The Four Types of Digital Twins

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By Ryan Martin | 2Q 2021 | IN-6163


Up the Adoption Curve


Digital twins are no longer a niche concept but rather becoming mainstream with the help of Industrial Internet of Things dashboards and near real-time reporting. Driving factors include the pandemic response alongside new requirements like increased factory and shop floor automation, greater data transparency, and better worker augmentation. By 2026, more than US$17.8 billion (38% compound annual growth rate) will be spent on digital twins, supporting more than 10 million frontline workers, up from 1.3 million today.

The Four Classes of Digital Twins


There are multiple types of digital twins, ranging from those that encompass basic metadata about a respective entity/asset with a means to monitor it in real-time, to advanced high fidelity analytic models that enable prediction and simulation for comparison of expected versus real behavior. To better understand some of the nuance, digital twins can be grouped into four main classes:

  • Basic twin: A basic digital twin requires a near real-time representation of a physical asset. It sto…

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