There are many use cases of Digital Twins; however, I hope this article demystifies Digital Twins by highlighting an everyday use case for us engineers and designers. Digital Twins are no doppelgängers. They are representations of assets and processes that facilitate users to access pertinent information. Digital Twins are a lot less mystical than dop - pelgängers with everyday applications.
ANAND STEPHEN, PE, is the Digital Delivery Leader for the Roadway Group at Gannett Fleming. He holds Professional Engineer’s licenses in NJ and CA, and certificates in Bentley and Autodesk Platforms. He has over two decades of experience in engineering, software development, and sociology. Anand has led digital delivery across the US, he mentors engineers to use design technologies. He published articles and taught university-level courses. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
and multiple data sources. In the analog age, synchronization occurs at an event triggering the compilation of the plans; for instance, printing plans before the milestone submission or a Project Manager calling a team lead requesting a print set. Fast forward to the current digital era, Federation involves pulling together various models into one aggregate model. Connecting design data on Bentley’s iTwin platform is one mechanism to Federate a model. The data resides in a Common Data Environment (CDE), such as ProjectWise 365. Bentley provides several data connectors which enable the connection of data from disparate data formats. The data are read into the model and viewed as an aggregate via a web browser. In the analog era, you can think of connectors as printing from disparate sources, formats, and locations. The data connectors remove signifi - cant friction in the data Federation process. Using Bentley’s Design Review platform, the consistency between data on the CDE is maintained by setting the synchronization at a predeter - mined schedule. A word of caution: any automation adds responsibil - ity. There are use cases when the same model must be synchronized at different intervals: one for everyday internal progress and another for stakeholder review monthly, for example. While these two models pull data from the same sources, they are potentially markedly different. Like in the analog world, internal daily check prints are potentially different than milestone prints. In the digital era, it happens behind the scenes, and there is a tendency to assume that the same model synchro - nized at different intervals conveys the same information. For any successful implementation of Digital Twins, merely represent - ing assets is not adequate, the mirroring the processes from the “real” to the “digital” world are equally important. Using the Design Review platform, we can map the QMS processes from the analog to the digital world, see Figure 5.0. The inset depicts the process shown in Figure 3.0, while the main graphic shows the equivalent Digital Twin pro - cesses mapped within the iTwin platform. As discussed previously, Quality Control and Quality Assurance are integral components of a QMS system. Using Digital Twins for the Design and Review, we can record and access all the issues and their resolutions from a common issues registry. In addition, Digital Twins also maintains an audit trail of all the problems and solutions, provid - ing adequate assurance that Quality Control has been performed.
Structural Engineers Axiom #7 Structural Engineers Axiom #7
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