The digital twin: A search engine for your assets
Written by Maria Gkovedarou, Portfolio Marketing Manager, AVEVA
What if you could have your own private search engine for all of your assets? What if you could search for an asset, such as a pump, or the name you had given to your asset, and you could easily access all the asset’s relevant information—2D models, documents, tags, drawings, 3D models, laser scans, and more. These days, most of us can’t imagine our lives without Google—it truly changes the way we live. Similarly, engineers, who spend 30-50% of their time looking for and validating information, may soon find it hard to imagine life without a digital twin.
Engineers must juggle huge amounts of data, such as line lists, piping and instrumentation diagrams, spreadsheets, documents, drawings, 3D models, and laser scanning and text files. To make matters more complicated, this data is often distributed across teams, departments, and an array of digital tools, both on paper and digitally rendered. Moreover, data changes throughout assets’ lifecycles (design, construction, handover, operation, and maintenance) and varies according to the project type, such as greenfield or brownfield. It can be difficult to manage so much information, especially when it’s constantly in flux. What’s more, engineers must ensure that assets’ requirements are met and that all stakeholders are properly informed with current information. When this information resides in a digital twin, it frees up engineers’ time to focus on value-add work. With cloud capabilities added to a digital twin, the benefits only increase, as information can be easily shared and visualized.
For example, imagine using Google Maps without the latest traffic updates or maps. Chances are, you’d encounter roadblocks, traffic delays, or other disruptions that would derail even the best planning. In the world of engineering, there’s no time to waste on detours and wrong turns, where every mistake adds to the total project cost and time to completion.
Visualization is particularly important for making information accessible to users from different disciplines. If you used Google Maps without the map, you would see text instructions on your app, such as, “Turn right on Clevedon Street,” and then, “Turn left on Trafalgar Avenue.” But you would miss out on knowing how the streets lie in relation to one another. For an engineer, this missing context is similar to receiving an alert that pump 364 needs maintenance. Without visualization tools, it’s difficult to understand where a pump sits in your facility.
AVEVA’s engineering information management solutions can effectively serve as the Google of your assets. When deploying them in tandem, these digital tools can create a powerful digital twin of your plant. Engineers can use it to reduce their decision-making time and to find information faster. Worker efficiency can increase by up to 10% and unplanned downtime can decrease by 30%, helping you meet your sustainability goals. AVEVA’s engineering information management solutions provide easy access to any engineering and operational information. With our solutions, information gains needed context and can be visualized securely in the cloud. It is like using a private, more organized Google for your assets—where all the information you need is attached to the right asset, and you can visualize it whenever you need to.