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Digital twins: Understanding the added value of integrated models for through-life engineering services

Vrabič, R., Erkoyuncu, J. A., Butala, P. & Roy, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-5491-7437 (2018). Digital twins: Understanding the added value of integrated models for through-life engineering services. Procedia Manufacturing, 16, pp. 139-146. doi: 10.1016/j.promfg.2018.10.167


Digital twins are digital representations of physical products or systems that consist of multiple models from various domains describing them on multiple scales. By means of communication, digital twins change and evolve together with their physical counterparts throughout their lifecycle. Domain-specific partial models that make up the digital twin, such as the CAD model or the degradation model, are usually well known and provide accurate descriptions of certain parts of the physical asset. However, in complex systems, the value of integrating the partial models increases because it facilitates the study of their complex behaviours which only emerge from the interactions between various parts of the system. The paper proposes that the partial models of the digital twin share a common model space that integrates them through a definition of their interrelations and acts as a bridge between the digital twin and the physical asset. The approach is illustrated in a case of a mechatronic product - a differential drive mobile robot developed as a testbed for digital twin research. It is demonstrated how the integrated models add value to different stages of the lifecycle, allowing for evaluation of performance in the design stage and real-time reflection with the physical asset during its operation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Publisher Keywords: digital twin; modelling; multi-domain model
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology
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