2023 4Rev Awards Nomination – Innovation of the year V2

Innovation Name: The Digital Twine Reference Architecture for Industry 4.0 

Innovation Website*: https://numorpho.org/2022/12/21/knitting-the-cybernetic-fabric/

What is the industry sector of the proposed technology?* Smart Manufacturing Process Automation

Materials (yes)
Energy Storage (no)
Energy Generation (no)
Chemicals (no)
Electronics (yes)

Describe the technology.*

“Digital drives Physical”.

Our Digital Twine reference architecture enables the synthetic blueprinting of use cases for advanced manufacturing initiatives by connecting the dots between disparate enterprise systems. It provides a coordinated basis for holistic understanding, collaboration, integration, optimization and harmonization of all activities to enable Industry 4.0 based automated systems.

It integrates product data, enterprise resources, procurement & supply chain logistics, marketing operations and support & maintenance utilizing Edge services, Big Data and AI/ML. It will provide for a cohesive dashboard consisting of integration protocols (API gateways, web-services, micro-services and service meshes), predictive and inference engines, and AR/VR based dynamic rendered visualizations.

The Digital Twine is the automate part of our Mantra M5 platform to enable make, manage, move, market and maintain activities. It is being built using:

  • the Microsoft stack of Azure cloud provisioning, Dynamics 365 and the Power platform,
  • NVidia’s Ominverse to provide the compute engine and rendering,
  • Engineering simulation and other tools from our partners, and
  • OpenAI for Codex and Natural Language Processing functionalities.

Give us your written elevator pitch:

Automation is hard. Imagining the future requires intense planning. In today’s world we need to link and intertwine multiple disparate systems and make them interoperable; aggregate data and provide pertinent and real time information at the right time and the right place with flexibility and ease of use.

Today, we stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. The response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is being driven by a staggering range of new technologies that are blurring the boundaries between people, the internet, and the physical world. It is the convergence of the digital, physical, and biological spheres.

Future-proofing designs for products and services for such endeavors entails creating dynamic blueprints that move beyond current 2D and simplistic 3D animations, to constructs that morph – dynamically change, evolve, and articulate with the conditions and the environment, and are embedded with intelligence that will learn, consider and evolve.

Numorpho Cybernetic Systems (NUMO), is in the business of building an ecosystem to enable processes for such industrial applications. In our thesis for digital driving physical, the Digital Twine reference architecture will help aggregate people, process, and technology platforms to enable automation for brownfield (retrofits), greenfield (lift-and-shift) and blue-sky (disruptive)  initiatives.

Amidst the skewed distribution and use of people, process and technology in today’s enterprises, the Digital Twine proposes a direction to shift this imbalance towards coordinated and human-centric automation by bringing them in as process boundaries, appropriate use of tools to reduce technical debt and using customer insight feedback loops to align with human-need, desires and aspirations. This is appropriate as we progress thru our industrial revolutions from Industry 4.0 (smart manufacturing) to Industry and Services 5.0 (human-centric solutions).

What problem does this innovation or process address?*

The Digital Twine reference architecture addresses the hard problem of automating systems – coordinating information and managing cyber-physical interactions that is the key to enabling Industry 4.0.

The Digital Twine is a combination of Digital Threads and Digital Twins spanning across different enterprise systems. It is utilized to compose and blueprint use cases in smart manufacturing initiatives ranging from:

  • brown-field initiatives – retrofitting existing systems,
  • green-field initiatives – defining infrastructure from ground up, to
  • blue-sky initiatives – creating disruptive technologies.

to enable make, manage, move, market, and maintain (M5) activities.

How did the idea originate?*

It is based on my engineering background in aerospace and automotive domains, and in strategic and IT consulting for fortune 500 companies. It combines my past experience in high-tech with recent advances in product ideation, additive manufacturing, Big Data and Cloud provisioning, IoT, AI/ML and AR/VR.

Though our partnership with MxD via their Strategic Intent projects, we also looked at the small and medium manufacturing businesses (SMBs) that:

  • were originally faced with off-shore competition but are now in demand due to issues in supply chain logistics
  • how such SMBs have to retrofit operations, what we call brown-field implementations,
  • the aging workforce that constitutes the SMBs and would need human expertise to keep the lights on in the future,
  • upskilling new workers with advanced manufacturing technologies, and
  • the paradigm shift to digital to coordinate and streamline operations.

