Digital twins enter the mainstream: engineering companies and owner-operators. Put digital twin aspirations into action
SINGAPORE - The Year in Infrastructure 2019- October 24, 2019 - Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the global provider of comprehensive software and cloud services of digital twins, introduced new cloud services for infrastructure engineering digital twins. Digital twins are digital representations of physical assets and their engineering information, which allow users to understand and model their performance in the real world throughout their life cycle. Indeed, the «evergreen» digital twins enhance BIM and GIS through 4D.
Keith Bentley, founder and chief technology officer, said: "Today the" age of digital twins "is underway, and its pace is accelerating every day. The first users we have worked with are already occupying leadership positions in the new digital twin economy, towards innovations both in their business processes and in their business models. The advantages obtained by replacing decades old and disconnected workflows made on paper, with open, live, reliable and perennial digital twins are immense. Joining that with an innovation ecosystem through open source platforms creates an unstoppable force for infrastructure change. I don't remember a more exciting time for infrastructure professions or for Bentley Systems. "
New services in the Digital Twins cloud
ITwin services allow engineering companies to create, visualize and analyze digital twins of infrastructure projects and assets. iTwin Services associates the digital engineering content of BIM design tools and multiple data sources, achieving the “4D visualization” of digital twins, and recording engineering changes throughout a project / asset schedule, to provide a responsible record of who changed what and when. Engineering teams are using iTwin Services to perform reviews and validations of design data and generate knowledge / design ideas. Users of Bentley design applications can apply the iTwin Design Review service for ad hoc design reviews, and project teams using ProjectWise can add the iTwin Design Review service to their digital workflows to facilitate the digital twins of the project in general.
PlantSight is an offering jointly developed by Bentley Systems and Siemens, which gives owner-operators and their engineers the ability to create live, perennial digital twins of operational processes. PlantSight supports operations, maintenance, and engineering to access reliable and accurate digital twin data in an immersive way, including P&ID, 3D models, and IoT data.
It provides a unique vision of reality in a validated information model, facilitates situational intelligence, line of sight and contextual awareness. PlantSight was jointly developed by Bentley and Siemens using iTwin Services and is commercially available from any of the companies.
iTwin Immersive Asset Service allows owner-operators who use AssetWise to align asset performance data and operational analysis in the context of their digital twins, making engineering information accessible to a wider audience of users through experiences of immersive and intuitive user. iTwin Immersive Asset Service shows “critical points” of activity and changes in the status of assets over time, which leads to faster and better informed decision-making that ultimately helps improve the performance of the assets and the network.
Digital twins enter the main scene
The constantly evolving physical reality of a previously operated asset has been difficult to capture digitally and keep updated. In addition, the corresponding engineering information, in its variety of incompatible file formats and constant change, has typically been "dark data", essentially unavailable or unusable. With digital twin cloud services, Bentley helps users create and select digital twins to improve the operation and maintenance of physical assets, systems and construction processes, through immersive visualization in 4D and analytical visibility.
At the Bentley's Year in Infrastructure 2019 Conference, the digital twin advances were presented in 24 finalist projects in 15 categories, in locations around 14 countries ranging from transportation, water networks and treatment plants, to power plants, steel plants and buildings In general, 139 nominations in 17 categories mentioned the objective of the digital twins for innovations used in their projects, a significant increase in 29 nominations in relation to 2018.
Ideas about Digital Twins in action
At the technology lecture, Keith Bentley joined the stage with representatives from Sweco and Hatch, showing the ideas of digital infrastructure twins in action.
Sweco digitally integrated a nine-kilometer light rail system project for the city of Bergen in Norway. The extension of the existing system was fully administered through 3D BIM models, from alternative studies to a detailed engineering design. The use of iTwin services allowed Sweco to track changes automatically and minimize errors, allowing 4D visualization.
Hatch completed the pre-feasibility, feasibility and detailed engineering for a sulfuric acid installation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bentley's plant design software allowed the project team to design a complete and intelligent digital twin at the most granular level of detail, moving the engineering quality processes up as part of the 3D modeling effort, compared to the processes of Quality based on traditional drawings. Hatch was able to reduce the increase in production after the launch of six months to a week.
