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CATEGORY: Digital Twin

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What is Digital Twin?

There are many notable twins in the world today. You might even be a twin but do you know what a digital twin is.

Essentially, it’s a digital version of a physical object a dynamic up-to-date digital replica of a built asset or environment with the help of building information modeling (BIM), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the internet of things (IoT) technology. Data from the original asset is used to build and improve the digital twin by providing a precise up-to-date model of its original.

What is the benefit of a digital twin?

A digital twin can help designers, engineers, contractors, owners, and manufacturers create more efficient structures. Digital twins can help with everything from planning, design, and construction to operations and maintenance.

Consider a building that’s already been designed and constructed. Imagine there’s a digital twin of the entire facility from the roof to the HVAC to the mechanical engineering and plumbing systems.

Now imagine that sensors in the building provide the digital twin with real-time information the digital twin updates itself according to the data. Then, building owners can view areas where the building is aging or faulty and make improvements on a greater scale.

Multiple digital twins can be integrated in an entire ecosystem.

So how did digital twins get their start in the 1960s?

NASA was one of the first agencies to use mirroring technology to replicate systems in space. Notably, NASA created a replica of Apollo 13 which became critical in the midst of its challenging mission. Engineers were able to test solutions on the replica to avoid further disaster.

Dr. Michael Greaves, Chief Scientist for Advanced Manufacturing at the Florida Institute of Technology introduced the concept of the digital twin at an American Society of Mechanical Engineers Conference in 2002. He proposed a product lifecycle management center that contained the elements of a digital twin, the physical space, the virtual space, and the flow of information between the two.

The manufacturing industry was quick to adopt digital twins and the architecture engineering and construction industry followed suit with the help of technological advancements like BIM or building information modeling.

 

How has the digital twin evolved since then?

Today, digital twin technology plays a big part in the digital transformation of the design, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and maintenance industries. A digital twin starts with knowledge of the assets and spaces that make up a facility.

This type of descriptive twin is a live editable version of design and construction data such as a visual replica of assets or facilities. An informative twin has an added layer of operational and sensory data as more and more data is added the twin becomes richer and richer and more strongly linked to its physical counterpart.

Predictive twins are able to leverage this operational data for insights while comprehensive twins simulate future scenarios and consider what-if questions in the future twins will become autonomous able to learn and act on behalf of users because digital twins can gather key information about things like population growth, natural resource supply levels, and historical data on environmental disasters.

Digital twins can help build more resilient cities and infrastructures as the world changes.

Eventually, an entire ecosystem of digital twins will help industries respond to global challenges with powerful simultaneous changes right now.

Digital twins are helping operations and facility managers respond faster by removing the need for complex and time-consuming maintenance documents.

Owners can gather information from the design and build phases to make faster business decisions lowering operational and maintenance costs.

Professionals on site can predict material and labor cycles reducing waste and enhancing safety by helping professionals gain more insight into the inner workings of the
world.

Digital twins are becoming partners in building a better future.

For more information about how it is being used, watch our webinar recording the two-part TECH Perspectives webinar series we did and hear from Microsoft, CallisonRTKL, and Stantec. 

Hear our discussion as we focus on the challenges of implementing, managing, and measuring Digital Twin solutions.

 

 

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TECH Perspectives | Leveraging Digital Twin Technology

Digital twins are quickly proving to be a key strategic accelerator for digital transformation, unlocking the value created by the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and analytics.

But what exactly is the buzz about? What is a digital twin? What elements define it? When can and should we apply this technology? What makes it so powerful? And how will its adoption influence our design process and ultimately our buildings and cities?

According to a Gartner report, with an estimated 21 billion connected sensors and endpoints by 2020, digital twins will exist for billions of things in the near future. Potentially billions of dollars of savings in maintenance repair and operation (MRO) and optimized IoT asset performance.

