More organisations in process industries are powered by digital twins
Published on : Tuesday 08-11-2022
Emon Zaman, Senior Vice President, Head of Asia Pacific, AVEVA.
How would you describe the role of digital twins in the overall context of the digital transformation of the industry?
Industrial organisations are under increasing pressure to lead their industry through digital transformation. Digital twins are the core of this digital transformation as it acts as an interlink between the physical and digital worlds, provides full access to information of both and also enables teams to visualise this information in context. The digital twin is expected to mirror the behaviour of the physical entity and has proven to provide operational benefits throughout the lifecycle of an asset.
Data-centric digital twin technology, if used from the conceptual stage all the way to construction of industrial plans, can be used to design and build efficient new plants with sustainability objectives in mind. Advanced Process Simulations can look at different operating scenarios and evaluate alternative process designs and enable companies to choose the best possible option to achieve corporate objectives. The digital twin, enabled by the cloud, can empower engineers to have all necessary information to make safe and effective decisions. The same technology that enables efficient project execution also delivers a sustainable, efficient asset for the long term.
The digital twin technology has a highly successful track record in aerospace/aviation and later in the automobile industry. How relevant is it to the process industry? What is the extent of adoption?
That is very true and industries like Aerospace and Automotive were early adopters of digital twin technology but the potential benefits within the process industries are much higher.
With digital twin technology, companies in the process industry can get greater transparency throughout all project phases, resources and materials can be optimised and minimised. Process simulation can quantify future plant emissions long before the process design is set, ensuring the plant will meet its environmental requirements. And, once fully built, sensors will connect into the digital twin to gather real-time data to identify opportunities to further reduce the plant’s carbon footprint and optimise future maintenance and even new plant designs via the digital thread.
The digital twin is at the core of these data-driven capabilities, deriving tangible value at all points throughout the process. Essentially, more organisations in the process industries are being powered by digital twins and expanding capabilities to achieve end-to-end operational and business benefits that are crucial to remaining efficient and compliant.
Sustainability is a major concern with net zero still largely aspirational. How can digital twin technology help companies to ease this journey?
Our industrial world is changing – and fast. Designing and operating efficient plants remains paramount, but environmental targets are no longer nice-to-have aspirations. Meeting ESG goals is now central to securing funding, gaining regulatory approval to operate, and protecting brand reputation. Digital twin technology provides the control, visibility, and insights to create a plant of the future that delivers on ESG goals while driving performance throughout both the project and far beyond start-up.
Core capabilities with the digital twin include reviewing design options that drive the best possible ESG outcome. At a more granular level, the digital twin can help review carbon intensity for the design and explore the need for Carbon offset options such as CCS (Carbon Capture & Sequestration) to help make effective decisions.
During plant operations, digital twin technology has proven to increase sustainability goals by improving asset efficiency by optimising energy consumption; and helping develop a strategy to automate plant operations. This latter aspect reduces the need for workers at site, which in turn reduces the carbon footprint for day to day operations.
How is AVEVA helping companies adopt the digital twin technology on its platform? What are the partnerships that complement the implementation part?
The largest energy, chemicals, and power companies already trust AVEVA to help them build their digital twins. AVEVA’s engineering information solutions are helping owner-operators reduce the time it takes to find information and to make decisions, increase productivity by as much as 10%, reduce unplanned downtime by as much as 30%, and meet their sustainability goals.
AVEVA and Aras recently entered into a strategic OEM partnership, leveraging a combined 75 years of experience in software development for industrial markets, to help organisations transform, and manage their information across both lifecycle and ecosystems and develop well-defined and reliable digital twins. Aras provides the most powerful low-code platform with applications to design, build, and operate complex products. AVEVA will license the Aras Innovator platform to deliver a series of scalable, industrial Asset Lifecycle Management solutions, which will integrate Aras’ open and flexible portfolio of applications with AVEVA Unified Engineering and AVEVA Asset Information Management. The integration of Aras’ cloud-native technology and AVEVA’s hybrid cloud solutions will provide customers with new capabilities for change and configuration management, requirements management, and whole asset visualisation across the breadth of AVEVA’s industrial software portfolio.
