The concept of Digital Twin is almost twenty years old, posing an enhancement of well-known concepts like Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), with expected benefits through ubiquitous simulation, real-time analysis and synchronous processing. The theoretical framework and practical implementations of Digital Twins still do not follow this vision rather discover some specific characteristics of the Digital Twin. Although many successful implementations exist, a Digital Twin is still offered and sold as a project for a company’s specific purpose. While sufficient implementation details are not publicly available, it is difficult to assess effectiveness of different solutions and make comparisons in a structured manner. A recent taxonomy from literature is used to explain the state of development of Digital Twin. At first, the way for the further development of the presented approach is discussed. At second, current trends and challenges related to the Digital Twin and its research domains are explained in a comprehensive overview. The assessment is based on eight dimensions and 18 characteristics which serve as an initial part of a future universal reference framework. The Digital Twin applications in different domains are classified and the possible Digital Twin evolution is discussed. Novel research trends and challenges are identified, advancing the theory and practice of Digital Twins. The results show an evolution of Digital Twin's role from an enabler of cyber-physical systems to a product lifecycle data integration and processing platform.
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