Digital Twin – The Future of Information Management for Ageing Assets

The digital twin concept is now adopted across a wide range of industries. The term ‘digital twin’ first surfaced in 2002, and its concept is quite simple. It consists of three distinct parts: the physical asset, the digital asset, and the connections between the two.

Building an initial digital version of an entire process manufacturing facility is a real effort. It must then be linked to and kept in sync with the physical facility to reap the full benefits of the digital twin.

“The digital twin is the virtual representation of a physical object or system across its life-cycle. It uses real-time data and other sources to enable learning, reasoning, and dynamically recalibrating for improved decision making.”

Digital Twin Technology

Digital twin is a virtual asset model that provides insight into how that asset behaves under a variety of simulated conditions. Digital twin can also be viewed as an advanced form of digitalization based on smart technology and an in-depth knowledge of physical assets.

The technological aspect of digital twin is a combination of state-of-the-art solutions that work together seamlessly to paint an exhaustive picture of the assets, identify opportunities, reduce deficiencies, and allow informed decisions to be made more quickly.

Viewport for Digital Twin

Digital Twin Challenges

A full digital twin of a process facility is quite complex. For a new factory, designing in 3D may give it a head start if the model is kept ‘as-built’ after commissioning. For ageing assets, the situation is more complex when dealing with 3D laser scans that lack metadata. A lot of information about the asset resides in 2D documentation, schematics, and various spreadsheets and databases.

The maintenance management system may hold crucial information about the performance of the facility. A standardized data model is needed for connectivity, analytics, and/or visualization combined with the simulation model to mimic the production process, the real-life production, and equipment performance.

The virtual environment must be represented graphically on screen for users to gain the most advantage from the digital twin. The sensor generated data (historical and real time) must be made available to the digital twin for full simulation and training of the model, while maintaining the full model ‘as-built’ after maintenance modifications or performance improvement updates. This is necessary to acquire all the benefits of the digital twin.

Viewport approach to Digital Twin

Rapidly Building your Brownfield Digital Twin

Process manufacturing facilities typically store technical information describing the factory across various data systems. Viewport is an intelligent engineering content platform that connects all your asset information and makes it available to your organization in a 360-degree view.

It supports 30+ source systems, such as the design, ERP, ECM and EAM systems, and 140+ file formats. Viewport also connects to the SCADA and DCS system or your data historian, such as OSIsoft PI, allowing sensor generated data to be leveraged in your digital twin.

By using all available technical information to create the virtual representation of the facility you have a head start for the digital twin. Analytics and simulation can easily be applied, and Viewport automatically maintains the full model after plant modifications.

Complete and Extend Your Digital Twin with Viewport

Using Viewport provides many benefits, even if you do not want to jump to a full digital twin immediately. For example, you can have a complete, holistic view of all your asset information. This enables your engineers to execute their work more safely and efficiently while improving asset information quality throughout the asset life cycle.

In developing a digital twin, Viewport helps create one integrated environment, with the 3D model as one of the source systems. This removes the need for additional investments in custom point-to-point integrations with document management systems, maintenance systems, etc. With Viewport’s built-in machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities creating a digital twin for your brownfield assets can quickly become a reality.

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Are you ready to employ Viewport and make your digital twin complete? Keen to learn more? Contact us today if you would like to receive more information or if you have any questions regarding the usage of Viewport for Digital Twin.