These questions, and more, are discussed during our TECH Perspectives webinar series on “Leveraging Digital Twin Technology”. This online conference series features one and a half long with keynote presentations from the following, followed by a moderated discussion, and direct questions from the audience. We hear from:

Salla (Palos) Eckhardt, Director of Transformation Services | Microsoft WWC Construction Lead
Salla (Palos) Eckhardt | Microsoft
Bill-KwonBill2018-01_3
William Kwon | CallisonRTKL
Sarah Dreger
Sarah Dreger | Stantec
Steve Jones - 110px
Steve Jones | Dodge Data & Analytics

About TECH Perspectives

Microsol Resources’ TECH Perspectives conferences bring together thought-leaders at the forefront of building and construction innovation to discuss new and existing technologies that are reshaping the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.

Part 1 | Introductions to Digital Twin Technology

Learn how developing a digital twin strategy can help you harness the convergence of the digital and physical worlds. Watch our video recording of this first part of our webinar series from April 2021.

 

Part 2 | Challenges of implementing, managing, and measuring Digital Twin solutions

Digital twins are a novel and unique way to combine software and hardware. The projects require a heavy investment of both hard and soft costs. If you get it right, the payoff is worth the effort. Like with any new technology, change is constant and you may have a skills gap on your team.

This is the continuation of our discussion with Microsoft, CallisonRTKL, and Stantec in our webinar this past May 2021. The panel discussion focuses on the challenges of implementing, managing and measuring Digital Twin solutions.

This webinar is the second part of this discussion and moderated by:

  • Steve Jones | Senior Director, Industry Insights Research | Dodge Data & Analytics

 

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Autodesk Tandem Brings Digital Twin To Building Information Modeling

Autodesk announced at Autodesk University (AU) the future availability of Autodesk Tandem. It will bring project data together from its many sources, formats, and phases, to create a data-rich digital hub that tracks asset data from design through operations – a digital twin.

Autodesk Tandem connects the digital world with the real world, creating an up-to-date reflection of a model’s physical self. This provides unique operational insight into a facility, building, bridge, or any structure, as well as its components, including, for example, the performance of heating and cooling systems, escalators, and electrical systems.

From design through construction, the project delivery lifecycle of buildings, facilities, bridges, and other physical structures creates an extraordinary amount of data. The data is often disorganized and left unused after handover to owners and developers when the project is completed. And building owners want digital data at handover given nearly 80 percent of an asset’s lifetime value is realized in operations.

“If the valuable information created during the design through construction phase disappears at handover, owners will lose money,” says Nicolas Mangon, Vice President, AEC Business Strategy, Autodesk.

“Autodesk Tandem is a purpose-built tool that gives owners and operators greater insight into their completed projects, so that they can make informed decisions to improve performance. We look forward to enrolling our customers into this beta.”

With Autodesk Tandem, all project models are brought into a single platform, creating a digital view of projects, along with metadata for each asset. Architects, engineers, and contractors can then fully support the digital handover, giving owners a digital twin of the final asset so that they can dive into all design and construction history. Leveraging nearly 25 years’ leadership in intelligent 3D design and engineering, Autodesk credits Building Informational Modeling (BIM) as one of the foundational components of Autodesk Tandem.

“We are excited about Autodesk Tandem’s potential to deliver a holistic and useable view of design and construction data as a digital twin for operations,” said Marin Pastar, Global Technology Leader for Vertical Information Modeling, Jacobs.

“A single source of truth for operations will help reduce the total cost of ownership of projects, and help owners realize the value of BIM long after handover.”

In October 2020, Autodesk became a Founding Member of the Digital Twin Consortium, an organization whose members are committed to using digital twins throughout their operations and capturing best practices.

Autodesk is also a member of the Open Design Alliance, a non-profit technology consortium that provides support and access to design file formats. Autodesk’s participation in both organizations is motivated by the company’s commitment to openness, working with peers to advance the industry, and improving customer experience in the AEC space.

 

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