Particulate processes are both ubiquitous and challenging in industrial manufacturing. However, many particulate processes such as milling or granulation remain poorly understood because of the complexity of any typical particulate system. The application of a digital twin is becoming increasingly popular as a powerful means to gain insight into the mechanics of a process and implement digital design of particulate process.
This paper presents the application of a digital twin in industrial manufacturing with an impact pin mill and twin screw granulator (TSG) as exemplar studies. Mechanistic model-based approaches are developed and implemented for the abovementioned case studies. For example, a new particle breakage model subject to impact loading pertaining to the impact pin mill was developed, which enables the contribution of the normal and tangential velocity components to be rationalised. As for the twin screw granulation, a hybrid coupled model with DEM (Discrete Element Method) and PBM (Population Balance Model) is proposed with a new breakage kernel developed for the TSG. The application of digital twin is hoped to facilitate the improved understanding of particulate process and help transit from digital design to digital operation.