Benefits of Digital Twins – Maplesoft Engineering Solutions

Benefits of Digital Twins

A Digital Twin is a virtual representation of your product, and the perfect companion for diagnostics, maintenance, and product innovation. As an essential component of modern virtual commissioning, Digital Twins serve as realistic models for fast, accurate PLC testing, ensuring that design issues are ironed out before they reach the production floor.

Because model-based Digital Twins do not require physical performance data to predict behavior, they can be used for a greater range of engineering tasks:

  • Conceptual Development: Very early experimentation with design concepts in a model that predicts the dynamic behavior provides powerful insight and allows engineers to make more informed decisions.
  • Virtual Commissioning: Long before the first build, engineers can predict the steady-state and transient loads that the actuators will face during their duty cycles. This helps to properly size the actuators to eliminate failure, while avoiding over-engineering.
  • Online Diagnostics: Simulating the Digital Twin in parallel with the real machine can provide valuable insight into where a problem might arise as the machine’s response drifts from the model as it ages.
  • Virtual Sensors: Since the dynamic response of the Digital Twin is built on rigorous physical laws, certain calculated properties may be sufficient to use as inputs to the control system, either to replace a faulty sensor until it can be fixed, or eliminate its use altogether. Both scenarios can provide a significant reduction in costs.
  • Predictive Maintenance: There are many factors that determine the maintenance schedule for a machine, but one factor is frequently overlooked because it is difficult to predict without a Digital Twin. This factor is the impact of dynamic loading on bearings, gears, and motors, caused by changes in the duty cycle. Putting a Digital Twin through a proposed duty cycle can help to determine the loads on these components, which can be used to calculate the impact on the component’s life.
  • Product Enrichment:  A Digital Twin allows manufacturers to ask important questions like, how fast can a machine safely perform an operation (cycles per minute) or how heavy of a load can it move, without needing to push requests back through to engineering. This allows manufacturers to provide greater innovations and differentiate themselves from their competition.
  • Sales Tool: Outside of the engineering department, the Digital Twin can be used to qualify customer specifications. For customers, this information can help validate the performance of a machine given different payloads or operating conditions, without needing a full consultation by an engineer.

Next: Digital Twins for Virtual Commissioning