Digital Twin: Blurring the lines between reality and simulation

By Stephanie Aldrete

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In “Seeing Digital Twin Double,” published in Desktop Engineering magazine, Contributing Editor, Brian Albright describes how major PLM and design software vendors are investing heavily in the technology – digital twin – and its impact on simulation and testing.

What is the digital twin?  In the article, Zvi Feuer, senior vice president of Manufacturing Engineering Software at Siemens PLM Software, had an opportunity to weigh in on Siemens’ definition. “The digital twin is a full-scale virtual model of the product as it matures during the design lifecycle. For the end user, this digital twin will provide the opportunity to evaluate the product by looking at its shape, fit and function, and analyzing some of its main features under different operational constraints.” 

Albright explains that, “The potential utility of a digital twin goes far beyond just the simulation and testing of new products. Smart systems that are meant to adapt to different environments or operating conditions.”

“For example, the automotive industry is doing a lot of investigation on developing self-driving cars. First of all, it will be a challenge to design those as a complex mechatronic system. But after development, the self-driving vehicle will need to interact with external systems that can change over time,” says Jan Leuridan, senior vice president of Simulation and Test Solutions at Siemens PLM Software. “Manufacturers who want to manage these need digital twins to manage the entire lifecycle of such products.”

Feuer is also quoted as saying, “We see a lot of interest in this digital twin idea coming from automotive, aerospace and defense, and machinery, yet we also hear some of our mid-market customers, such as Tier 1 suppliers, line builders and even job shops, talk about how the digital twin will help them become more productive.”

Albright concluded by saying that, “At Siemens PLM Software, the digital twin is built in Teamcenter using NX CAD, NX CAE and the LMS portfolio for simulation. The company’s new Polarion solutions support development of embedded software. Teamcenter Manufacturing and Manufacturing Engineering solutions are used to build the digital twin of the actual production system that will be used to produce the product.”

To read the article in its entirety, go to Desktop Engineering, “Seeing Digital Twin Double.”

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at