Do you have a digital twin?

November 18, 2020 | 3 minute read
Michael Richter
Senior Director Product Marketing
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We’re all familiar with fraternal and identical twins. Words like double, dual, copied and corresponding come to mind. Most of us do not have a twin. However, now in the age of science and technology, we have a new kind of twin, a digital twin. It’s essentially a replica of something physical like a person, a place, a system or device.

Oracle IoT Intelligent Applications core offering includes key digital twin elements including virtual twin, predictive twin and twin projections. In a virtual twin, Oracle’s device virtualization feature creates a virtual representation of a physical device or an asset in the cloud in order to retrieve a last known status or to control operation states of an asset.

In a predictive twin, the digital twin implementation builds an analytical or statistical model for prediction by using a machine-learning technique. This model is able to detect future problems or state of a machine and can determine trends and patterns from contextual machine data. With this information, problems can be addressed in advance to prevent downtime.

Twin projections take predictions and insights and integrate these with back-end business applications. These projections can trigger workflows. Transactional and contextual IoT data insights can be used for faster better decision-making and for monitoring the predicted state of machines and their environments.

Let’s take tractors for example. Before we had digital twins, a mechanic had to physically monitor filters, oil and fuel gauges, fluids and coolants, replacement belts and more. Either you were out in the field when something went wrong or you had to catch maintenance issues during routine checks. Sure, over time you had a pretty good idea of when something would need to be replace or maintained, but it was hit and miss and you had to be there in person to identify the problem. 

With digital twin technology, a digital replica of the tractor can be built to show what the tractor looks like both from the outside, and the inner workings of the vehicle itself. And, with Internet of Things (IoT) becoming prolific with industries like agriculture, applying sensors to machines such as a tractor, is helping to monitor and predict failures before they happen. Since the model is in the cloud, monitoring a tractor and its surrounding environment such as the weather, can be done remotely. With this rich set of data, it can be analyzed to generate insights that are then applied back to the physical asset, to maintain optimal functionality.

Oracle IoT Intelligent Applications offering includes prebuilt SaaS applications that cover a wide array of use cases including monitoring transportation fleets, tracking workers on construction sites for safety, managing factory production and workload and connected machines for predictive maintenance, as noted in this example. These applications ingest data from a multitude of sources and display results on dashboards and can even trigger actions to be taken, either manually or automated. With sensors and digital twins, it’s easier to gain the visibility and insights you need to identify any problems before they occur and avoid any major breakdowns that affect production.

To learn more about Supply Chain and Manufacturing and how IoT Intelligent Applications can transform your business, watch the on-demand regional broadcasts of the Oracle Cloud SCM Virtual Summit.

Michael Richter

Senior Director Product Marketing

Michael Richter’s career has included senior marketing roles at News Corporation, MGM, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, Inc., Yahoo! Inc., Setanta Sports, MediaZone and for the past 8-years, at Oracle. He led the pioneering roll out of cable and satellite TV in Asia and lived in Hong Kong for a 10-year period in the 90's then transitioned to digital media and product management roles headquartered in the United States. After implementing Salesforce systems for a period of five years as a marketing consultant, he joined Oracle in 2013 as a CX strategist in product management. In 2019, he moved to a Principal Director Product Marketing role on the supply chain and manufacturing team with responsibility for blockchain and IoT applications. He launched Oracle’s first purpose-built application for supply chain management employing blockchain and IoT technologies. He holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird Global School of Management in Alliance with ASU, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Saint Thomas. He is an outrigger canoeist and plays piano and guitar. In 2014, he published "One Red Shirt" a book about his experiences in the Asia Pacific region. A native of Minnesota, he is also a Luxembourg citizen and since 2000 has resided in San Francisco, California.

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