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Methods and Applications of Informatics and Information Technology

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Volume 60, Issue 3


Digital twin technology – An approach for Industrie 4.0 vertical and horizontal lifecycle integration

Reiner Anderl
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Computer Integrated Design (DiK), Technische Universität Darmstadt, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany
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/ Sebastian Haag / Klaus Schützer
  • Laboratory for Computer Integrated Design and Manufacturing (SCPM), Methodist University of Piracicaba, Rod. Luis Ometto (SP 306), Km 24, Santa Barbara d’Oeste, Brazil
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Eduardo Zancul
  • Department of Production Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of São Paulo, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, 05508-070, Brazil
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Published Online: 2018-06-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2017-0038


Digital Twin technology is increasingly gaining importance for digitizing industry. Even if digital twin technology still needs fundamental research, its significance for industry has become very visible, as digital twin technology is a key success factor to professionalize Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) applications. Industrie 4.0 as an initiative to increase industrial added value is based on establishing connectivity between CPS and to enable communication between CPS. The industrial application scenarios for Industrie 4.0 aim at vertical and horizontal lifecycle integration concepts where digital twin technology plays an important role. This contribution explains major concepts of Industrie 4.0 and derives the role of digital twin technology. Furthermore, digital twin approaches are presented and as well as the proposal to use the STEP-technology (Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data, ISO 10303) as a fundamental basis for a comprehensive digital twin technology.

Keywords: Digital Twin; Industrie 4.0; Lifecycle Integration

ACM CCS: Applied computingPhysical sciences and engineeringEngineeringComputer-aided design


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About the article

Reiner Anderl

Prof. Dr-Ing. Reiner Anderl received his doctorate in 1984 from the University (TH) Karlsruhe, worked in the medium-sized industry (plant construction) and habilitated at the University of Karlsruhe in 1991. Since 1993 he is a Professor for Computer Integrated Design (DiK) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Technische Universität Darmstadt. Prof. Dr-Ing. Anderl is also the Chairman of the Scientific Council of Plattform Industrie 4.0 as well as the President of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz.

Sebastian Haag

Sebastian Haag, M. Sc. studied Mechanical and Process Engineering at Technische Universität Darmstadt and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne until 2013. After graduating, he started working as a research associate at the Department of Computer Integrated Design (DiK) at Technische Universität Darmstadt. His research interest focuses on the instantiation of digital twins based on as-manufactured geometries.

Klaus Schützer

Prof. Dr-Ing. Klaus Schützer, Mechanical Engineer and Master of Science by the Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC-USP). In 1988 start a period of seven years as researcher in the Institut für Produktionsmanagement, Technologie und Werkzeugmaschinen of Technische Universität Darmstadt, where he finished his doctorate (Doktor-Ingenieur) in 1995. He returned to UNIMEP in same year as full-time professor, grounded the Laboratory for Computer Integrated Design and Manufacturing (SCPM). Since 2011 is Associate Member in the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP). In 2011/12 he was Guest Professor at the Technische Universität Darmstadt and in 2015 at the Technische Universität Dresden. His main research areas are: Industrie 4.0, Smart Products, Smart Manufacturing, Integrated Product Development, Digital Factory and High Speed Cutting.

Eduardo Zancul

Prof. Eduardo Zancul is a Mechanical Engineer and earned his M. Sc. and Ph. D. in Industrial Engineering at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) in Brazil. Since 2009, he has been Assistant Professor at the Department of Production Engineering of the Polytechnic School at the University of São Paulo. Eduardo is the co-founder and one of the coordinators of INOVALAB@POLI. His primary research interests include Design Process, Advanced Manufacturing, and Engineering Education, focusing on Design Education.

Received: 2017-12-20

Revised: 2018-03-20

Accepted: 2018-04-25

Published Online: 2018-06-28

Published in Print: 2018-07-01

The authors would like to thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding this research within the Collaborative Research Centre 805 and the Brazilian-German Collaborative Research Initiative on Smart Connected Manufacturing (BRAGECRIM).

Citation Information: it - Information Technology, Volume 60, Issue 3, Pages 125–132, ISSN (Online) 2196-7032, ISSN (Print) 1611-2776, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2017-0038.

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