Digital twins that help FM O&M teams make decisions

author by Sumit Nawathedate 19 Jan, 2021read time 3 readviews 2250 Views
Digital twins that help FM O&M teams make decisions

A digital twin, is a virtual representation of a physical asset that is functionally similar to its physical counterpart. It integrates all of the organization’s digital information on a specific asset or piece of equipment with real-time operating and data streaming from the asset while in use.

Technology companies and service providers are promising wonders with the digital twins for every inflating market expectations. This sudden growth in interest for digital twins made us think, are the facilities ready enough for the shift? Specifically when facility managers are facing tight budgets, limited resources and other unforeseen challenges?

In this session, Umesh Talked about how digital twins can help Facility management teams make decisions in a way that is faster, better, and cost-effective. 

What’s driving the Uptake?

Facilities are much smarter now as they are filled with operational and performance data, we can point out there are three key elements that are driving the need for a virtual replica of the physical assets

  • Connectivity: with the uprise of IoT sensors and devices we have abundant data available on assets and processes, not just that but also the cost of sensors has decreased over the last couple of years contributing to the fact that they are easily available and affordable now.
  • Business model: The adoption of cloud-based saas applications has incrementally improved the accessibility of any new feature or function to the existing client making tools more relevant as they go.
  • Facility management connects - Digital twins probably be the one megatrend that can help FM teams bring in sustainability, asset management & Operational strategy initiation under one radar. 

While it’s all true that twins have the capability to show a clear operational path to FM teams, it’s also important how they are taking it? As per our observations, people have taken it in a complex way.

Start with Simple Operational Twins

First, decide what you want to achieve with the twins, Umesh suggests FM team can always start with the simple operational things which can give you data and predictive insights on energy efficiency, maintenance, etc and later as it evolves you can have a 3D visual entire outlay as well for additional use cases.

He continues by saying that “When we at Xemple started our journey of creating an operational team we have in mind to create it in a way that is super convenient for the O&M team and not just for the corporate teams.”

Possibilities Twins can open 

Before gaining confidence on the twins or investing entirely on the evolved one you can test it on simulations :

  • BAU Simulation: create BAU scenarios on real assets and run them all on an operation twins something that is normally ran on designed or static data. Here you have an opportunity to run it on a scale on live asset data or even facility-level data

Thinking about a Complex site that has multiple assets can be an ideal site to start with simulation without disturbing the existing process, helping you design or modify your energy efficacy strategy and also help in maintenance optimization

Making twins work for O&M teams:

Umesh explained when they started working on operational twins, to lay down the problem statement thy focused on three critical aspects:

Are the O&M team know what’s happening on the asset level

  • How the operational team can help them know that unknown, things that often missed by conventional FDDs

Can it explain the unexpected behavior

  • Can the operational twins identify the underlying cause behind the unexpected asset behavior?

Where to print the next steps

  • Can the operational twins suggest to O&M twins what to do next? Or alert on the trend that’s been happening which can be fatal in the future.

If the twin is able to answer these questions, then you are on the right track and you can develop further on making it 3D for better visualization or the different use cases.

Anyways ideal twins should be able to do that without any manual interventions.   

Umesh later explained how he looks at building an ideal digital twin starting with simple-looking but complex Air handling units (AHUs)

He also shared the detailed case study where they considered 100+ AHUs across three different geographical locations and facility types just have a mixture of the different asset management processes and monitored them over the period of 3-6 months to come up with phenomenal results. You can access the detailed video on the operational twins’ case study here.

In case you want to know more about how your FM teams can be benefited from this operational twin you can schedule a call with him.   

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