Why Do We Need To Have A Digital Twin?

Vishwanath Shettar
December 7, 2022

Introduction

Digital twins are emerging technology when it comes to Built environments and finding their various applications with time. Currently in India, most of the BIM projects are ending with Digital twin maturity of Generating a Geometrical model of the construction site for coordination and visualization purposes. And a few more projects are developing as-built models with enriched Information for documentation and other purposes. The most common use cases of Digital Twin in a Built environment include but doesn’t limit to Indoor condition monitoring, Visualization of Building systems, Zone and space segregation, Maintenance management with predictive analysis, and Energy Management solutions.

What is Digital Twin ?

Digital Twin, image

In simple terms, a Digital twin can be defined as a Virtual Representation of a physical entity that possesses all the characteristics and real-time conditions of that physical entity which can be further utilized for various Monitoring and decision-making processes. Digital twins have multiple stages/maturity based on the application it is developed for. They can be classified right from simple Geometric data in a point cloud format to cognitive ability solutions that can control and simulate various situations; In other words, a digital twin can be a discrete system as simple as a 3D model to a connected digital twin which is a combination of multiple processes such as an IoT, AI embedded CAFM systems.

How Digital Twin Helps

Asset and Maintenance Management

Asset and Maintenance Management, image

BIM models are one of the major sources of Geometrical and Non Geometrical information of the Building systems. Non Geometrical information is associated with the data which is produced right from the Design-Construction stages, Installed product details, warranty and service details, etc. The information from BIM models is imported to digital twins of modern CAFM/CMMS solutions which can immensely help in Asset and maintenance management activities. Visualization of Building systems helps to map the assets and associated information which is critical for maintenance needs; like asset details, Maintenance records, Service history, Spatial information in 3D, etc. which further help in data-driven decisions and transparent workflow. Also, Digital twin helps to keep track on Maintenance conditions of spaces, locate the source of issues, zoning information WRT safety, lighting and other conditions, etc facilitating the maintenance teams to have an insight on the building and their assets.

 

Energy Management and Indoor condition monitoring

Energy Management and Indoor condition monitoring, image

Building dynamic data from BMS, IoT, and Scada; Consumption data from various meters can be integrated into a digital twin which helps in Energy management. Digital Twin solutions are capable of analyzing these data and deriving insights on system efficiency, Indoor conditions, and operability which helps in achieving energy efficiency. Also, real-time space conditions such as temperature, CO2, VOC, etc can be visualized in digital twins which further facilitates accomplishing better indoor conditions and savings on operating expenses. Energy KPI's/targets set based on consumption history or pattern will also help in keeping one's energy consumption under limits and achieving sustainability.

Sustainability

Sustainability, image

Digital twins provide predictive maintenance features which help in the effective utilization of Assets by optimizing energy consumption, maintenance needs, resource utilization, and optimum indoor conditions. The asset performance is analyzed based on data received from BMS systems and IoT sensors, which are further analyzed based on predefined conditions which can help to evaluate asset performance. Energy consumptions will be monitored and notified based on Customer set KPIs, Carbon footprints are analyzed based on the set parameters for various energy types, which can further help in achieving sustainability.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality, image

Locating the source of requests and moving to the location gets difficult in large premises like Airports and Business premises; additionally, due to the complexity of services,  it's very important for maintenance professionals to Visualize the Services and access the data associated with the problematic assets. Augmented reality is an Immersive visualization technology which helps to identify the source of the problem, navigate to the location, Visualize the hidden services and help to rectify problems in a shorter time. 

There is a need for the digitalization of property maintenance since the buildings are becoming smarter, the ways of working are being changed drastically, and IEQ is becoming a major concern and requirement of Sustainable buildings for a better future. Buildings are generating a huge amount of streaming data which needs more sophisticated systems to derive insights and be more efficient. Digital Twins are gaining more importance due to its capabilities to tackle most Property Maintenance problems. The Existing BMS system integration with Digital twin offers a huge advantage in saving operational expenses and deriving insights.

We at Desapex, offer an end to end digitalization solutions for both upcoming and operational buildings. Scan-to-BIM technology is being used to generate a digital replica and are further enriched with all the Asset information from the documents available with FCM teams to create As built BIM models. We are partnered with Finnish technological experts 'Granlund' to offer BIM in Facility management through a SAAS CMMS solution called "Granlund Manager". The As-built models are further utilized for generating digital twins to facilitate asset management, maintenance management, and energy management solutions.

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