Digital Twins for As-Maintained Configuration Management Part 1

From RevSim sponsor PLM Alliances' principal Rich McFall comes this excellent CMSights Blog: In this month’s CMsights we asked Configuration Management practitioner, standards influencer, trainer, and author Kim Robertson to help us distill all the hype about digital twins and digital threads so we can understand their impact on as-maintained configuration management for long-life aerospace & defense equipment. Kim Robertson has over 39 years of experience in the A&D sector and is a co-author of “Configuration Management: Theory, Practice and Application” which is being used as the text for a graduate level course in C&DM at the Technical University of Eindhoven. He holds a CMPIC Configuration Management Principles and Implementation certification and is a National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Certified Configuration Data Manager (CCDM). Kim is a member of the SAE International G-33 committee for CM Standards and worked on Revision C of SAE/EIA-649.

An exact definition of a digital twin is offered by Ben Hicks, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Bristol in this article on “Industry 4.0 and Digital Twins: Key Lessons From NASA” at

“A Digital Twin is an appropriately synchronised body of useful information (structure, function, and behaviour) of a physical entity in virtual space, with flows of information that enable convergence between the physical and virtual states. The Digital Twin can exist at any stage of the life-cycle and aims leverage aspects of the virtual environment (high-fidelity, multi-physics, external data sources, etc.), computational techniques (virtual testing, optimisation, prediction, etc.), and aspects of the physical environment (historical performance, customer feedback, cost, etc.) to improve elements of the product (performance, function, behaviour, manufacturability, etc.) over the life-cycle.”

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