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The notion of creating a Digital Twin of a built asset – a digital representation of a physical asset that's also connected to its physical twin to exchange real-time data – has been increasingly widely discussed in the past couple of years in the AEC sector, says Paul Wilkinson.
In parallel, a Redbite asset management solution, ‘itemit’, was used to develop an asset register, along with asset identification tags, for critical equipment. The team has deployed and tested additional ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) sensors and devices that will help monitor and control the condition and operation of critical assets and the environment in the IfM.
Example of model and operational data viewed using Bentley’s AssetWise platform. The dashboard first view gives a user more comprehensive access to all the available data. Users can create custom KPIs and dashboards to give maximum value, assist with decision support and navigate assets via a vertical hierarchical structure.
The second work package has focused on integrating data from various sources to enable effective data analytics and to drive better decisions, supported by a digital operations platform. In keeping with the Gemini Principles, the digital twin uses common data standards such as IFC and is interoperable, ensuring development is vendor-agnostic while potentially strengthening the current IFC schema.
The third work package is focused on exploiting captured data in the digital twin. Potential applications include predictive analytics to improve asset maintenance, and analysis to help reduce energy consumption.
Practical examples from research such as this, plus insights and lessons learned through the Digital Twin Hub, will be invaluable as the Gemini Principles are progressively fleshed out, the national digital twin starts to connect assets and inform decision-making, and industry embraces whole life thinking.
Paul Wilkinson, an independent consultant at pwcom.co.uk Ltd, is an executive director of the UK BIM Alliance, chair of its Technology Group, and deputy chair of the ICE’s digital transformation group.
He and Alliance chair Anne Kemp will be representing the ICE’s group at the Digital Twin Day on 9 September 2019. Register now at www.ice.org.uk/events/national-digital-twin-day
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