Digital twins in industry: how do they work?

The digital twin is at the heart of all industrial innovation strategies. This technology, integrated into our IoT platform, creates a virtual replica of industrial equipment, manufacturing processes, or systems, enabling efficient real-time data collection, analysis, and simulation.
The digital twin opens up opportunities for optimizing operations, continuously improving performance, and customizing production processes, affirming its essential role in advancing Industry 4.0.


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Definition of an industrial digital twin

A digital twin is a virtual replica of an object, system, process, or service in the industrial sector, designed to simulate, analyze, and optimize its physical counterpart. This technology, integrated into an IoT platform, collects data in real-time via sensors placed on industrial equipment to make it intelligent and create a dynamic model that reflects the current state of the equipment.
Digital twins enable manufacturers to better understand, manage, and improve their operations, from product design and predictive maintenance to process optimization and quality improvement.
With our IoT platform, give your industrial activity a new dimension! 

Digital twins for industry: how do they work?

Digital twins, at the heart of Industry 4.0, take advantage of a dynamic between data generated by IoT sensors and virtual copies of equipment created at the heart of the IoT platform. In this dynamic, the information sent by the sensors is stored, processed, and analyzed at the heart of our IoT platform, which uses it to create an accurate digital replica of the object or system being analyzed.
Our predictive algorithms enable industrial digital twins to simulate future behavior, explore complex scenarios, and suggest improvements. 


The operation of digital twins for industry is based on close interaction between the physical and digital worlds, facilitated by IoT technology. Here are the key stages in their operation:


  • Data collection: Sensors installed on the object, system, or physical process collect real-time data on its status. This information may relate to performance, operating status, the environment or other identified critical variables.

  • Data transmission and storage: Data is transmitted to our IoT platform where it will be stored, processed, and analyzed. This stage often involves the use of IoT cloud technology to facilitate data access and management.

  • Creation of the digital twin: Based on this data, a "twin" of the physical entity is created digitally in the IoT platform. The industrial digital twin uses advanced simulation and visualization functionalities to reproduce the behavior and characteristics of the physical object.

  • Analysis and simulation: The digital twin can be used to simulate scenarios, analyze potential performance, and predict future conditions of use and possible failures. Analysis of these criteria helps to optimize the design, maintenance, and operation of the physical entity.

  • Decision-making and action: Finally, the information obtained from the digital twin can be used to make informed decisions in the real world, such as adjusting operating parameters, planning preventive maintenance, or improving product design.

Digital twins for industry work by creating a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, enabling in-depth understanding and optimized management of production sites through real-time data analysis and prediction. 

To find out more about the different types of digital twins, read our article on the concept and applications of digital twins! 


How can the digital industrial twin help to improve maintenance?

The digital twin for Smart Industry revolutionizes the maintenance of connected equipment by enabling a predictive rather than reactive approach.
Thanks to an accurate virtual replica of equipment and systems, it provides a real-time analysis of their operating status. Combined with prediction, it anticipates failures before they occur, guaranteeing that production sites run smoothly. 
The data collected by the IoT sensors feeds the digital twin, which uses advanced algorithms to simulate scenarios and identify faults. This process optimizes maintenance plans, reduces unplanned downtime, and extends the life of assets. 
As a result, manufacturers benefit from increased efficiency, reduced maintenance costs, and an overall productivity improvement. The digital twin becomes an indispensable tool for manufacturers, promoting more intelligent and preventive management of resources.


What are the applications of digital twins in the industry?

In the industrial sector, the concept of the digital twin is proving to be an innovation that is redefining traditional practices in the design, production, and management of products and services. Here are the main applications that illustrate this revolution:


  • Product design: The digital twin enables product designs to be tested and validated in a virtual environment, reducing the need for costly physical prototypes and speeding up development.

  • Process optimization: By simulating production processes, industrial digital twins identify inefficiencies and optimize the use of resources, improving productivity and reducing costs

  • Quality management: digital twins guarantee continuous monitoring of product quality throughout the production process, enabling malfunctions to be detected and corrected quickly to maintain a high level of production quality.

  • Customer satisfaction: By anticipating needs and personalizing offers, digital twins help to improve the customer experience, boosting customer loyalty and satisfaction and thereby increasing manufacturers' sales.

  • Supply chain management: Digital twins make it easier to visualize and analyze the supply chain in real time, enabling rapid reaction to unforeseen events and greater stock optimization.

  • Predictive maintenance: thanks to prediction, digital industrial twins anticipate breakdowns in connected equipment and plan maintenance before problems arise, thereby reducing downtime.

  • Team collaboration: Digital twins foster closer collaboration between design, production, and maintenance teams by providing shared access to accurate, up-to-date product and process information for greater transparency.

  • Enabling new business models: Industrial digital twins pave the way for innovative business models, such as product as a service, where value is generated through use and performance rather than simply through sales.

The industrial digital twin is an important lever for digital transformation, offering an approach that improves design, operational efficiency, quality, and customer experience while opening up new commercial avenues and strengthening internal collaboration.


What are the challenges of digital twinning?

Digital twins represent a significant step forward in Industry 4.0, offering many opportunities for innovation. However, their implementation is not without its challenges. Here are the main obstacles to overcome to fully exploit the potential of digital twins for industry:


  • IoT infrastructure: The need for sophisticated and secure infrastructures to collect and integrate data in real time, raising issues of cost and technical complexity.

  • Data management: The difficulty of managing huge volumes of data, requiring advanced analysis and storage capabilities, as well as rigorous management of data confidentiality and protection.

  • Interoperability: The challenge of interoperability between different systems and technologies, requires open standards and common communication protocols.

  • Specialist skills: The need to develop specialist skills for the design, management, and operation of digital twins, involving ongoing training and investment in human resources.

  • Measuring ROI: The complexity of measuring the return on investment of digital twins, with benefits often perceived over the long term and as part of ongoing innovation processes.

As digital twins continue to transform industries, addressing these challenges is essential to maximizing their impact. By effectively addressing each hurdle, from infrastructure to ROI measurement, manufacturers are unlocking the full potential of this technology, paving the way for greater efficiency, innovation, and sustainable growth.


Key facts

Digital twins mark a revolution in the industrial landscape, embodying a fusion between the physical and digital worlds thanks to the IoT. By offering a virtual replica of physical systems, digital twins enable production processes to be optimized and equipment to be proactively maintained, enabling manufacturers to improve their efficiency.
Kuzzle's IoT platform positions itself as a key player, providing the tools needed to integrate, analyze, and act on the data collected. Our solution facilitates the agile implementation of digital twins. By combining the power of digital twins with the flexibility and performance of our IoT platform, we offer manufacturers the ability to stay ahead of the competition, improve customer satisfaction, and achieve sustainable growth.


Would you like to set up a digital twins project for your industry? 



Alicia Thermos

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