Northern Netherlands leader in Digital Twins

14 november 2019 | The Northern Netherlands leads the development of Digital Twins, the key technology for creating real customized products and error-free production.

Under the leadership of the University of Groningen, a large number of companies and knowledge institutions are working together on Digital Twins. These are digital copies of physical products and production processes with unprecedented possibilities. According to the experts, this technology has Nobel prize potential. 

The companies from the Region of Smart Factory consortium and the Fieldlab Technologies Added in Emmen will test and roll out the technology. The project receives 4 million euros from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The participating companies, including Philips in Drachten, jointly contribute another 1.6 million euros.

Six universities (RUG, TU / e, TU Delft, Twente, Leiden and Tilburg) work together with twelve industrial partners and knowledge institutions from the high-tech, metal and composite industries. These are companies that are important for the Dutch economy, such as ASML, VDL, Tata Steel, Philips and Océ. Initiators Bayu Jayawardhana and Jan Post, both professors at the RUG, lead the project and can appoint 19 researchers.

Digital twins

DIGITAL TWIN stands for Integration of Data-driven and model-based and Governance in FuTure industrial Technology With value chaIn optimizatioN. High-tech systems are becoming increasingly complex and increasingly difficult to design, produce and maintain. The DIGITAL TWIN program develops methods to turn these types of systems into digital twins: virtual software versions with which JE can do simulations to predict, for example, how design changes will affect performance, or which part needs maintenance at what time. Digital twins are now mostly based on static theoretical models based on normal behavior. By linking these models to measurement data that indicate how the system actually functions and combining this data with artificial intelligence, the researchers make digital copies that constantly improve and adapt themselves.

The program integrates theoretical mechanical engineering, software engineering, system and control techniques and artificial intelligence. This results in digital twins that are more accurate and realistic that are suitable for speeding up "time-to-market", achieving error-free production in smart and flexible factories and smart maintenance of high-tech systems. With two "demonstrators", the project will make the benefits of digital twins accessible to a wide audience.

Read more (in Dutch) about Digital Twins.

Watch the video about the programs of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

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