What is a digital twin?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has created the potential for the simulation of a product or process to be tied through the Internet to sensors capturing its data and to actuators controlling its operation; the result is a digital twin. Implementing digital twins using Ansys Twin Builder has been shown to improve product performance by 25 percent and reduce maintenance costs by 10 to 20 percent.

A digital twin is a real-time, virtual copy of an actual operating machine that provides insight into individual product performance and maintenance. Sensors on the machine relay data — temperature, pressure, flow rate, voltage, loading, etc. — to the digital twin, and the twin evolves in step with the machines working environment. By using simulation in conjunction with the IoT, a digital twin can be used to monitor real-time prescriptive analytics and test predictive maintenance to optimize asset performance. Digital twins can also analyze the performance of products in real-world operating conditions and make confident predictions about future performance to improve product operation and productivity, and to reduce the cost and risk of unplanned downtime. You can also use the collected data to improve the design of next-generation products.


To build your system easily and quickly, Twin Builder combines the power of a multidomain systems modeler with extensive 0D application-specific libraries, 3D physics solvers and reduced-order model (ROM) capabilities. When combined with embedded software development tools, Twin Builder allows you to reuse existing components and quickly create a systems model of your product.


To validate your system and ensure expected performance, Twin Builder combines multidomain systems simulation capabilities with rapid human-machine interface (HMI) prototyping, systems optimization and XiL validation tools.


To connect your twin to test or real-time data, Twin Builder easily integrates with internet of things (IoT) platforms and contains runtime deployment options, allowing you to perform predictive maintenance on your physical product. It is the only product that offers a packaged approach for your digital twin strategy.

Ansys Twin Builder

Ozen Engineering Digital Twin Prototypes

Contact us to learn more or to schedule a demonstration.

Multiphysics Spiral Coil

This spiral model demonstrates the Digital Twin concept for a Multiphysics problem. The coil is made of a bimetal sheet with two layers of metal with different coefficients of thermal expansions, which makes it rotate when heated. The coil is heated by Joule heating, and the temperature and rotational displacement (angle) are measured after a set amount of time. The digital twin is dynamically interactive; meaning as the current provided to the spiral is modified, the digital twin results will be automatically updated based on the new current. Similar digital twins could be used for any application considering the effects Joule heating, for example, viscous clutches or HVAC control units.

Spiral Coil Equipment

Spiral Coil Graph

Magnetizing Coil

A solenoid coil is excited with current by an external power supply and replicated in Twin Builder using Maxwell simulation. The simulation data is then exported and used to train the dynamic ROM that is built in Ansys Twin Builder. The main application for this Digital Twin is to validate and measure data of the twin in case it is inconvenient to measure the data on site.

Magnetizing Coil Equipment

Magnetizing Coil Graph

Wind Tunnel

The setup is composed of a wind tunnel which is an airfoil in a cylinder and an electric fan which blows air at the airfoil. The air will create a lift force which is measured using an accurate scale (see Fig.). The amount of lift force will vary by changing the fan speed using the input voltage (provided by a power supply). A digital twin has been created using CFD and ROM which can predict the lift force. The digital twin has been calibrated as well. This digital twin technology could be used in Aerospace Industry in the operation of airplanes/drones with multiple airfoils and flaps. Another application would be active aerodynamic parts such as spoilers in Automotive Industry.

Wind Tunnel Setup

Wind Tunnel Digital Twin

5G Tower Antennas

Space Separation (Filtration) is an important element in 5G, enabled by antenna arrays. Ansys HFSS/SI-Wave enables complex array design with its beamforming network. Real time beam steering is required by Network Infrastructure (Towers) and Tracking Radars. Real Time Channel State Information (CSI) and other information configure user space/frequency/time resource allocation Digital Twin (DT) allows prediction of network congestion and/or failure. A demo may show how digital twins may direct antenna beam towards moving users (individual or Vehicles). Same concept applies for RADARS in ITS V2X in Smart City applications.

Space Separation Equipment

Space Separation Plot

Golden Gate Bridge

The famous Golden Gate Bridge is used as a model to demonstrate ANSYS Digital Twin capabilities. A Fluent CFD model, with Poly-Hexcore mesh, is used to analyze the effect of wind direction and speed effect on the bridge to obtain the pressure applied on the bridge structure. A topological ACT is used to model the topography of the bridge surrounding. Using Python script, the bridge digital twin reads live data available online with the wind speed and direction as the main input and provides the corresponding pressure on the bridge towers. Using the ROM viewer, we see the results on the model for any selected time.