MindSphere what’s new: Closed-Loop Digital Twin and Secure Data Sharing – March 2022

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MindSphere releases deliver advanced industrial IoT capabilities that bring the physical and digital worlds closer together.  

Over the past quarter, MindSphere has unveiled major enhancements to MindSphere such as new and improved digital twin applications and policy based access control.

This update includes many of the newest and most exciting capabilities from the most recent MindSphere releases:

  • Refine your digital twins with the Factory Twin and Product Twin applications on MindSphere
  • Manage access to MindSphere the way every business needs it with Secure Data Sharing

Refine your digital twins with the Factory Twin and Product Twin applications on MindSphere

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you have probably read about our Closed-Loop Digital Twin application suite that enables powerful digital twin capabilities. With our most recent update, this suite of digital twin capabilities has been reorganized to improve the user experience and simplify the process of building digital twins. The two new products are called the Factory Twin and Product Twin and the breakdown is as follows:

  • Closed-Loop Digital Twin Foundation and Closed-Loop Digital Twin Discrete Events Simulation are becoming the Factory Twin application.
    • Factory Twin is built on MindSphere and enables users to easily connect with Tecnomatix Plant Simulation to use IoT data gathered from the shop floor as an input to the simulation tool. The Factory Twin application comes bundled with Tecnomatix Plant Simulation Interface library and connector, which allows users to have bi-directional communication with MindSphere. The connector enables simulation in a headless mode. This means, even non-simulation users can benefit from the power of its simulation engine.
  • Closed-Loop Digital Twin Foundation, Closed-Loop Digital Twin System Simulation and Closed-Loop Digital Twin Product Definition are becoming the Product Twin application.
    • Product Twin represents the products different subsystems (ex: electrical, mechanical, thermal, etc.) using a virtual representation belonging to different domains such as Simulation, CAD, PLM, etc. Such representation when coupled with IoT data from MindSphere can unlock hidden insights into product operation and design.

The Closed-Loop Digital Twin Foundation is listed in both applications because this app was formerly required to enable the other Closed-Loop Digital Twin applications. It is now included in both the Factory Twin and Product Twin as underlying functionality.  

Continue reading for a more comprehensive overview of the Factory Twin and Product Twin.

Factory Twin

Performing simulation is a business-critical function. Simulations require connections across enterprise systems that come with a heavy operational cost. On top of the cost, bringing IIoT data to the simulation environment is limited by both resource and knowledge barriers. Factory Twin tackles these issues by enabling users to easily connect with Technomatix Plant Simulation to use IIoT data gathered from the shopfloor. With functionalities such as bi-directional communication and simulation in a headless mode, organizations can improve their time-to-value for simulation and IIoT solutions with accurate, calibrated simulation models. Some of the key functionalities for the Factory Twin are:

  • Recipes for data transformation and best-fit distribution
  • Dedicated UI for seamless MindSphere connectivity
  • Asynchronous simulation for scheduling, queuing and results management
  • Discrete events simulation, visualization, and design threshold

Create a true digital twin of your factory floor and gain valuable insights into the production performance by integrating MindSphere IoT data with simulation models.

Product Twin

Understand a connected asset’s behavior and benchmarking its performance are still major hurdles for organizations building digital twins. Often, simulation models do not bring the full context required for a completely connected product. Product Twin unlocks hidden insights into product operation and design through different product subsystems. Out-of-the-box connectors to Amesim and Teamcenter allow for model calibration, asset diagnosis and asset design improvement. This full context of your products allows you to diagnose asset operational issues while benchmarking asset performance with a calibrated simulation model. Some of the key capabilities are:

  • Create Digital Twin definitions and models for simulation
  • Product condition monitoring through scheduling, queuing and result management of simulations
  • Product performance analysis through simulation runs, design thresholds and visualization
  • Product performance optimization through simulation studies and FMI 2.0 specification for
  • Issue Management in Teamcenter

Related Reading: Digital Twins Calibrated with Operational Data Drive Efficiency

Manage access to MindSphere the way every business needs it with Secure Data Sharing

The next big release is the ability to share data and control access to MindSphere. Secure Data Sharing (SDS) solution has brought a simplified authorization management solution to MindSphere. The new centralized SDS Resource and Access Management service enables administrators to wield powerful features and capabilities all in a central location. By enabling both internal and external access control, you can meet any local regulations or laws regarding data security and sharing.

Secure Data Sharing

Policy-based access control for MindSphere

Secure Data Sharing is enabled in large part by the adoption of access policies for MindSphere. Access policies are a new way to manage access permissions inside of a MindSphere environment. Policies consist of subjects (who), actions (what) and resources (where) to describe access rights on a detailed level.

Policy-Based Access

A policy grants limited access to certain resources in an environment to a selected group of Users. Through this, policy administrators can define access zones and enable large, expansive organizations. Access defined through policies is enforced on API level, which means most applications automatically enforce access rules as well. Policies can be defined either as static or dynamic and leverage the structure of user groups and resources like the asset hierarchy.

For a more complete documentation on Secure Data Sharing, visit the Resource Access Management and Settings resources.


For complete details and availability on the new features of MindSphere and its supporting MindSphere releases, please refer to the MindSphere Releases NotesMindSphere Region Table and new features presentations offered for all.

Want to try MindSphere for free? Start today with MindSphere Start for free.

And, as always, hop on over to the public community and website for all things MindSphere.

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