Reflections from Science week seminar on Digital twins
Helping industry catch the next wave in production logistics
Science week was run during 4 days in Januari 2020. Postdoc Erik Flores reflects on one seminar: "Everybody wants a digital twin".
In the last decades progress in simulation technologies, data science, and automation have come together helping industry deliver products, services, and information with increasing emphasize on a sustainable future. The result? An ensemble of robots, vehicles, and scientists working together whose every move is mirrored in a virtual world at KTH Campus Södertälje, scientists refer to these new form of computer models as Digital Twins.
Magnus Wiktorsson, professor at the department of sustainable production, explains the unique setup to production logistics as a live broadcast of robots is replicated in a virtual environment. Current work on the production logistics in Södertälje involves eight projects (SCARCE II, DigiLog, SMART PM, C-PALS, LOVIS, HUPMOBILE, UniLog and C-PALS) in close cooperation with the industry “Our research environment includes key industrial partners of the region such as AstraZeneca and Scania and a cross disciplinary group of researchers. We are concerned with new ways of supporting production logistics and a drive towards a sustainable future based on the use of Digital Twins,” explains professor Wiktorsson.
What makes a Digital Twin remarkable is its ability to create a virtual representation that mirror the every happening of a factory in real time. In effect, a factory and its Digital Twin are tied together by data. Scientists collect, analyze, and process data which is then sent back to the factory in the form of support for personnel. Importantly, this data includes not only valuable information on factory performance, but also sustainability aspects that are of increasing concern to society. In this way factories can plan, optimize, and make sustainably conscious choices.
Masoud Zafarzadeh, PhD student involved in the testbed explains, “A problem frequently faced by the industry is a lack of visibility of material as this is transported, stored, and used in a factory. Digital Twins help us increase transparency and gives access to different levels of an organization about what is happening and why.” The latest research findings of the research group were presented in the 2020 Södertälje Science week. As of the now the research group is due to present its latest results in a series of international conferences in Europe, Asia, and the U.S.