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TU Berlin

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Digital Twin

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The increasing complexity of supply chains and the resulting digitalization of diverse, traditional business processes poses great challenges for companies, but can be the basis for future competitive advantages.  In the past, logisticians have integrated diverse, disruptive technologies into their processes, some of which have been discussed in a convergent manner. The digital twin, however, is considered a promising innovation that can ensure holistic control and planning of logistics systems.  In the literature, the digital twin is currently often associated with industrial production, which does not do justice to the diverse fields of application and implementation possibilities. Thanks to novel sensor technology and the "Internet-of-Things", digital images are able to predict far-reaching real-time analyses, simulations, process optimizations or maintenance processes. Currently, internationally operating companies usually work with the physical or digital image. The data density in both images has increased significantly, but not the exchange and communication between them, which can now be realized through the technology of the digital twin.


Goal of the project

The goal of the research project is the investigation and structuring, technical-economic conception and application-specific simulation and design of digital twin applications for the real-time planning and control of logistics networks. On the basis of industry-specific parameters of the automotive and consumer goods industry, a systematization will be developed that supports the implementation of digital twin applications in logistics. This should result and define concrete process-related and technical changes that are necessary for a successful implementation of Digital-Twin solutions. Due to the practical relevance of the research project, a regular exchange with the practice is encouraged already in a very early phase of the project. In the course of the work, the following research questions, among others, will be answered:

  • What fields of application and potential do DT applications offer for the planning and control of logistics networks?
  • What are the determining industry, network and technology-specific design parameters of DT logistics applications?
  • What technological and procedural requirements must be created to implement DT logistics applications?
  • What can a design model look like that supports the structuring and implementation of DT applications for the planning and control of logistics networks?
  • How can a prototype DT logistics application be designed and what added value does it offer in practice?


  • Expert discussion, Cross EMBA Event '22: Digital Twin, Technische Universität München, 07.05.2022
  • Digital Supply Chain Twins - Technical requirements, application areas & potentials, IPSERA Conference, 13.04.2022
  • Digitale Zwillinge in der Logistik, Manufacturing Excellence 2021 (2. Assessoren-Workshop), ITCL, CIP & TU Berlin, 24.09.2021
  • Digital-Twin Implementierungen zur Planung von Logistiksystemen, Logistikpraxisseminar 2021, TU Berlin, FG Logistik, 15.04.2021
  • Digital Twins: Exploring New menas of planning and control of logistics networks, NetloP, Competence Center International Logistics Networks, 20.10.2020


  • Gerlach, B.; Zarnitz, S.; Nitsche, B.; Straube, F. (2021): Digital Supply Chain Twins—Conceptual Clarification, Use Cases and Benefits. In: Logistics. 5(4):86. doi.org/10.3390/logistics5040086
  • Busse, A.; Gerlach, B.; Lengeling, J.C.; Poschmann, P.; Werner, J.; Zarnitz, S. (2021): Towards Digital Twins of Multimodal Supply Chains. Logistics 2021, 5, 25. https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics5020025

Project sponsors and partners



Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG

Project duration

01.09.2020 – 31.10.2023

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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Simon Zarnitz, M.Sc.
+49 (0)30 314-224 47
Sprechstunde: Nach Vereinbarung
H 9106a

Zarnitz, Simon