“Digital twin” is a relatively new term being pushed in the industrial technology world, particularly at the recent PLM World in Orlando, FL.  Roughly, digital twin refers to the collection of a wide range of data on a product. It’s the virtual equivalent of a physical entity.

Digitial and physical representation of automobile
Digital twin presented with finished product (Source: Siemens.com)

The Siemens PLM team is using digital twin very deliberately to describe a much wider and deeper collection of the data that’s tied to a product. For Siemens, digital twin includes the product’s design data, including CAD drawings through all stages of development; materials data; CFD and CAE data; simulation and modeling; any augmented or virtual reality iterations of the product; individual parts and assemblies that make up the product; test and measurement data; the bill of materials; production models and manufacturing data; and finally — long after the product has entered the hands of users — feedback from the field.

Like Industry 4.0 and IoT, the digital twin term describes a collection of existing technologies that have become inextricably tied together.

>Read more by Rob Spiegel, Design News, 5/17/16

Digital Twin Includes All the Product Data Ever