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Automation with AI and Digital Twins

Rice University_Brandon Martin_083021A
[Rice University - Brandon Martin]


- Overview

Digital twins are virtual representations of systems or objects that use data from IoT devices to simulate their behavior and measure their output. AI can automate the analysis and interpretation of data collected by digital twins, saving time and resources. 

Here are some ways that AI and digital twins can be used together:

  • Machine learning: Digital twin technology uses machine learning algorithms to process sensor data and identify data patterns.
  • Generative AI: Generative AI can help design and build digital twins by integrating technologies like simulation toolsets, IoT, cloud computing, and 5G communication.
  • Data analytics: AI can provide data insights about performance optimization, emissions outputs, maintenance, and efficiencies.
  • Equipment analytics: Multiple algorithms can be used to develop advanced equipment analytics for industrial maintenance and energy saving applications.
  • Smart energy grids: Digital twins can contribute to smarter energy grids, traffic management, and resource allocation.
  • Real-time data: Digital twins can empower citizens with real-time data for better navigation and city interaction.

- AI and Digital Twin Shop-Floors (DTSs)

As an enabling technology for smart manufacturing, digital twins have been widely used in manufacturing shop-floors. Considerable research has focused on key issues in implementing a digital twin shop-floor (DTS), including scheduling, production planning, fault diagnosis, and prediction. 

But DTS puts forward higher requirements in terms of real-time interaction. As an effective way to improve the intelligence of physical workshops, artificial intelligence (AI) provides new methods to meet the above requirements.

Some AI-DTS techniques that are crucial for optimizing a digital twin system include:

  • Optimization (model creation)
  • Optimization (model updating)
  • Generative modeling
  • Data analytics
  • Predictive analytics
  • Decision making


- Intelligent Shop-Floors

An intelligent shop-floor is a digital manufacturing floor that uses the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to collect real-time data. It can help manufacturers improve efficiency, save money, and create better quality products. 

Some benefits of an intelligent shop-floor include:

  • Improved safety
  • Faster decision-making
  • More control over costs
  • Better details
  • Information on production times
  • The ability to compare productivity
  • The ability to identify problem areas
  • The ability to identify areas that are working well
  • The ability to react rapidly to changing customer demands

Some benefits of shop-floor intelligence include:

  • Better-quality products
  • Reduced risk of warranty issues
  • The ability to gain insights into operations
  • The ability to optimize processes
  • Streamlined data collection
  • Digital production traceability
  • Enhanced team collaboration


[More to come ...]
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