We have classified more than 15 use cases from our past and retrofitted them using the Digital Twine reference architecture to blueprint the interactions. Our conclusion is that it reduces planning time by a magnitude, improves holistic understanding and enables complete coordination between different teams.

How is this innovation unique?*

Building smart and connected products and services today and in the future requires collaboration of teams that are geographically dispersed, utilization of different tools, and the integration with internal and 3rd party services. The Digital Twine helps connect multiple systems together for a holistic end-to-end view so that people, processes and platforms can harmoniously work together.

Rather than looking at a singular digital twin that virtualizes a single process, product functionality or a technology, the Digital Twine is an aggregation of digital threads (the data, its legacy and its appropriate pull-push), and digital twins (multiple different virtual compositions, that can be concerted together).

At Numorpho Cybernetic Systems (NUMO), our basis is to understand cause and effect by assimilating digital twins and their associated digital threads to automate, harmonize, and optimize operations to enable robust digital strategies and appropriate actionable outcomes.

How does this innovation or process improve the client or manufacturer’s profitability, brand reputation, employee morale, etc.?*

The Digital Twine leverages a digital framework to drive physical processes. This enables complete automation and end-to-end synchronization of the synthetic fabric of industrial processes which will in turn accelerate and revolutionize the global transformation to Industry 4.0.

A company that utilizes our Digital Twine reference architecture will be master of its own entry into Industry 4.0. It will allow them to do processes faster, more efficiently, and with less waste and transition earlier and more efficiently than their competition.

How does this innovation benefit the greater good?* Please consider its effects on society, the environment, culture, the economy, etc.

Coordinated, less wasteful, faster, cheaper, future focused, eliminates bottlenecks, limits reliance on off-shore resources – just to name a few. The Digital Twine reference architecture acts, in large part, as a roadmap for the smart automation to Industry 4.0, and our society’s transition to Industry and Services 5.0.

Beyond its applications in manufacturing efficiency, it has the added side effect of enabling companies to be greener and more earth friendly by default. With a world as big as ours that uses as many resources as we do, it makes the effect of our Digital Twine  all the more positive. For this, we are working on several initiatives in the public sector to enable green, exploiting adjacencies and creating circular economies.

What is the status of the technology development?*

The Digital Twine reference architecture is a planning facilitation tool that can be used for themed implementation of automation initiatives. The dynamic blueprinting of use-cases has been validated by testing against more than 20 use cases that fall into the following three categories:

  1. Proto Factory – enabling the coordination of innovation, design and intention for manufacturing.
  2. Operational Digital Twin – enabling smart manufacturing using Edge services, IoT, Digital Threads and Digital twins to harmonize and optimize industrial operations and automating them.
  3. Omni-channel Marketplace – enabling coordination between customers and providers to create a connected commerce platform for cloud-based contract manufacturing.

The first two have been represented for remote manufacturing for the frontline personnel in the military, and the marketplace will be our capstone product for downstream customer centric interactions.

The Digital Twine will manifest as product, process, and production entities. These will be driven by Nvidia’s Omniverse platform utilizing its physics and data driven basis, and our own physmatics based simulation environment. It will utilize tools from our partner companies – Microsoft, Hexagon Nexus, Ansys, PTC Thingworx and NTopology to cater to innovation, additive and smart manufacturing, and logistics-based scenarios. The rendering will also utilize Unity and the Unreal Engine for depiction of virtual and augmented reality world scenes to depict engineering simulations, shop floor locations, geographical movements, and HMI interfaces. Built up spaces will be pre-generated using the Matterport engine and be superimposed with virtual data.

We are currently in the process of proposing an implementation of a remote manufacturing concept for the Department of Defense. We are also proposing it as a green infrastructure solution for Chicago’s Climate Energy program.

The Digital Twine and NUMO itself are poised to impact serious change within the manufacturing market and across the globe.

Please provide any supporting visual materials.






Please include a link to an externally hosted video about this innovation: 

Dynamic showcase of use cases – Digital Twine NFTs https://numorpho.org/2023/02/15/digital-twine-nfts/

NI+IN UCHIL Founder, CEO & Technical Evangelist


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: