Methodology and Tools for Digital Twin Management - The FA3ST Approach
The concept of digital twins (DT) has already been discussed some decades ago. Digital representations of physical assets are key components in industrial applications as they are the basis for decision making. What is new is the conceptual approach to consider DT as well-defined software entities themselves that follow the whole lifecycle of their physical counterparts from the engineering, operation up to the discharge, and hence, have their own type description, identity, and lifecycle. This paper elaborates on this idea and argues the need for systematic DT engineering and management. After a conceptual description of DT, the paper proposes a DT lifecycle model and presents methodologies and tools for DT management, also in the context of Industrie 4.0 concepts, such as the asset administration shell (AAS), the international data spaces (IDS), and IEC standards (such as OPC UA and AML). As a tool example for the support of DT engineering and management, the Fraunhofer-advanced AAS tools for digital twins (FA3ST) are presented in more detail.