My Digital Sibling
08 September 2021
Human Factors and Performance in a Digital Twin Age
Organisations have for some time sought ways to better manage and exploit product data through life and use simulation to enhance the way humans interact with such data, from product design through to training and operations. In the 1990s, a “Digital Product Definition” concept was developed by the DoD to support the early Joint Strike Fighter (now F-35) procurement and this became the core of “Simulation Based Acquisition” (SBA). Cultural, organisational and data management issues proved problematic however, and momentum was lost. More recently, Digital Twins and Digital Threads concepts are continuing this theme of taking a whole life approach to projects with respect to data and simulation. Technologically, the ability to capture, store, search and interact with data through simulation and interfaces such as XR are now raising greater awareness of the potential and in some cases is turning into reality where industries are embracing Industry 4.0. However, can or should a “digital replica” truly be created in every detail and behaviour or do we need to establish levels of fidelity depending on the stage of the life cycle? Should the “Twin” be more a “Sibling”, very similar to, but not identical in every detail to the actual product?