A digital twin is a digital replica of a living or non-living physical unit. The term “digital twin” refers to a digital representation of potential and actual physical assets, processes, people, places, systems, and devices that can be used for various purposes. The digital representation provides both, the elements and the dynamics of the functionality and lifespan of its physical unit during the entire life cycle.
Digital twins integrate IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and software analytics to create living digital simulation models that are updated and changed as their physical counterparts change. With this method, its status or its position can be displayed almost in real time. Twins are used in various industrial sectors to optimize the planning, operation and maintenance of physical facilities, systems and manufacturing processes. They are a formative technology for the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), in which physical objects hold a virtual existence that can interact with other machines and people within the framework of so-called cyber-physical systems.
Research at the IIM deals with the following key areas:
- Conceptualization of digital twins, especially with the analysis of properties, structures and characteristics. A particular research interest lies in the role / function of twins in the respective application areas
- The implementation of cross-company digital twins as part of data sharing, including topics such as data sovereignty, standardized data exchange and data security
- Further development of complementary research branches in the field of digital twins