• Carlton Mac

INTELLIGENT DATA MODELS THROUGH DIGITAL TWIN TECHNOLOGY

Digital Twin Technology

A digital twin is essentially 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 artificial intelligence, machine learning with an internet-of-things 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, a digital twin can help designers, engineering, 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 a digital twin of the entire facility from the roof to hvac to the mechanical, engineering and plumbing systems, now imagine that sensor is in the building providing 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 faulting 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 and 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 future disaster. Dr Michael Greaves, chief Scientist for advanced manufacturing at the Florida Institute of Technology brought up the concept of the digital twin at an American Society of Mechanical Engineers conference in 2002. He proposed a product lifecycle Management Center that contains the elements of the 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 novel technological advancements like BIM or Building Information Model. 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 designer 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 are added the twin comes richer and richer and more strongly linked to its physical counterpart. Predicted 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 almost 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 they can help build more resilient cities in infrastructure as the world changes. Eventually an entire ecosystem of digital twins will help industry's response to global challenges with powerful simultaneous changes. Right now digital twins are helping operations and facilities managers respond faster by removing the need for complex and time-consuming maintenance documents. Owners can gather information from the design and build faces 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 and building a better future.

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