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Digital Twins of Supply Chains: A Systems Approach

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posted on 2023-09-05, 15:34 authored by Vitor JesusVitor Jesus

We tackle the long-standing problem of digitalisation of Supply Chains, focusing on collaboration and sharing of information. By expanding and generalising the notion of Digital Twins, we review, develop, and conceptualise the (emerging) notion of Digital Twins of Supply Chains (DTofSC). Whereas Digital Twins is now an active research area with data available from numerous industry projects, its application to Supply Chains is just emerging as a cross-discipline which, in turn, stems from decades of maturing the notion of Digital Supply Chains. The concept is still imprecise beyond key metaphors (e.g., visibility, traceability, control, etc.), but, as we conceptualise, the overall vision is to create technical and organisational mechanisms enabling any Supply Chain to be monitored and controlled from, e.g., a simple dashboard screen – taking parallels with the Internet. We perform a literature review on the intersections between Digital Supply Chains, Digital Twins, and emerging digital technologies (e.g. Blockchain). From this review, we (1) propose a synthesis systems architecture of DTofSC, (2) identify a key requirement gap (that we term addressability), and (3) to ground our contributions, apply our systems architecture to battery recycling. 


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Aston University

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  • United Kingdom