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Digital Twin

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A Digital Twin is a digital representation or virtual replica of a physical object, person, or process. It is the result of a software algorithm that harnesses real world data captured via sensors, laser mapping, or other internet of things (IoT) technologies that are attached to the source object or reference material. Ideally, any information that can be obtained by examining the physical object can, in theory, also be obtained from its “digital twin.” The virtual twin of the object is usually hosted in the cloud, where it connects to and mirrors the physical asset’s data – historical, current, and changes as they occur – enabling near real-time, remote access to the physical object’s actual conditions at all times.

Industry Application of Digital Twins

Digital twin technology offers a diverse range of applications spanning across various industries like refining, chemicals, manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, design, and utilities. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) reports that this technology is predominantly utilized in the following applications:

  • Product design
  • Process optimization
  • Quality management 
  • Supply chain management 
  • Predictive maintenance 
  • Cross-discipline collaboration 
  • Analyzing end-user experience

Digital Twins in the Integrity Management Industry

In the world of predictive maintenance and integrity management, digital twin technology can be used to generate a precise virtual duplicate of an entire plant or facility, encompassing each individual asset and their respective components. This approach gives owner-operators the ability to visualize an asset's condition and historical data in real-time, while also offering the capability to run simulations that provide valuable insights for decision-making regarding the performance of assets and systems. Looking ahead, digital twin technology lays the foundation for integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning into future asset intelligence strategies.

Value-Adding Benefits of Digital Twins to Asset Management

  • Visualize and monitor asset integrity data from anywhere, anytime, via one-click 
  • Optimize asset lifecycle and make instant decisions based on actionable intelligence in real-time 
  • Increase efficiency by reducing risk and minimizing wait time
  • Improve organizational productivity 
  • Streamline connected operations and intelligent assets 
  • Reduce downtime and unplanned shutdowns 
  • Reduce inspection frequency and maintenance costs 
  • Remove data silos and inefficient datasets
  • Access continuous data-driven optimization

References

  1. Crawford, M., 2021, "7 Digital Twin Applications for Manufacturing," ASME, https://www.asme.org/topics-resources/content/7-digital-twin-applications-for-manufacturing.

  2. Inspectioneering, LLC, 2021, "Asset Intelligence Report: A Primer on Digital Twins," https://inspectioneering.com/airs/2021-10-20/9884/a-primer-on-digital-twins.

  3. Baker, F., 2021, "Five Ways to Find the Value of Digital Twins," Inspectioneering, LLC, https://inspectioneering.com/blog/2021-08-20/9798/five-ways-to-find-the-value-of-digital-twins.

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