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Digital Twin – a platform for enabling IoT ­solutions

Digital Twin is a South African company that has developed a hardware, software and communication platform to enable companies to harness the Internet of Things (IoT) for their own applications.

IoT platform Digital Twin

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The company was conceived by Richard Creighton, a 25-year veteran of the industrial control and automation industry, after he recognised the potential of IoT. “Fundamentally my background revolves around automation, control, sensing, and getting data into systems and processes that actually end up bringing value and ROI to customers. So when I saw the trend towards using IoT concepts to provide nothing more than convenience or trivial functionality, I thought there was an opportunity that was being missed,” he says.

This led him to partner with two like-minded individuals, Anton Torlutter and Ivan Potter, to create Digital Twin in 2018. The trio then set about building IoT/IIoT (Industrial IoT) platform based on an indirect model to market. “This means we will never effectively do an installation at a customer site, unless a partner needs our help,” Creighton expands. “Our involvement is in the build-out and development of a platform. We recognised that we will never be everything to everyone, so we position ourselves as an enabler for the experts in their particular vertical markets (be it oil and gas, mining, retail, pharmaceuticals, and so on) to offer advanced solutions to their own clientele to help their return on sales from a client engagement perspective.”

Clients can adopt one of four tiers that make up the Digital Twin platform. Tier 1 comprises only the company’s IoT-enabled hardware (locally designed and manufactured in Ruimsig, Johannesburg), leaving it up to the integrator to build their own software, dashboards and data lake on top of it. Tier 2 adds access to Digital Twin’s data lake solution – this removes the significant effort that would be required for clients to establish the ability to connect to the hardware and start collecting info.

“Thingstream is our brokerage of choice for that level of communication. Because USSD is supported by all GSM towers, our hardware can effectively be placed almost anywhere in the world, powered up and we’re good to go – across any service provider and without any roaming charges or contract required. This is very powerful from a security perspective for things like managing access control points, or picking up remote signalling such as alarm conditions.”

– Richard Creighton, Digital Twin

Tier 3 further includes a console for configuring and managing IoT gateways in the field and their associated inputs and outputs, in addition to trending, reporting, alerts, location services and data export. Finally, Tier 4 adds value-in-use development, customised visualisation and linkage to ERP, CRM and other systems, and advanced data wrangling and machine learning.

Read the article in full on Hi-Tech Security Solutions

Find out more about Digital Twin

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