Additionally, with AVEVA, ADNOC combines cutting-edge technology with industry expertise and proven experience. ADNOC’s Panorama Digital Command Centre is a fully integrated, real-time data visualisation centre that empowers ADNOC’s sharpest minds to gain insights, unlock efficiencies, and identify new pathways to optimise performance. AVEVA’s System Platform and InTouch Operations Management Interface (OMI) are the foundation of the display, enabling integration across various ERP, business and IT applications and providing actionable insights. Moreover AVEVA’s Unified Supply Chain Management solution enables complete value chain optimisation to improve collaboration, efficiency and profitability while AVEVA’s Predictive Asset Analytics solution empowers the team to reduce unscheduled downtime and prevent costly equipment failures.
When it comes to digital value, the sooner you start, the more you benefit. If your organisation hasn’t started on your digital twin journey today, now is the time to get going, and AVEVA can help. Our tools help companies build and maintain a reliable digital twin, and the combination of our tools further extends our digital twin capabilities and allows companies to create and maintain a full digital thread of engineering and operations data as the backbone of their digital twin. This enables faster, better and more informed decisions, improving regulatory compliance and collaboration across the industrial ecosystem.
The recent buzz in metaverse also puts digital twins at the centre of this evolving phenomenon. How important is this for the factory of the future?
While addressing efficiency and sustainability is critical to the future of the industrial sector, organisations can only improve what they can measure. Industrial companies struggle to share timely, accurate data across their global ecosystem, and organisations that share data externally with its partners generate 3X more measurable economic benefit than those that do not. Digital twin technology provides the control, visibility, and actionable insights to create a plant of the future that delivers on ESG goals while driving performance and reducing risk through the project phase, to supporting maximum efficiency and agility in future plant operations. Imagine that with digital twins and metaverse technology the operator and engineer will be handling the plant’s operation from the comfort of their own home or office, eventually.
AVEVA envisions optimising the entire industrial ecosystem, connecting people with industrial intelligence-as-a-service. We apply the advanced, proven technologies to drive our customer’s success and enable them to achieve more. Going forward, we are building blocks for the AVEVA industrial metaverse using AVEVA XR to solve many different customer use cases in operations engineering.
We launched AVEVA Data Hub earlier this year, a software-as-a-service offering that enables businesses to gain operational efficiencies, boost sustainability and drive digital transformation with data sharing capabilities. Data is the accelerator of the connected economy, and our open and agnostic solutions leverage customers’ existing investments and enable a connected community across the ecosystem.
Speaking about the APAC region, how is the industry adopting digital transformation in general, India in particular, from AVEVA perspective?
Adoption of digital transformation has historically been somewhat slower in India and APAC, though it is a priority to enable smart, sustainable, efficient, connected, future-proof assets. More industries are transforming digitally including SCG Chemicals, Asia’s largest petrochemical company in Thailand, Shanghai Environmental Group Power Generation Industry in China, and Damodar Valley Corporation Power Industry in India.
With AVEVA Asset Performance Management, SCG Chemicals uses predictive maintenance to drive operational efficiency to 100% and minimise unplanned downtime throughout its value chain. Additionally, the petrochemical company has set a new industry standard with Digital Reliability Platform (DRP). AVEVA was the only company able to provide an end-to-end solution spanning engineering, operations, and maintenance. With the DRP, SCG Chemicals has successfully brought together big data, AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics into a practical solution that empowered workers and improved performance.
Shanghai Laogang Waste Incineration Power Plant Phase II is a comprehensive power generation project by the Shanghai Environmental Group. AVEVA’s specialist team worked closely with Wuzhou Engineering and the Laogang Project Department to introduce AVEVA’s 3D plant design tools and AVEVA Asset Information Management effectively throughout the project, to centralise and unify project data from disparate sources. During the design, construction, and delivery of the world’s largest waste-to-energy plant, the Shanghai Laogang Project relied on AVEVA software to facilitate quick and efficient collaboration, reduce project costs, waste and rework, and avoid more than 200 construction clashes.
Established in 1948, Damodar Valley Corporation is an integrated power major and the first multipurpose river valley project of independent India. AVEVA’s plant solutions provide productive engineering design software, ensuring information integrity while controlling the design progress. AVEVA solutions allow India’s Damodar Valley Corporation to digitise, reduce downtime, and streamline all processes into an easy-to-use format.