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Guodong Shao, Deogratias Kibira


A key challenge for many manufacturers today is efficiently producing and delivering their products on time. Issues include demand for customized products, changes in customer orders, and equipment status change on the shop floor. These issues complicate the decision-making process. A real-time virtual, digital representation of the factory floor operation would help optimize decision-making and address these challenges. Recent technology advancement of smart sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) make it possible to realize a “digital twin” of a manufacturing system or process. Digital twins or digital surrogates are data-driven virtual representations that replicate, connect, and synchronize the operation of a real manufacturing system or process. The digital surrogates utilizes dynamically collected data to track system behaviors and analyze system performance in real time and help make smarter decisions without interrupting production. In this paper, we define digital surrogate, explore the relationships of digital surrogates with manufacturing simulation, digital thread, artificial intelligence, and IoT. We also identify the technology and standard requirements and challenges for implementing digital surrogates of a manufacturing system and/or process. A production planning case is used as an example to explain the concept of the digital surrogate.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of 2018 Winter Simulation Conference
Conference Dates
December 9, 0018-December 12, 2018
Conference Location
Conference Title
2018 Winter Simulation Conference


Digital twin, digital surrogate, smart manufacturing, simulation, standard


Shao, G. and Kibira, D. (2018), DIGITAL MANUFACTURING: REQUIREMENTS AND CHALLENGES FOR IMPLEMENTING DIGITAL SURROGATES, Proceedings of 2018 Winter Simulation Conference, Gotherburg, -1 (Accessed July 19, 2024)


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Created December 12, 2018, Updated December 14, 2018