The emerging technologies of IoT (Internet of Things) may create some confusion as the concepts of applications have similar approach and often are intricately connected. This is especially so when we talk about the concepts of Digital Twins & Digital Threads, which work in the same type of environments.
Actually the two concepts have been around for a long time but new technologies of IoT have made them now accessible, useful and powerful. In IoT the two concepts are inextricably connected to current industrial applications and environments. Before we differential the two, the way to describe the two concepts is as – a digital thread unites the diverse but interrelated data to uncover useful insights; whereas data unification is a critical pre-requisite to build a digital twin models.
DIGITAL THREAD CONCEPT. The digital thread concept creates a way to universally access data as a single source. When it is implemented across the enterprise it aims to bring consistency and promote collaboration by leveraging a robust cache of data to align different functions. The data cache has real-time data synchronisation to make available all upstream and downstream information.
Large industrial enterprises with a global presence can use digital thread. It seeks to bring advanced product innovation and differentiation, besides optimising processes and efficiencies. It aims to empower employees for higher productivity and quality. For equipping the employees with right information at the right time across the value chain, it leverages a variety of technologies for this. In an enterprise, data usually comes from CRM, ERP, BOM, MES, CAD and others. Digital Threads can potentially go beyond manufacturing software to include other sources of related software & data. It is flexible to adapt to the identified use case and used for some business outcomes needed by enterprises.
DIGITAL TWIN CONCEPT. The digital twin is developed as a digital model which is a virtual representation of its physical counterpart. But they can also be developed for other purposes like operations, processes or even employee tasks. These models are getting more usage in industrial sectors. It is to understand the physical model to predict behaviour or reactions and draw better insights. Digital Twins leverage multiple data caches. It includes anything from sensor data to business system data. One digital twin model can be leverage by many other applications and for different roles. New and additional value can be discovered. For instance, the same model involved in quality assurance can assist a technician at a service call.
Into the Future. The two technological concepts are more used by the industrial enterprise to drive business outcomes and unlock opportunities. Emerging tech like VR and AR are being integrated into these concepts.to realise value, streamline processes and empower employees, enabling cost and time savings.
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