Theoretical Foundations for Digital Twin Based Virtual Factory

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Manufacturing organisations must compete with each other while adapting to the everchanging conditions by building and strengthening their chains of competencies in order to survive. Therefore, companies are challenged to reform and reconstruct their product, process and system models as well as to define new goals conforming to evolving complex and dynamic environments. Recent advancements in technologies such as modelling and simulation (M&S), digital twin (DT), and virtual reality (VR) promising new ways for remodelling organisations’ resources, processes, and competencies. Moreover, comprehensive concepts like virtual factory (VF) exploit the potential for such technological concepts in the application domain by enabling the integration of various tools, methods and processes. Particularly DT based VF concept promises a potential as an adaptive strategic management tool for supporting manufacturing enterprises during their adaptation to dynamic and complex environments. There are variety of conceptual or empirical studies focusing the distinct use of technologies, methods and processes. However, there are limited studies focusing on theoretical aspects for more comprehensive and integrated solutions to define, design, and utilise novel technologies in the complex manufacturing domain. In this paper, therefore, we attempt to close this gap by 1) framing and discussing the theoretical foundations of DT based VF as an adaptive strategic management tool, 2) introducing and discussing design principles of the DT based VF concept based on framed theories and, 3) generalising and interpreting the prescriptive knowledge discovered during the various VF demonstrations performed at Vestas Wind Systems A/S. Theory of business genetics, systems theory, complexity theory and competence theory are discussed to frame a descriptive knowledge as a language for depicting internal and external nature of complex manufacturing systems. Furthermore, DT based VF concept and its design principles are examined based on framed concepts and theories as well as its potential implications and deviations into different application contexts to provide managerial guidelines for utilising such concept.
TidsskriftIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
StatusUnder udarbejdelse - dec. 2021

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