Everyone benefits from a digital twin
Kevin Vivien, project manager for construction at Bentley Systems, looks at the wider benefits of digital twins and how they can move the industry forward
Throughout the lifecycle of a project, data has always been the key element in keeping things moving forward throughout the various design, bid and construction stages to the eventual handoff to the owner-operator. Digitising the data in the form of a digital twin gives project stakeholders a competitive advantage by enabling them to make quick and informed decisions based on real-time data accessible at anytime from anywhere. A trend being seen across the industry is that a digital twin is becoming more widely accepted and being implemented on construction projects.
A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical asset, process or system, which includes the engineering information that allows us to understand and model and analyse its performance. Its relationship to the physical asset and its ability to instantaneously reflect any changes is where the digital twin provides its value.
Digital twins are continuously updated using data from multiple sources, such as 2D, 3D, 4D and 5D data; reality data modelling; geotechnical engineering; and the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) technologies.
From conception to completion, a digital twin creates a single view of truth, providing the information needed to improve performance, predict and prevent unscheduled downtime, lower operating costs and address any potential safety concerns that may arise during the project lifecycle. These advantages will increase profitability and reliability, as well as bolster a company’s reputation, which ultimately leads to increased future opportunities. There is no question to why this emerging technology is on track to becoming the norm for all construction projects that use model-based technology.