Leveraging Virtual Twin as an Extension to Improve Products and Services of the Real World
Digital Twin technology is an emerging concept that has become the centre of attention for industry. In a recent interaction with the Editor of Siliconindia, Ravikiran Pothukuchi - Dassault Systèmes, shared his insights on how the virtual twin is best described as the effortless integration of data between a physical and virtual machine in either direction.
Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about digital twin and virtual twin. As the digital twin is a simple 3D replica but doesn't have any behavior or brain. It is just a model. On the other hand, the virtual twin is a 3D replica with the behavioral aspects superimposed in them. It is like virtual reality that is as close to reality as possible, not just from the representation standpoint but also from the behavioral standpoint. Virtual twin is very helpful for organizations to unleash the imagination because it provides the option of undo, unlike the real world. Hence, the virtual world gives the flexibility to experiment with various ideas, imaginary concepts before taking them to the factory and beginning the process of industrialization and realizing them; and it helps in two dimensions.
What would be the role of virtual twin in economic spheres?
Pertaining to three economic spheres - infrastructure, manufacturing, and life sciences, the virtual twin plays a vital role. In the case of infrastructure, virtual twin helps to model plans and strategies for any city project that would lead to quick execution and massive success. Hence, it provides all the possibilities and use cases that you can virtually validate before taking it to the actual execution on the real city.
When it comes to manufacturing sector, the virtual twin addresses sustainability and profitability in two dimensions. It helps organizations meet their sustainability goals through the flexibility of experimenting with new materials, techniques, and manufacturing methods. It probably helps to make the materials more eco-friendly and contribute to the circular economy – reuse and recycle. So, the organizations assure their customers that they are contributing to the world's sustainability goals and their respective countries. For the life sciences sector, virtual twin is a living heart that makes a big difference. In the case of a surgeon who can see where the block is, how he can reach there, and what particular procedure can be executed with the help of the virtual twin. In this way it would be more efficient and free from any dynamic decisions. Hence, the virtual twin uses cases as far as the life sciences sector is concerned.
Henceforth, virtual twin offers endless possibilities on things that you probably cannot even imagine in the real world. You can bring all these concepts, new methods, new ways of doing things, validate these before you get to the real world. That's why we call it virtual world extension improves the real world. It is a process of perfecting a plan and a perfect product. Additionally, it initiates a lot of insights.
Human intelligence is unbeatable. It aids human decision-making capability, minimizes human effort, and thereby makes the world a better place to live in. With the advent of technology, the virtual world has almost come closer to the real world. So there is still a role for humans to play even with the virtual twins. It is only to enable help aid and probably provide the right insights.
What are the latest technologies helping in innovation in aerospace industry?
The aerospace industry has a lot of connotations and sub-segments, such as commercial aerospace, military aerospace and even space. Sometimes it's part of the aerospace industry classification. Some suppliers supply to this category, and then we have drone software called a new kid on the block for aerospace. Other new things are coming up like flying taxis and then the miniature drones used for various applications like entertainment. Hence, aerospace covers traditional, commercial, and military aerospace.
From the aerospace standpoint, we all know that the aerospace sector has taken a beating and has gone through a bloodbath due to COVID. The aircraft manufacturer had negative impacts because of the cancellation of the flights during the first wave of the pandemic. It's a step back for the commercial aerospace sector.
Based on reports that I have read and interacted with many other thought leaders of the sector, commercial aerospace would have difficulty recovering to its previous glorious period, probably until the end of 2024. Hence, the biggest impact is the supply chain.
Technology plays a significant role in managing these logistics more and more effectively. So today, the biggest concern of suppliers is how they can probably leverage technology to make sourcing and supply chain more and more effective. As I said, there are a lot of sourcing strategies that technology can help them with. We do have some products from the analytic standpoint, business analytics, and data analytic standpoint that will help organizations make the right sourcing decisions. In terms of innovation and sustainability of the business standpoint, the critical aspect for the aerospace sector is that they need a lot of help in the e-supply chain supply chain logistics and faster agility in manufacturing.
During the pandemic, the world has witnessed the significant roles of virtual reality in almost every sector, what would be its future roadmap?
Today, the aircraft industries, aircraft manufacturing or aerospace industries, struggle probably mostly are localized for them. But in no time, it will become a bigger issue for other sectors. If it affects the deliveries, it will affect the airlines, hospitality, travel industry, and hotels. If there are no aircraft flying, there are so many downstream cascading effects. At the same time, it is too premature to predict that it is already backing. I think in one year's time, I'm sure the aircraft industry will pick up the speed that supplies chain capacities. And with that, I think all the problems should be sorted out from the demand-supply orchestration standpoint.
The challenging scenario of the pandemic had certainly seen an opportunity to contribute to the world to humankind itself. We realize that commercial aerospace is badly impacted and has no major investments from the aerospace industry standpoint. Hence, we have witnessed that the government has pushed a lot of investments into infrastructure and the defense sector. In the last two years, focusing more on defense and space has been seen as the business opportunity while keeping an eye on commercial aerospace to bounce back to its glorious years.
The pride moment of the period is when we coined "Collaborative Innovation." So what we saw is a vision many years ago, is now through COVID, it has served the purpose of its very word, its meaning is well established. And most of our customers have appreciated that this is a true collaboration.
Henceforth, the future is the mobility in working even for engineering and manufacturing world. Because the pandemic has demonstrated the power of technology and ability to deliver the similar are probably better productivity, efficiency, and quality, even when people are far off. Like the e-commerce world, the engineering world will now embrace cloud technology and apps, which have already become popular. There will be a lot of focus on the cloud platforms. That's what I see as the future trend in the infrastructure sector.
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