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10 SMT007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2021 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team e I-Connect007 Editorial Team spoke with Michael Ford to explore his vision and reality of the digital twin as a communication mechanism. Nolan Johnson: Michael, what is your current definition of digital twin? Michael Ford: My gut reaction was to say that any computer program is, in a sense, a digital twin. If you're running Microso Word, you're using a digital twin. at's because what you see is what you get; you print a document out and it looks exactly the way you saw it on the screen. But that's really simplifying the real intent of the term "digital twin" and why it was created, which is to allow people to under- stand how the digital world can be useful in reducing cost and waste in the physical world, reducing physical commitments through the use of digital tools, including product design, manufacturing process preparation, planning, execution of a machine, line and factory, and watching a project evolve end to end in the digital domain. e physical product manufac- tured and in the market is exactly as you envi- sioned in your design brief. Just like your print- out, the physical result looks the same as you saw on screen. Johnson: In that sense, we've been working with digital twin ideas since the very beginning of the ECAD industry back in the late '70s, given that the original idea was to design and simulate electronically, so that we didn't have to use a breadboard. Ford: Yes, exactly. Johnson: When you're out in the field now, are you running into different interpretations of digital twin? You already pointed out that any- thing could be called a digital twin. Within our industry, though, are there variations of the term? A Deep Dive into Digital Twin

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