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Video Games and the Industrial Digital Twin

Published on : August 19, 2021
Video Games and the Industrial Digital Twin

By David Miller

Digital twin simulations that provide end-users with a virtual copy of plant assets and production systems, though not yet widely used in industry, have been used for tasks such as production monitoring for some time now. However, new contributions from the field of video game development may both expand the core functionality of digital twins and extend their use from operations management to other departments such as sales and marketing.
According to Brad Hart, chief technology officer at Perforce Software, video game engines such as Unreal, which gave its name to the popular “Unreal” first person shooter franchise, boast sophisticated visualization capabilities and complex physics engines that make them the perfect tool for enhancing digital twin simulations. Current industrial digital twin software is, for the most part, highly technical and may require an engineering background to fully comprehend. By improving the accessibility, quality and realism of the visualizations, game engines like Unreal could help unlock new applications for digital twin technology.
For instance, automotive manufacturer Audi has brought physical data from its digital twin production pipeline into the Unreal engine to simulate the design of new vehicles. Not only can the performance of these vehicles be tested in a virtual environment, but these new digital twins powered by video game engines can more easily be exhibited to corporate executives in a highly realistic and interactive manner long before a single unit is actually produced. Similarly, aerospace companies that build private jets for high-class clientele can share design blue prints with customers far more effectively via the use of a digital twin simulation. read more