Digital twin for ship life-cycle

A critical systematic review

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The focus on digitalisation in manufacturing is spreading to other industry fields, including large and complex objects like ships. Such interest introduces the concept of Digital Twins in supporting designers and operators through the whole ship-life cycle. However, the term Digital Twin is typically abused in the shipping industry, many times erroneously referring to any virtual version of a model-based system as a Digital Twin of the ship. The mutual data exchange between the physical and virtual environment, which is the basis of a true Digital Twin, is mostly missing, confusing a virtual model with a sophisticated living virtual environment. Few reviews are available in the literature for Digital Twins on ships. This systematic review proposes the identification of weaknesses and correlations between current Digital Twin applications in the maritime industry and other industry fields. Furthermore, the methodology applied here may be repeated in future studies to provide a fair and objective overview of the research advancements in the topic. The study highlighted how literature scarcely addresses the design and decommissioning phases, indicating that research should focus on these topics, especially concerning the design of future ships.