In the past few years, the term digital twin has very much been something new for many in the construction industry but across other industries, the term has been used for some time. The beginning of the term digital twin was coined as far back as the 1990s, where work was undertaken at Yale University to develop and support something called “mirror worlds” – or the relationship between the physical and digital worlds.
Digital twins are very much a digital replica of a physical object, but with live data advising us on how the asset runs and operates. The problem is there is no clear link to the requirements around ISO 19650 and the opportunities for digital twins globally, and often these two subject matters are discussed in isolation.
It is only now that we can enforce the principles of digital twins as we have the digital capability and knowledge to do so, as well as a consistent framework to develop information requirements and structured information management process set out in the ISO 19650 series.
The challenge for us is the digital twin outcome – not the digital twin product. This idea and the definitions are often confused, and it is essential we communicate what the outcome based approach looks like.