Norderstedt, June 6, 2019 – The concept of the digital twin has been on everyone's lips for some time now. As part of the digital transformation, this approach drives change in how we communicate with machines or plan processes and procedures in the future. But the digital twin cannot only find its place in production.
We asked Olivia Mente, Associate Director Maritime Economy, how the logistics industry can benefit from the digital twin.
What exactly is a Digital Twin?
Put simply, a digital twin is a digital image of a physical object. The technological logic behind this allows to simulate existing processes or to conceive new processes independently of the physical object. Thus, the physical object can be further optimized. With the help of the digital twin, we can simulate both the current and the future state and generate new insights.
The idea of mapping physical aspects in IT processes and thereby creating process transparency and being able to simulate new, complex decision-making situations has been around for a long time. But the new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, give us so many more opportunities today to provide new functionalities to companies or individual users.
What are the benefits of a digital twin for the logistics industry?
For the logistics industry, the digital twin is particularly interesting as a decision support tool. For example, this concept can be used to simulate the loading and unloading of container ships and predict unexpected situations. It is not a matter of making a complete conversion of the processes, but of proceeding in individual small, iterative steps. This means looking at individual processes and then providing an optimization that is constantly being enriched.
In order to be able to calculate an exact forecast, it can also be useful to include other factors in the analysis, such as the weather situation or the number of ships on a route. Of course, this increases the complexity of a decision. But it also improves the reliability of the decision. This allows the logistician to answer questions that he simply could not solve in the past. Because a simple process analysis or a simulation that only observes a process from A to B is limited. Now it is technologically possible to take the next step.
How do you see the future of the digital twin?
Technology offers us an unbelievable number of possibilities. The technologies are on the market and the data is available in the companies. There will be different speeds to integrate the digital twin. However, I am sure that in five to ten years a lot of companies will already be working with a digital twin. Simply because it is necessary due to the increasing complexity of the data, the information and the basis for decision-making.
Lufthansa Industry Solutions presents its IT solutions for the transport and logistics industry at the transport logistic at the Hamburg Gateway booth in Hall B3, booth 209/310. Olivia Menta was a speaker on the subject of digital twins at the Bitkom session "Logistics 2022 - The Future is Now".
About Lufthansa Industry Solutions
Lufthansa Industry Solutions is a service provider for IT consulting and system integration. This Lufthansa subsidiary helps its clients with the digital transformation of their companies. Its customer base includes companies both within and outside the Lufthansa Group, as well as more than 200 companies in various lines of business. The company is based in Norderstedt and employs more than 1,700 members of staff at several branch offices in Germany, Switzerland and the USA.