A state-of-the-art survey of Digital Twin: techniques, engineering product lifecycle management and business innovation perspectives

  • Kendrik Yan Hong Lim
  • Pai ZhengEmail author
  • Chun-Hsien Chen


With the rapid advancement of cyber-physical systems, Digital Twin (DT) is gaining ever-increasing attention owing to its great capabilities to realize Industry 4.0. Enterprises from different fields are taking advantage of its ability to simulate real-time working conditions and perform intelligent decision-making, where a cost-effective solution can be readily delivered to meet individual stakeholder demands. As a hot topic, many approaches have been designed and implemented to date. However, most approaches today lack a comprehensive review to examine DT benefits by considering both engineering product lifecycle management and business innovation as a whole. To fill this gap, this work conducts a state-of-the art survey of DT by selecting 123 representative items together with 22 supplementary works to address those two perspectives, while considering technical aspects as a fundamental. The systematic review further identifies eight future perspectives for DT, including modular DT, modeling consistency and accuracy, incorporation of Big Data analytics in DT models, DT simulation improvements, VR integration into DT, expansion of DT domains, efficient mapping of cyber-physical data and cloud/edge computing integration. This work sets out to be a guide to the status of DT development and application in today’s academic and industrial environment.


Digital Twin Cyber-physical system Business model Product lifecycle management Review 



Advanced message queuing protocol


Business models


Constrained application protocol


Cyber physical systems


Design failure mode and effects analysis


Digital Twin


Enterprise resource planning


Finite element method


Laboratory virtual instrument engineering workbench


Manufacturing execution system


Message queuing telemetry transport


Network time protocol


Open motion planning library


Open platform communication unified architecture


Open systems interconnection


Prognostics and health management


Programmable logic controller


Product lifecycle management


Precision time protocol

RAMI 4.0

Reference architecture model Industry 4.0


Supervisory control and data acquisition


Simple hierarchical data representation


Simple object access protocol


Standard for exchange of product model data


Transmission control protocol/ internet protocol


User datagram protocol


Verification validation and accreditation


Wireless highway addressable remote transducer protocol



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Start-up Fund for New Recruits (1-BE2X, Project ID: P0031040) from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, and the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore under the Corporate Laboratory @ University Scheme (Ref. RCA-16/434; SCORP1) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Delta-NTU Corporate Laboratory for Cyber-Physical System, School of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomChina

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