Digital Twin and its future hold in the Construction Industry

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Overview

Digital Twin is not new in the construction industry; it has been in use since the 1960s. The digital twin concept is originated by NASA when creating the physical duplicate system for various space missions at the ground level for serving the main purpose of testing the equipment. It has become one of the most promising technological trends which will be utilized by half of the large industrial companies and have some digitally connected sensors by 2020 that can save billions in the maintenance repair and operation.

Digital twin enables the depth analysis done by IOT, big data and AI solutions. Digital twin helps to detect potential issues, preventing downtime, testing good business opportunities and customize production based on the requirement. With the advent of the technology, we can track the activity that is in progress, get immediate feedback and apply eventual corrections in record time. We can drive a large amount of data from the maintenance of connected heavy machinery and construction. The application is more in use of the Digital twin.

A digital twin is dynamic, creates a virtual model of the physical world, easily understandable to learn and get updates on changes made in the built environment. It serves as the base for the smart applications, capture sensor data to optimize the performance, predict failures and look into the future scenarios. There is a potential link between the digital elements that facilitate the innovators to run mass scale simulations with AI-infused systems, operation manuals, etc.

It is a virtual representation of a physical system that has its entity where the digital twin is an embedded copy of the information in the system as the physical parts. Digital twin integrated with IOT helps you to collect data from the sensors and pass the information with physical elements throughout the lifecycle. The manufacturing processes to sensor input to external management software can be fed into and organized as the digital twin.

Digital Twin digitizing the construction industry?

A digital twin is known for being the replica of virtually representing the infrastructure of an asset that can be visualized across the entire lifecycle, track for changes and perform analysis to optimize the performance of an asset. It is the backbone for many stakeholders for making strategic decisions in the construction sector. It may include what type of building is being built, are we running behind schedule or is there any risks associated with the building project.

Information is gathered in real-time from the digital twin tools such as IOT, control systems and automated systems that is used in a BIM system for numerous purposes that enhance the increased use of it with IOT. Different changes can aid in leveraging the information for things that were not known to us.

Game changer in BIM Modeling

The information that we can access from the BIM Model can be manipulated and change the asset value when modified to gain the most significant game-changer tag in the construction industry. In large scale companies, the asset is not changed too much at a given time period but something keeps changing. If the Architectural BIM Modeling is static and used for one purpose, it might get outdated. If the model is altered it reflects the current state of asset that may add value to the model multiple times over. There are many ways to know the health of the asset, either putting sensors or with any other diagnostic tools.

3D BIM Services creates a model that reflects the information you can receive from the sensors. Before 10 years, sensors were not used by the construction industry and hence made it next to impossible. Connections, the advancement of technology for using sensors and pairing it without wireless transmissions are the features of using sensors that were not there in the past. Due to this, the invention of Cloud infrastructure and bandwidth came into use; it is not necessary whether you have connectivity or not but how functional is your connectivity.

There has been drastic evolution in technology advancement; it has enhanced the software and cloud computing work we do it currently by providing a base for the system. Sensors, AI and IOT are some of the digital tools which are used to visualize, create and alter to another connected system for leveraging information that might not be used in the past. The vendor might ask for flexible BIM tools to get it connected to the machine tools and inventory systems.

Use Cases of the Digital Twin

Disaster Management

As a result of current human activities going around the world, we can see how the earth’s climate is changing faster at any point in modern civilization. Global climatic changes have started impacting many sectors and the economy. Climatic conditions may affect smart infrastructures such as dams, utility networks that is built to make the economy stronger and stable.

Sustainable Buildings are getting smarter

A digital twin can help smarter cities to become more sustainable and economically stable buildings. The users with the help of a digital twin create a model to make the plan accessible and provide them solutions to solve complex issues that the smarter cities are facing. Digital twin helps to get relevant information in real-time such as which areas are flooded, which construction site is closed down and which hospital would get affected by the adverse climatic conditions on that certain actions would be taken. It can be used for capturing the spatial and temporal implications to optimize urban sustainability.

Insurance

It’s important to know the location of the risk like insure a historical monument from the risk of the terrorist attack that enables the digital twin model helps to understand from which area terrorists can enter and attack. Once the location of the risks is known we can take preventive measures. It also uses technology while building any infrastructure that helps to access risks in advance.

Health Care

Digital twin in the health care industry allows the doctor to test different delivery care approaches and it also prevents the condition that makes them apply training for patient-specific surgery to solve complex procedures. Innovative practices created by the digital twin helps to correct the problem and minimize the possibility of any associated risks. In hospitals, real-time epidemiology data helps the staff to track where the infection is coming and who is at risk due to the infection agents.

It becomes easy to virtualize a safe environment created and test the impact of the potential changes on the system performance. The digital twin also improves the quality of health services delivered to patients. A digital twin can be used by the surgeon to visualize the heart of the patient before operating it.

Utilities

This concept enables effective management for an extensive range of documents that includes the 3D Model, 2D process schematics, instrumented data, as-built documents and other business working on complex design information. The data fetched by the digital twin in real-time that allows the project manager to achieve real as-designed, as-built and as-operated visibility into their distributed assets, empowering them to efficiently and quickly re-plan and move to access the new opportunities.

Conclusion

Digital Twin if implied in your businesses could help you leverage its data generated in a system, provides you with current and future machinery stats and trigger remedial business workflows. It also offers a virtual tour of an asset before it is being built and an existing asset is changing the way industry operates and opens up for possibilities.

Wearable and mobile devices, it gets paired with the digital twin on the construction site help the stakeholder to represent the as-built project at any time. You can update the information to the construction industry to decrease the number of errors and reworks. Soon the construction industry will see the increased use of digital twin applied to get real-time data of any asset.


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