly as possibly.
IT security for digital twins
To ensure the security of the Digital Twins, a variety of enhanced security measures from the IT realm are needed in industry. Digital industry systems are an especially common target for malicious software, spread through the internet, corporate intranets or external hardware. The concept of "industrial security" is thus not just focused on physical securing of devices through alarm systems and access codes, but also the use of firewalls in corporate networks and walling off of external electronic interfaces. To protect industrial systems against cyber-attacks, manufacturers such as Siemens and Genua Solutions offer solutions to be deployed at all levels to ensure not only system and network security, but also system integrity.
In the future, all stakeholders will be networked: suppliers, producers and customers. The focus now must be put on building a strong network between machine builders, electrical engineers and IT. Digital Factory , the international trade fair for integrated processes and IT solutions, will open its doors at HANNOVER MESSE with a broad spectrum of forums, congresses and special events.
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