Systems Engineering

Digital Twin with Watson IoT

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Here in the IBM Booth at Hannover Messe, we had a few minutes to speak to Matthias Falk from IBM Watson IoT about Digital Twin. IBM Digital Twin uses Watson IoT to marry the physical and digital worlds by bringing together various ‘digital threads’ and data streams that can be tailored to the needs of a particular user – from production to operations. A physical and virtual twin exists in parallel, emerging as the product matures and progresses – always in sync. The physical product is equipped with sensors and is supported by its virtual (or digital) twin throughout its life cycle.

The three components of a digital twin

Digital Twin is comprised of three things:

  1. the physical thing – such as Schaeffler’s bearings, or Airbus’ airplane;
  2. the Digital Twin in virtual space
  3. the information that links both things together by exchanging real-time data.

The analytical components and cognitive insights derived using Watson are what set the IBM Digital Twin apart because organizations are able to access and analyze data during the operational phase and then feed the data back into the design phase. The end result means organizations can build better products, while working more efficiently.

An aerial view of visitors to the Digital Twin demonstration at IBM's Hannover Messe booth

Visitors to IBM’s booth at Hannover Messe hear more about Digital Twin

Using digital twins to eliminate silos

IBM Digital Twin gives organizations the ability to manufacture and maintain extremely high quality products – with both physical attributes and IoT functionality developed and tested using product lifecycle management and application lifecycle management solutions.  During production, monitoring overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) can help to predict impending production equipment degradation or failure, as well as provide diagnostics and recommendations to accelerate repair while simultaneously minimizing impact on production schedules.

Digital Twin addresses a common challenge many industrial organizations face when designing products and equipment. Industrial assets are designed, built and operated using many different data silos, applications, not to mention teams. The data silos create extra costs, inefficiency, as well as uncertainty regarding the data being used from disparate sources, at different times, by multiple teams. IBM Digital Twin brings the data silos together using Watson IoT Platform; adding data from partners like Aras Innovator from the PLM context, sensor data, in addition to application life-cycle management data.


Airbus physical and digital illustrating digital twin

Figure 1: The advantages of digital twin at Schaeffler

Schaeffler physical and digital illustrating digital twin

Figure 2: The advantages of digital twin at Airbus

Watch this video or read this earlier post about Digital Twin from Watson IoT General Manager of Offerings, Chris O’Connor to find out more.

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