Digital Twin Technology: Where Are We Now?
Once the technology is at a point where data and reliance on instrumentation are released from physical devices, a digital twin becomes a natural progression, Hughes said.
Consider the architect, Hughes said. They’ve always drawn their buildings first, then used 3D and simulations. “They don’t build in the field and wait for the building to fall over. They use a digital model to run the thing, to know where the bits and wires are. It’s an obvious step to make.”
Likewise, the oil refinery division of Honeywell Process Solutions has begun planning and possibly transitioning to digital builds using twins. “Building and commissioning the plant digitally so they can order parts, make changes to digital parts, reorder … all of that which can save years on the development of an oil refinery,” Hughes said.
“With digital, we’re not typing on paper and waiting to change errors. We adjust while we type,” he said. “That works for documents, building and oil refinery and a jet engine. It’s the same process.”