Why the Future Belongs to Digital Twins?

A Digital Twin is a digital representation of a real-world entity or system. The implementation of a digital twin is an encapsulated software object or model that mirrors a unique physical object, process, organization, or other abstraction, states Gartner Inc. 

The Digital Twin of sound systems in vehicles helps to explore the impact of different design alternatives and allows simulations and tests to ensure that product designs meet requirements. The Digital Twin enables to deal with complex product specifications and regulatory requirements.  

In this article we describe Mvoid’s approach for Digital Twins for audio systems and explain how technology innovation managers in the Audio and Acoustics departments of OEM’s can leverage Digital Twin technology for Audio Systems to improve enterprise business outcomes and optimize the product development.  

 

The Digital Reference 
To realize the “digital audio sample” in the development phase, the Digital Reference/Digital Twin needs to consider all essential parameters necessary for a virtual listening experience (auralization).

In a first phase, a virtual prototype is created with the help of multiphysical CAE-based simulations. Methods and tools of computational electro-vibro-acoustics are used to optimize the product’s system architecture concept. 

In a subsequent phase, the virtual sound system is made audible through virtual tuning and auralizations by using a model-based systems tool that references to the CAE model. This process is also known as virtual systems engineering.  

Figure 1: A model-based systems tool that references to the CAE model

Figure 1: A model-based systems tool that references to the CAE model 


In this phase, the acoustics experts already get a first impression of the listening experience and the product performance without any physical prototypes enabling evaluations of system concepts by means of virtual listening tests. The resulting model here is called the Digital Reference. 

 

Figure 2: Mvoid's evaluation of system concepts by means of virtual listening tests
Figure 2: Mvoid’s evaluation of system concepts by means of virtual listening tests

 

The Digital Twin 

Refining the Digital Reference in terms of simulation fidelity, i.e., adding details during the design and development phase once they are available, leads to the Digital Twin.  

 

Figure 3: Mvoid example: Adding door details during the design & development phase
Figure 3: Mvoid example: Adding door details during the design & development phase

 

The result is a realistic impression of the listening experience and the expected product performance. The Digital Twin can be used for a virtual assessment based on virtual listening tests by means of auralization, for example to derive preference ratings to be used as a quantitative description of the sound quality and performance. 

 

The Big Picture – Why the Future Belongs to Digital Twins?  

Putting the scope on the overall product development process (PDP) lets us recognize the benefits of using a Digital Reference/Digital Twin:  

 

Mvoid_Approach_Digital-Twin-Automotive-Audio_Process

 

The Benefits 

The (permanent) monitoring of the physical audio system by the Digital Twin enables the determination of the optimal parameters and thus ensures a perfect listening experience. Data from the entire process chain from the initial concept through the further development process to production allow comprehensive and continuous quality assurance, also for future sound systems in next generation vehicle models.  

(Permanent) monitoring of the sound system by the Digital Twin detects anomalies and potential faults at an early stage. Compared to previous, conventional solutions, the usage of Digital Twins enables significantly more flexible control options. Continuously collected data on physical sound systems make processes visible and analyzable. This creates a broad database of sound systems and enables the collection and interpretation of additional empirical values. The high and increasing availability of data in conjunction with analytics functionalities helps to identify new potentials, such as maintenance scenarios for sound systems. 

 

However, this paradigm can also be applied more general to any audio system for e.g., professional or consumer applications. 

If you want to discover more about Digital Twins for Audio Systems and their benefits read also our article “Digital Twin: Use Case Automotive Audio”.