Digital Twins – new heights for manufacturing in the Industry 4.0 era


Digitalization in manufacturing already made the leap from innovation to everyday use with increased productivity and healthier workers as key benefits. Coined in 2002 by Dr. Michael Grieves, one of the most recent opportunities for industry development is the digital twin technology.

The digital twin is a digital or virtual replica of a physical object or process that serves to optimize business performance. This replica is updated in real-time or as regularly as possible, thus keeping up with its real-world twin or counterpart and the changes the latter may undergo. The constant updating is meant to keep up with the real-world counterparts and any changes that it may go through.

Basically, the sensor-enabled digital model simulates the physical object in its real-world setting based on massive, cumulative data measurements across an array of dimensions. These measurements provide important insights on system performance, leading to decisions and actions such as improvements in product design or manufacturing process. It is all possible with modern-day technologies such as big data, massive processing architectures and advanced algorithms for predictive analysis.

Digital Twin in manufacturing
Why implement the digital twin in your factory?

The digital twin is the new technology to be taken into consideration by enterprises that want to stand out in various industries and enjoy a futureproof competitive edge based on the difference it makes throughout the entire product life cycle from design and development to implementation and production.

Digital twins are used for a range of purposes of which analyzing previous results and testing new strategies are key because they trigger competitive advantages such as:

  • design and build better products
  • detect and solve physical issues faster
  • predict outcomes to a much higher degree of accuracy
  • ultimately, better serve their customers

Virtual space ensures the environment where changes can be experimented with almost identical results in the physical space. Money and time spent with experiments on real world objects are reduced to a minimum. Thus, working on a digital twin can save a company up to 30% of the development costs.

Applications of the digital twin

By design, digital twins can model complicated objects or processes based on their capacity to interact in many ways with their environments. Thus, the digital twin technology serve to a multitude of scopes and objectives:

  • Manufacturing
  • Automotive
  • Airship construction and flight simulation
  • Architecture and constructions
  • Health and medical industry

How to integrate in production or operational processes

A natural integration of the digital twin in your production or operational processes is by addressing one area / one part of the process at a time. It is a safe way not to feel discouraged or overwhelmed by the complexity of the system which is really user-friendly in the end. Once you acknowledge the operational and strategic value it brings to that area/part of the process, things will develop naturally.

The advent of connected smart technologies allows organizations to gain significant value. The digital twin in particular delivers competitive edge in terms of speed to market of their product, fast operations, reduced defects, and even new business models.

DT4CoSmoS – the Digital Twin for Coordination and control of System-of-Systems in Industry 4.0.

Ropardo – Software Engineering brings its software development expertise in Smart Factory Romania, an association endorsed and promoted by “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu that aims at digitizing factories in Romania with solutions resulted from joint forces in developing research and innovation activities. One such solution proposed by Ropardo is DT4CoSmoS, the Digital Twin for Coordination and control of System-of-Systems in Industry 4.0. aiming at developing collaboration methods (swarm behaviors) for heterogeneous manufacturing devices using Digital Twins. The project idea of DT4CoSmoS was presented at ECS Brokerage Event. You can watch our presentation in the video below.

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