Digital twin definition
Let's define digital twinning for you. Quite simply a digital twin is a virtual representation that serves as the real-time digital counterpart of a physical object or process.
The digital twin is never intended to replace the physical object or process, but offer new insights and perspectives usually with the aim of optimising it.
For more information about making a digital twin of an event see our virtual events page.
Your digital twin can be used to integrate a whole host of data types, including IIoT sensors which collect real-time data. This data can then be analysed to identify and improve real world performance. Our cloud-based solution means that you and your team can access it anywhere and anytime.
What is digital twin technology and why is it so important?
Digital twin technology is simply any piece of software or technology that lets you create and analyse a digital twin.
It's very flexible, but very powerful technology. Data sources can be virtually anything – and you, as an expert in your field, will have a good idea of what needs to be modelled –popular data sources for digital twin technological currently include:
Established equipment or machinery sensors
Additional IIOT sensors
Cameras on-site and CCTV
Historic data (to allow immediate visualisation of trends)
Data from the field, uploaded by individuals
What are the benefits of digital twinning
You get a head start on product planning and design
You become more efficient almost straightaway by reducing potentially costly unknowns and identifying bottlenecks and other production issues, and also by making better maintenance decisions.
Your team becomes more effective as digital twins allow them to focus on their efforts in the right places
Specifically, PixelMax also allows you to:
Communicate directly with your facilities, equipment and your workforce using a combination of Pixelmax and Pixelmeet technologies
Visualise complex data from multiple sources in a single unified platform
Why do we need a digital twin?
If you're thinking this is NASA-level stuff, you're right. It used to be.
NASA has embraced similar tech to aid its space exploration – it was mirrored systems that helped engineers avert disaster with Apollo 13, and even now, NASA is using digital twinning to develop next-generation vehicles and aircraft.
But you no longer need a budget that's out of this world.
Are digital twins expensive?
Nowhere near as expensive as you'd think.
As we said, digital twins are just the virtual world holding a mirror up to the physical world except they reflect back much more insight. That's insight that any business – your or your competitors – can gain a competitive advantage from.
Think of it like this too. What do you currently spend on external data or optimisation consultants, not to mention ad hoc maintenance or efficiency losses? Would visualising and democratising data allow your workforce to reduce reliance on external consultants?
Most people and companies quickly see that there is a lot of money to be saved with a digital twin.
Speak to PixelMax and you'll soon see that pricing is not a small step to the giant leaps you can make with a digital twinning platform.
How do you set up a digital twin?
With PixelMax, you'll be fully supported to get the most out of your digital twin and it's data. This is what our process looks like:
Get in touch – simply pop some details into the contact page
Discovery phrase – let's have a quick chat about your problems and aims and existing solutions
Brief – know exactly what you're getting
Pilot – this optional phase can help you really see the benefits
Report and Value Proposition – here you make the call, do you want to proceed? Is it worth it for you?
Final brief – thrash out the final details and get your quote
Data capture – don't worry if you have zero existing data capture or have lots of CAD/BIM provision
Data sources and IOT install – let's make sure your facility is completely connected and your digital twin is the perfect replica
3D modelling – get a model optimised for the Unreal engine but fully capable of leveraging any additional value from outside the PixelMax platform
Configuration and dashboard creation – let's democratise that data for every stakeholder
Platform deployment – go live
Ongoing data aid – AI, Machine learning etc
What are the types of digital twin?
You can make a digital twin of most things, but there are three main types:
Product digital twins
Need a better prototype or always chasing those marginal gains? Product digital twins may be the most simple type, but they can virtually validate any design decision.
We can help companies vastly reduce the number of prototypes and cut dev time and help others iterate in response to customer feedback much quicker.
We've also made complete digital twins of whole events. This isn't a research or analytics exercise (although it's really easy to pull data from), but does get your event to a huge potential audience.
Production digital twins
This is where you'll make virtual copies of everything in your manufacturing process and production digital twins have been known to save millions in efficiencies.
What most people don't realise initially is that production digital twins aren't just a pre-production thing. Run them in conjunction with your physical production line and you can prevent costly downtime, by pinpointing preventative maintenance or, over time, identify operations that are more efficient or reliable. And this leads us to...
Performance Digital Twins
Because digital data is far easier to capture and aggregate than its (mostly unseen) physical equivalents. Therefore it is far more useful. You can use digital twins to unearth so many insights.
Performance digital twins allow you to boost efficiency and create new business opportunities.
What's the digital thread then?
Like any thread, it's the link and combination of these three that companies use in their twinning.