Finnish technology startup Second Thought Ltd is now a member of the international Digital Twin Consortium®
As defined by the Digital Twin Consortium, a digital twin is a virtual representation of real-world entities and / or processes, synchronized at a specified frequency and fidelity. Digital Twin Consortium® is The Authority in Digital Twin, a global ecosystem comprising industry, government and academia.
Digital twin in product traceability
Second Thought’s UPIDS system is used for traceability, for example, in meat production and monitoring of grain consignments. In the summer of 2021, a chain was announced in which a batch of meat is tracked from the farm through the slaughterhouse directly to the store. The consumer can view information on animal feeding and veterinary certification from the QR code on the package label, which unlocks the digital twin of the product and related information from the UPIDS system. In terms of transparency, this implementation is one of the top implementations in Europe, and the system can be extended to any consumer product.
“Second Thought is a welcome addition to the Digital Twin Consortium,“ said Dan Isaacs, CTO, Digital Twin Consortium. “Their expertise in the consumer market will be a valuable asset as we work to further the adoption of digital twins in the industry.“
Second Thought Ltd brings the digital twin to consumer products
The term digital twin is not often associated with consumer products., but that doesn’t mean digital twin doesn’t have an important role. Among other things, the traceability of food from the field to the table, farm to fork, is a hot topic in the field of food technology and in terms of traceability, what would be a more appropriate name for the product life cycle than the digital twin. The UPIDS technology (Unique Product Identity Service) developed by software house startup Second Thought Ltd in Lahti, Finland, puts the digital twin lifecycle into practice.
The traditional EAN barcode only identifies the product on the article level. Second Thought’s UPIDS system identifies the product at a single unit level and sets up a digital twin in a cloud service for each of the units of the produced product. The finished consumer product receives its own unique identifier, which differs from the identifier of the next finished package, even though each one has the same EAN code. The digital twin, on the other hand, leveraging the digital thread, provides a single source of truth that is traceable and is updated when the product state changes over the digital twin lifecycle. Each package is labeled by a unique UPIDS code, and any data can be stored in the digital thread. Where the digital twin can be used to provide the insights from the digital thread data. The UPIDS traceability system creates a unique URL for each product. This URL-address is labeled or stamped on the product as a QR code, which can be easily scanned and opened by a smart device in the device’s browser without the need for a separate application. This unique address also contains offline-readable date information, meaning that the address can be used to process product batches without retrieving the date information from the cloud service for each product separately.
In 2020, the standardization organization GS1 published a standard called GS1 Digital Link for the QR code intended for use in the field of commerce. By incorporating the UPIDS code into the GS1 Digital Link structure, products can be labeled as standard to achieve global compatibility while achieving the benefits of the UPIDS system through data associated with the digital twin. The UPIDS system has been successfully piloted with various food groups, e.g. in breads and flours, and even in the products of the shop service counter, where the UPIDS QR link is printed by the weight scale on the label of meat and fish products sold over the service counter. This way, the consumer can have comprehensive product information about the product.
About Digital Twin Consortium
Digital Twin Consortium is The Authority in Digital Twin. It coalesces industry, government, and academia to drive consistency in vocabulary, architecture, security, and interoperability of digital twin technology. It advances digital twin technology in many industries, from Aerospace to natural resources. Digital Twin Consortium is a program of Object Management Group. For more information, visit https://www.digitaltwinconsortium.org.