Microsoft He is creating prototypes of digital twins at his Asia headquarters in Singapore and at his Redmond campus. The Microsoft Real Estate and Security group is implementing an approach to the Digital Building Life Cycle to optimize building performance, profitability, employee satisfaction, productivity and safety. Microsoft's efforts to create digital representations of physical assets such as buildings are based on Microsoft Azure Digital Twins, an IoT service that helps organizations create comprehensive digital models of physical environments. Azure Digital Twins was released to the public on 2018 and is now being adopted by Microsoft customers and partners worldwide, including Bentley for its iTwin Services. The companies are working together to create a digital twin of Microsoft's new facilities in Singapore.
Digital twin ecosystem
Both iTwin Services and PlantSight were developed with the open source platform iModel.js for digital twins, which was first launched in October of 2018 and reached its 1.0 version in June of 2019. A main reason for opening the iModel.js code is to foster an innovation ecosystem for digital twin software developers, owners, engineers and for digital integrators.
One of those ecosystem software developers is vGIS Inc., which used iModel.js to integrate a mixed reality (XR) solution into a digital transport infrastructure twin. Its mixed reality mobile application visually merges project design models with reality, in the field, in real time. Users in the field can see the utilities of the subsoil, such as pipes and cables, merged into their real-world orientation. Users simply point objects with their mobile devices to see the design elements of the project in this context.
Alec Pestov, founder and CEO of vGIS, said: “The iModel.js platform is a great resource for developing and integrating value-added tools and services, such as the advanced augmented reality and mixed reality solution offered by vGIS. We love the perfect interoperability with iTwin services and the friction-free development path to reach that perfect integration, and we hope to expand our collaboration potential, through iTwin services «.
Definition of Digital Twins
Digital twins are digital representations of assets and physical systems in the context of their surrounding environment, where their engineering information flows, to understand and model their performance. Like the real-world assets they represent, digital twins are always changing. They are continuously updated from multiple sources, including sensors and drones, to represent the state at the right time or the working conditions of real-world physical infrastructure assets. Indeed, the digital twins, - by combining the digital context and digital components with the digital chronology, BIM and GIS advance through 4D.
Benefits of Digital Twins
Digital twins allow users to view the entire asset, in a web browser, a tablet or with mixed reality headsets; being able to verify the status, perform analysis and generate information to predict and optimize asset performance. Users can build digitally before physically building, planning and eliminating maintenance activities before carrying them out in the real world. Now they have software at their disposal to visualize hundreds of scenarios, take advantage of machine learning to compare design alternatives or maintenance strategies and optimize across multiple parameters. Visualization and contextualization of engineering data lead to better informed decision-making and stakeholder participation throughout the life cycle of assets.
ITwin services allow project teams and proprietary operators to create, visualize in 4D and analyze digital twins of infrastructure assets. ITwin services allow digital information administrators to incorporate engineering data created by various design tools into a live digital twin and align them with reality modeling and other associated data, without interrupting their current tools or processes. Users can view and track engineering changes along the project timeline, providing a responsible record of who changed what and when. ITwin services provide actionable information for those involved in decision-making throughout the organization and the life cycle of assets. Users who make better informed decisions, anticipate and avoid problems before they arise, and react more quickly with complete confidence, which translates into cost savings, improved service availability, less environmental impact and improved security.
About Bentley Systems
Bentley Systems is the leading global provider of software solutions for engineers, architects, geospatial professionals, builders and proprietary operators for the design, construction and infrastructure operations, including public works, public services, industrial plants and digital cities. Open modeling applications based on Bentley MicroStation and its open simulation applications accelerate the design integration; Your ProjectWise and SYNCHRO offers accelerate the project delivery; and its AssetWise offers accelerate the asset and network performance. Covering infrastructure engineering, Bentley's iTwin services are advancing fundamentally BIM and GIS through 4D digital twins.
Bentley Systems employs more than 3.500 colleagues, generates annual revenues of $ 700 million in 170 countries and has invested more than $ 1 billion in research, development and procurement from 2014. Since its inception in 1984, the company has been the majority property of its five founders, the Bentley brothers. www.bentley.com