Plant Construction & Process Technology

Creating and Deploying Digital Twins in the Process Industries

26.09.2019 -

Does your organization know the minimum threshold of digital maturity in resources, systems, and culture upon which digital activities can be built? And, is your digitalization strategy aligned with your business strategy?

Many organizations see digital twins as part of their going digital process to improve performance in engineering, operations, and maintenance among other aspects of their business, provided a companywide, consistent approach is established and supported by a corporate strategy. But, what skillsets, IT architectures, and collaboration are required to advance a going digital strategy, and how much of a culture change does an organization need to start its digital transformation?

A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical asset, process, or system, as well as the engineering information that allows us to understand and model its performance. Typically, a digital twin can be synchronized from multiple sources, including sensors and continuous surveying, to represent its near real-time status, working condition, or position. A digital twin enables users to visualize the asset, check status, perform analysis, and generate insights to predict and optimize asset performance.

This white paper discusses the minimum level of digital maturity needed, how digital twins can be built based on asset information, and how they must be maintained and kept consistent. The white paper describes how an organization’s corporate culture can either enable or impede its digital transformation. It explains how to form an organization’s culture, mindset, and behavior so that this digital transformation can be successfully implemented. It also touches upon the skills and competencies required to create, deploy, and maintain a system of digital twins and concludes with a roundup of innovated applications that could be used to achieve the benefits of a digital transformation. These benefits include improved operational and asset performance; improved engineering and maintenance efficiency; less time spent on data and IT tasks; reduced downtime; less equipment damage; and reduced operational and IT risks.

To implement a digital twin strategy, organizations must determine the level of digital maturity needed to execute their strategy. Indeed, this strategy should be a subset of a general strategy that focuses on creating value for the business and should not be restricted to technology implementation or use. A successful strategy also hinges on the ability of a organization to establish a foundation on which it can build activities to support the digital transformation.

Once a foundation is established, companies can choose how they want to reach their digital maturity either through connectivity, visibility, or transparency. Another variable to establishing a digital strategy is how well organizations work with the entities – whether it be governments or private companies or partnerships – that provide the physical resources and financing to implement the strategy. These entities will also be responsible for reviewing the results and providing valuable input if and when the strategy needs to be adjusted.

The lifecycle of an industrial asset can be broken down into design and build, operate and maintain, and, if relevant, deconstruct and recycle. The ARC white paper distinguishes project digital twins used in construction and deconstruction and performance digital twins used in the operation phase. Using a digital workflow, it is possible to handover the complete digital twin and keep it “evergreen.” This is called a performance digital twin, which might deviate from the project digital twin over time, because when the equipment is modified or replaced a new project digital twin needs to be created.

For more information about the whitepaper "Creating and Deploying Digital Twins in the Process Industries" please contact Bentley Systems International Limited.


Bentley Systems International Limited

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