Getting Industries on the Same Page with Digital Twin Terminology

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The Digital Twin Consortium describes itself as “a global ecosystem of users who are driving best practices for digital twin usage and defining requirements for new digital twin standards.”

Chaired by William Ruh, from Lendlease, the group focuses on open-source collaboration between professionals working in the digital twin space in a range of industries.

The Consortium celebrates its first year of operation this week. Sean Olcott, of Gafcon Inc, appeared on LinkedIn to talk about one of the consortium’s first tasks: creating a common language for the digital twin industry. Here are a few key takeaways.

Digital Twins Need Definition

You’ve probably heard the term more than a few times by now, but some of the group’s first challenges were to get everyone on the same page about what it means and what to call the various technologies that are part of a digital twin.

“It needs more granular clarity,” Olcott said. Because the concept spans different business processes, industries, and technologies, he noted, there are different conversations being held. But it’s important to clarify the terms, because having a common understanding of terms will help users specify and buy digital twins, and will help solution providers deliver on value.

Better Communication Through Common Language

The consortium is aiming to create a glossary of common digital twin vernacular, to improve communication between the domain experts who are designing and implementing digital twins, and the operational experts who are using them. “It helps grow an industry-wide knowledge base,” said Olcott, adding that the glossary will create a resource not just for consortium members, but for everyone using the technology, from developers to buyers.

Contributors Create Clarity

Consortium members have been adding to a Github set up for reviewing and editing contributions of words and terms. Because the goal is to ensure clarity and consistency around terms, contributions can only be made by members right now. However, Olcott says the glossary will soon begin to incorporate industry-specific terms, and may open up contributions in the future. In the meantime, you can see what terms have been added, and learn more about what they mean.

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