What is a Digital Twin? Applications, and Challenges

  • By Abir ouahabi
    • 27 Apr, 2023
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Digital twin, software, manufacturing, architecture

The concept of a digital twin is not a new topic. We live in an era where technology is progressing at an alarming rate and where the emergence of “digital twin in buildings” is among the concepts at the forefront of this. Although it is widely used in computer simulations in industries such as manufacturing, aircraft, and automobiles, its application to building design is a relatively new concept. Because the technology may cover the whole lifecycle of a building, it provides organizations with a powerful analytical tool for comprehensively examining key performance indicators and identifying opportunities for improvement.

Because digital twins are such a novel idea in the building sector and in practice, there is currently a scarcity of research on their possible applications. The applications found are discussed below.

Applications of Digital Twins

Digital twins seem to have a variety of applications and use cases in smart city development, many of which are expected to be beneficial. For example, data collected from IoT sensors and incorporated in core city services may be utilized to develop cutting-edge AI algorithms that can be employed in digital twin-enabled city management applications. This can lead to better traffic control, less congestion, and lower carbon emissions, all of which contribute to the growth of sustainable cities. Buildings, roads, public services, logistics, people, and power grids are all examples of smart city networks that might benefit from data-driven decision-making employing DT. However, the creation of city-level digital twins (DT) is still in its early stages, and improved integration of DT with related digital technologies (IoT, Industry 4.0, Big Data, and so on) is needed.

The manufacturing industry has long used digital twins for autonomous product manufacture, leaner processes, predictive analytics, and continuous improvement to ensure that as-built improvements may be applied to upcoming components. The use of DT allows for the creation of high-fidelity digital models, allowing for the fabrication of waste-free components and the enhancement of smart manufacturing processes. Additionally, the use of DT will reduce the manufacturing of unneeded products and lead to more environmentally friendly buildings.

Digital twin, architecture, design, manufacturing, smart cities, innovation, funding

Challenges of Digital Twins

Despite the application of “digital twins” in many sectors, this newly implemented technology faces many challenges. A key worry in web-based systems is cybersecurity. Insecure initiatives like government-owned assets or digital twins at the city level are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks like data access. Concerns around data privacy and ownership, as well as defining access levels and permissions, remain for digital twins.

Assigned roles and duties should be defined, as should the data accessibility constraints of the involved stakeholders. Even while security and ownership problems will have a tremendous influence on digital twin technology adoption, the CDBB says they will not significantly slow down the progress. CDBB’s security approach mandates that digital twins be safe by design in order to protect personal data and privacy, critical national infrastructure assets, economic interests, and intellectual property and reduce risks associated with data aggregation.

Companies that are innovating Digital Twin technologies are likely to be eligible for several funding programs including government grants, and SR&ED.

Want to learn about funding opportunities for your Digital Twinproject? Schedule a free consultation with one of our experts today!



Abir Oubabi
Abir ouahabi

SR&ED Consultant

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