Digital Twin

Project content


Digitisation of diverse, traditional business processes presents companies with major challenges, but can be the basis for future competitive advantages. In the past, logistics companies have integrated various disruptive technologies into their processes, some of which were discussed in a convergent manner. However, the digital twin is considered to be a promising innovation that can guarantee 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 innovative sensor technology and the "Internet of Things", the digital images are able to predict far-reaching real-time analyses, simulations, process optimisations or maintenance processes. Currently, internationally operating companies usually work with the physical or the digital image. The data density in both images has increased significantly, but the exchange and communication between the physical and the digital image has not, which can now be realised through the technology of the digital twin.


The aim of the research project is to research and structure the technical and economic conception and application-specific simulation and design of Digital Twin applications for the real-time planning and control of logistics networks. Based on industry-specific parameters of the automotive and consumer goods industry, a systematisation will be developed that supports the implementation of Digital-Twin applications in logistics. This will result in and define concrete procedural and technical changes that are necessary for the successful implementation of Digital Twin solutions. Due to the practical relevance of the research project, a regular exchange with practitioners will be encouraged at a very early stage of the project. In the process, the following research questions, among others, will be answered within the framework of the work:

  • Which fields of application and potentials 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 prerequisites must be created in order 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 prototypical 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 Konferenz, 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 organization

Project sponsor:

  • Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG

Project duration:

01.09.2020 - 31.10.2023



Simon Zarnitz

Research Associate


+49 30 314-22447

Organization name Logistics
Building Hauptgebäude (H)
Room H 9106a
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