In the literature, many applications of Digital Twin methodologies in the manufacturing, construction and oil and gas sectors have been proposed, but there is still no reference model specifically developed for risk control and prevention. In this context, this work develops a Digital Twin reference model in order to define conceptual guidelines to support the implementation of Digital Twin for risk prediction and prevention. The reference model proposed in this paper is made up of four main layers (Process industry physical space, Communication system, Digital Twin and User space), while the implementation steps of the reference model have been divided into five phases (Development of the risk assessment plan, Development of the communication and control system, Development of Digital Twin tools, Tools integration in a Digital Twin perspective and models and Platform validation). During the design and implementation phases of a Digital Twin, different criticalities must be taken into consideration concerning the need for deterministic transactions, a large number of pervasive devices, and standardization issues. Practical implications of the proposed reference model regard the possibility to detect, identify and develop corrective actions that can affect the safety of operators, the reduction of maintenance and operating costs, and more general improvements of the company business by intervening both in strictly technological and organizational terms.
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