Digital Twins

A computer model of a production process and the equipment involved, which reproduces the real process so reliably that it can be used to determine the optimum process parameters, and which is in constant data exchange with the control system of the real kiln plant, is often referred to as a digital twin. In the case of reduced or no data exchange, one rather speaks of a digital shadow or simply a digital model. Fraunhofer-Center HTL uses such digital furnace and process models or digital furnace twins to optimise the thermal management of industrial furnace plants and to derive optimal process parameters for common thermal processes such as debinding, sintering or melt infiltration.

The prediction quality of the digital twins depends crucially on the accuracy of the measured input variables and material parameters required in the computer models. Since not all of the required parameters are often known from industrial furnaces, these can be measured by the HTL on-site with various sensors. The required and usually not reliably known material properties of furnace components at high temperatures are determined in special ThermoOptic Measuring (TOM) furnaces at the HTL. These measuring furnaces are also used to record the material changes of the heated material in the process in situ under production conditions. Based on these precise measurements, the digital furnace twin can then be used to determine on the computer which process parameters (temperature-time curve, firing stack arrangement, etc.) can be used to produce certain components as quickly, energy-efficiently and defect-free as possible.

Here you will find a selection of our research projects:

  • HTPgeox Energy-efficient high-temperature processes for large and geometrically complex components
  • ISE-LSI Inherently safe and energy-efficient LSI process
  • FAVORIT Fibre composite-based fan impellers for rational industrial thermal processes
  • ENITEC Energy efficiency in the production of technical ceramics
  • EnerTHERM Sub-project: Characterisation of high-temperature materials with regard to application properties and service life
  • EnerTHERM Sub-project: Optimisation of heat treatment processes with regard to the CO2 balance
  • EnerTHERM Sub-project: Improvement of thermoprocessing plants
  • DiMaWert Sub-project: DigiTherm - Model integration
  • DiMaWert Sub-project: DigiTherm - Virtual construction
  • DiMaWert Sub-project: DigiTherm - Process development
  • DiMaWert Sub-project: DigiRaum - AI algorithms

These publications might interest you:

Other Application and Product Areas

Aeronautics and Aerospace

Energy Technology

Ceramic Products