Over the last few years, a concept called Digital Twin has evolved rapidly as a new key approach in the field of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Briefly, a Digital Twin is a digital representation of an active unique product or unique product-service-system with its selected characteristics within dedicated lifecycle phases. This concept has experienced a tremendous impact by IoT technology, which has drastically reduced the costs. It builds the foundation not only for connected products and services but also for entirely new offerings and business models. Three main characteristics of Digital Twin were identified: representation of a physical system, bidirectional data exchange, and the connection along the entire lifecycle. For a better understanding, three subtypes of Digital Twin are presented, namely: The Digital Master, the Digital Manufacturing Twin, and the Digital Instance Twin which refer to the different phases of the product lifecycle: design, production and operation. Therefore, this chapter formulates a consistent and detailed definition of Digital Twins and gives insight in dedicated research direction. Finally, based on the Digital Twin characteristics, an approach for generation of Digital Twin in manufacturing is shown.
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