Enterprise Digital Twin: An Approach to Construct Digital Twin for Complex Enterprises

Enterprise Digital Twin: An Approach to Construct Digital Twin for Complex Enterprises

Souvik Barat (TCS Research, Tata Consultancy Services, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0108-5.ch004

Abstract

Enterprises constantly aim to maximise their objectives while operating in a competitive and dynamic environment. This necessitates an enterprise to be efficient, adaptive, and amenable for transformation. However, understanding a complex enterprise and identifying effective control measure, adaptation choice, or transformation option to realise specific objective is not a trivial task. The digital twin that imitates the real enterprise provides an environment to conduct the necessary interrogative and predictive analyses to evaluate various control measures, adaptation choices, and transformation options in a safe and cost-effective manner without compromising the analysis precision. This chapter reflects on the core concept of the digital twin, evaluates the state-of-the-art modelling and analysis technologies, and presents a pragmatic approach to develop high-fidelity digital twin for large complex enterprises.
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Background

The core concept of digital twin of enterprises is traced back to Information Mirroring Model published in 2005 (Grieves, 2005). This primitive model is refined multiple times to support complex systems and termed as digital twin in Virtually Perfect: Driving Innovative and Lean Products through Product Lifecycle Management (Grieves 2011). Over the years, the efficacy of the digital twin are demonstrated using various state-of-the-art modelling paradigms, simulation technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), sensor technologies and a wide range of data analytics techniques. The utility of a digital twin is established in several engineering disciplines. For example, the concept has been widely adopted in several astronautics and aerospace researches since NASA has included it in their technology roadmap (Glaessgen and Stargel, 2012).

Conceptually such digital twin is formed using three core elements: (i) real environment, (ii) virtual environment and (iii) connection between two environments as shown in Figure 1. The real environment is an actual enterprise, system, product or process. The virtual environment is a faithful representation of the real environment. A virtual environment is typically formed for a range of in-silico interrogative and/or predictive analysis, where the key objectives are: (a) understand current system in precise form, (b) analyse the efficacy of hypothetical changes or adaptation strategies to realise specific goals of a real environment, and (c) explore design alternatives of a new environment.

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