Digital twin has been a real buzz word in production industry for few years, and it is also becoming an increasingly interesting trend in asset management. The cloud technology offers affordable and accessible ways to utilize digital data and is creating new opportunities for organizations of various sizes and within different industries. This article describes the concept of digital twin and discusses its applications in asset management.
What Is a Digital Twin?
Digital twin is a dynamic virtual model of an existing physical asset. It is an up-to-date and accurate copy of the asset, and therefore is fundamental to have real time data attached to 3D model, allowing the digital twin to change in real time along with its physical counterpart.
When creating a digital twin of a building, the building is usually modelled using remote sensing technology. The building can be photographed from a drone or an airplane, or it can be scanned using laser or sonar scanner for the underwater parts. After this, a 3D photogrammetry or a point cloud model of the building is created by utilizing the gathered survey data.
After the basic spatial information is gathered, it can be enriched with intelligence, e.g. material information, operational optimization tools and interfaces of other systems. The data can be added by the users, for example maintenance personnel adding remarks of repair needs or surveyor updating the newest survey data. Data from external systems or sources can be added as well, such as weather stations or AIS data in maritime industry. This ensures the digital twin is up-to-date and usable during the whole life-cycle of the asset.
What Are the Opportunities of Using a Digital Twin in Asset Management?
In asset management, the digital twin combines different assets and their information in one place, enabling improvement of operational efficiency. Centralized and visual asset information allows easy utilization of data and ensures the data is always available to all relevant stakeholders of the asset. With digital twin it is possible to simulate operations and compare historical data to the latest one in order to predict future changes. When the solution is cloud-based and user-friendly, there is no need for new software installations or special skills to get the digital twin to serve as a maintenance system platform and to optimize asset maintenance.
With GISGRO online software you can combine the 3D model with different kinds of asset information. 3D data can be gathered with any kind of technology, as long as it is in asc, .xyz, .csv or .txt format. Additional information can be for example photographs, notes or remarks, geospatial data in GeoJSON form or work orders for maintenance. GISGRO offers an easy way to utilize a digital twin in your asset management.