Digital Twins: What are they and why are they important for metrology?

Marcos Kauffman, Trevor Toman

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationFeatured article


The rise of Industry 4.0 and the manufacturing and engineering efforts in digital transformation over the last decade have given rise to a number of exciting new technologies and solutions applied across all corners of industry. Despite the numerous advances, many businesses and solutions providers from across the spectrum are still struggling to achieve a return on investment on digital transformation initiatives.Over the last 12 months the two authors attended more than 10 events and conferences across Europe and have heard from manufacturers and solutions providers of all sizes. However, there are still significant gaps in understanding some of the fundamental concepts of Industry 4.0 and more importantly how to implement such concepts to generate business value. One important emerging Industry 4.0 technology, which is highly dependent on metrology and measurement systems, is the concept of Digital Twins (DTs). DTs has gained exponential levels of interest and according to Google Trends even tops general search interest in widely searched topics such as “Industrial IoT” or “IoT”. In this article we seek to explore three key points. i) What DTs are and why they are important for your digital transformation in the long term; ii) Why metrology and measurement systems are paramount to the effectiveness of high-fidelity DTs; iii) A proposed approach to the implementation of DTs developed by our team as part of a collaborative project implementing multiple DT use cases.


  • Digital Twins
  • Metrology
  • Digital Manufacturing
  • Industry 4.0


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