Digital Twins for Education and Study of Engineering Sciences | iLSET

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Digital Twins for Education and Study of Engineering Sciences


Prof. Dr. Serge Zacher, University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt, Germany


Digital twin is a software-model as prototype of an ordered product, which is used on all stages of industrial production, compering the actual state with the model und correcting the differences. A “virtual world” will be created from the “real word” and both worlds communicate with each other. Three options of “virtual world” are commonly used: Model-in-the-loop (MIL), when a plant and its control system both are software-simulations; Hardware-in-the-loop, when only one of both is simulation and the other is hardware; Software-in-the-loop (SIL), a plant-simulation and code, generated from the model of control system; Processor-in-the loop: the same as SIL, but the code of the control system is realised on the real processor. The simplest options for use in labors for education and university study are model-in-the-loop (“virtual world”) oder hardware-models (respectively “real world”). Other options shown above are complicated and can be used only by special study of automation. The disadvantage of MIL is the missing hardware, the disadvantage of hardware-model are high costs for purchase and maintenance. Digital twins are not expensive combination of virtual and real worlds. In the paper is shown, how to create digital twins. We take some existing MIL, then complete it with the realistic image of the real system. If we run this model in the real-time, synchronizing it with its physical original system, we will see on the monitor no diference from the "real" world. If we control this “virtual world” with the same control software as its original, a digital twin emerges, which maps the real world in terms of time, space and function. The presented paper shows steps of design and use of digital twins for university study of engineering sciences using experience and examples of the master degree program at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.


software-in-the-loop, hardware-in-the-loop, digital twins, education, engineering, study of engineering sciences  


Zacher, S. (2020). Digital Twins for Education and Study of Engineering Sciences. In V. M. Bradley & I. Sahin (Eds.), Proceedings of iLSET 2020--International Conference on Life Sciences, Engineering and Technology (pp. 33-36). Monument, CO, USA: ISTES Organization. Retrieved 04 December 2020 from


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