Learn all about Digital Twins and their various benefits for asset intensive industries.
How does a Digital Twin work?
- A digital twin is a 3D virtual replica of a physical object or system. In terms of industrial businesses this could be oil & gas refineries, manufacturing facilities, or utility power plants. A digital twin is a form of enterprise asset management software that allows for remote operations and predictive maintenance of these facilities.
The purpose of a digital twin is to provide an accurate and real-time representation of a physical object or system. This can be extremely beneficial for industrial businesses, as it allows them to detect faults and potential problems with their products before they become an issue resulting in less downtime and greater productivity. It also allows companies to optimize their processes and improve product quality.
- A digital twin works by using an initial 3D scan of the object or structure. IoT sensors are added to the asset to collect data about a physical object or system. This data is then used to create a virtual replica of the object or system. Sensors will then relay the physical object’s performance to the digital twin. Such data points can include energy output, weather conditions, or up and down time.
The digital twin can then be used to monitor the object or system in real time, and it can also be used to run simulations to predict how the object or system will behave under different conditions. This helps businesses to optimize their processes and avoid potential problems.
Digital Twins and simulations are similar, but the most important difference is that a Digital Twin is built on live and real data whereas a simulation is based off data generated by AI. Digital Twins can also take into consideration profitability, management, and safety in addition to forecasting.
- When developing digital twins, the thing to remember is that they aren’t simply computer simulations of a real-world location. They are directly linked to their structures and exchange data in real time. Digital twins can even take care of integrated building systems such as telecom networks, content storage platforms, and other commercial applications. In a nutshell, digital twins are appendages of an environment instead of static replicas. Designers who keep this in mind will be able to create connections more efficiently.
What is a Digital Twin used for?
A digital twin can be used for a variety of solutions, from monitoring and managing complex systems to training AI models. Some of the most common use cases for digital twins include:
– Managing industrial processes: Digital twins can be used to monitor and optimize industrial processes in real time. For example, a digital twin of a manufacturing plant could be used to track production KPIs and identify bottlenecks.
– Monitoring infrastructure: Digital twins can be used to monitor the performance of critical infrastructure, such as power plants and transportation networks. For example, a digital twin of a power grid could be used to predict demand peaks and prevent blackouts.
– Training AI models: Digital twins can be used to train AI models in a simulated environment before they are deployed in the real world. For example, a digital twin of a city could be used to train autonomous vehicles.
– Managing construction projects: Digital twins can be used to manage construction projects from start to finish. For example, a digital twin of a building could be used to track the progress of construction, identify potential risks, and optimize the use of resources.
Digital twins are a versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of applications. The key is to choose the right use case for your specific needs.
History of Digital Twins
The concept of digital twins can be traced back to the early days of computing. One of the first examples of a digital twin was SAGE, a massive computer system that was used to track aircraft during the Cold War. In the 1970s, NASA used digital twins to design and test spacecraft. Today, digital twins are used in a variety of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare.
- Conceptually, the first digital twin was used by NASA during the Apollo 13 mission, but the term “digital twin” was first coined by Dr. Michael Grieves of the University of Michigan in 2002. Grieves defined a digital twin as “a dynamic software model that mirrors the physical characteristics and operational performance of a manufactured product or system.” Since then, the concept of digital twins has evolved, and the term is now used to refer to any digital representation of a physical object or system.
Digital twins are becoming more and more popular as they offer a multitude of benefits to businesses. As the technology continues to develop, it is likely that digital twins will become even more widespread and used in a variety of different industries.
One potential future use of digital twins is in the medical industry. Digital twins could be used to create models of patients, which would then be used to test different treatments. This would allow for far more personalized and effective treatment plans.
Digital twins could also be used in the construction industry. Construction projects are often very complex and involve a lot of coordination between different teams. By using digital twins, construction companies would be able to plan and coordinate their projects more effectively, which would lead to shorter project times and lower costs.
Benefits of a Digital Twin
There are many advantages of using a digital twin for industrial businesses. One of the main advantages is that it can help businesses understand and predict how the asset will behave under different conditions. This helps businesses to improve their decision-making and to reduce costs.
Some additional benefits a digital twin can provide for an industrial business include:
- Reducing downtime by identifying potential problems before they occur
- Improving quality control by monitoring products throughout the manufacturing process
- Reducing costs by optimizing processes and reducing waste. Remote operations also allow industrial businesses to reduce the amount of resources to monitor the asset.
- Increasing customer satisfaction by providing a personalized experience
- Improving safety by identifying hazards and risks through preventive maintenance
- Reducing carbon emissions with fewer trips to the facility, since the fuller scope of what needs to be looked at can be better and more proactively coordinated through the use of a digital twin.
Digital Twin industries
Digital twins are being used across a variety of industries to solve complex problems and optimize performance. Some of the most popular industries for digital twins include:
– Manufacturing: Digital twins are being used in manufacturing to optimize production processes and improve quality control.
– Healthcare: Digital twins are being used in healthcare to improve patient care and treatment.
– Retail: Digital twins are being used in retail to improve customer experience and store operations.
– Transportation: Digital twins are being used in transportation to optimize routes and manage traffic congestion.
– Construction: Digital twins are being used in construction to improve project management and mitigate risks.
Digital twins offer a unique opportunity to improve performance across a variety of industries. The key is to find the right use case for your specific needs.
Visualize your manufacturing operations through a real-time, up-to-date 3-D digital twin. Imagine your Factory Manager, your Shift Supervisors, and your Maintenance engineers being able to visualize the analytics arrayed and overlaid on a digital twin of your plant assets in 3-D. The vast array of data, analytics, and insights relevant to your operations team can be better understood because it can be displayed within a high fidelity visual likeness of the factory. This visual digital twin allows your operations team to really understand, verify, and carefully plan their actions, whether they are:
- Responding to a critical factory alert that needs to be addressed
- Planning a plant maintenance operation; or
- Carrying out required inspections on the factory floor
Link to Manufacturing Industry page
- Visualize your power generation, transmission and distribution assets in an intelligent, 3D Digital Twin – the Power Utility Metaverse. Utilities have a vast array of data, analytics, and insights that must be analyzed dynamically and in real time. These insights need to be understood and consumed before making decisions and taking action, particularly in planning their maintenance and inspection programs in power stations and sub-stations.
V-Suite creates a 3D visual view of your power grid or generation plans–your Power Utility Metaverse. Imagine your Planning and Construction team, your Engineering team, your Electric Operations team, and your Substation Directors and Operators all being able to visualize and interact with stations and sub-stations assets and layout to plan changes to, and monitor operations through a real-time, up-to-date 3-D digital twin, without having to be there on site! The analytics your organization is producing can be arrayed and overlaid on a digital twin of the operation in 3-D. The vast array of data, analytics, and insights can be really understood because it can be displayed within a high fidelity visual likeness of the sites. As a part of the central operations display, or on mobile displays at field sites, the visual digital twin allows your operations team to really understand, verify, and carefully plan their actions, whether they are carrying out routine maintenance or inspections, or planning major overhauls, or responding in real time to operations alerts.
Link to Power and Energy Industry page
Enable your Operations Center and Field teams to optimize wellhead production and refinery performance delivering digital insights within the industrial metaverse, to allow them to plan, optimize and execute important work, while keeping teams safe, operations compliant, and processes running to plan.
How do you balance it all? By placing data-driven insights within an intelligent 3D digital twin your team can visualize and verify the actions they need to take. The plan is laid out in a richly annotated, high-resolution simulation of the operation.
Link to Oil ad Gas Industry page