I believe the next wave of innovation in the process and manufacturing industries will be driven by sharing and exchanging information about the lifecycle and performance of industrial equipment, from cradle to grave. This exchange will be driven by a tight collaboration between owner-operators, industrial equipment manufacturers, equipment service companies and other specialized suppliers that make up the industrial ecosystem.
Some of this information originates from within the owner-operator's enterprise and is held in separate systems like historians, asset management systems, maintenance systems, laboratory test systems as well as in the heads of experienced operators, mechanics and veteran process and machinery specialists. Other important information is attached to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) like factory test data, manufacturing and assembly details, performance specs, engineering limits and proprietary performance algorithms. The entire ecosystem -- equipment service companies, process control experts, emissions compliance consultants -- currently works on behalf of the same general goal: excellent operation of the owner operator's machinery and systems. But individual efforts remain unchoreographed. Today, each party's expertise and specialty information is siloed in part because of business barriers like IP ownership and warranty risk, but mostly because it is very difficult to share trustworthy composite views of the equipment that all parties can use as a shared fulcrum for improving fleet reliability and performance. This is the promise of Digital Twins for industry.
It is very difficult to share trustworthy composite views of the equipment that all parties can use as a shared fulcrum for improving fleet reliability and performance.
Consider the composite view of you that Facebook builds from disparate data feeds such as your 'likes', friend list, browsing history, online purchases, location history, chat history, etc. Facebook uses this profile, which is a Digital Twin of you, to share information and predictions about your behavior with its customers. Using similar technology, industrial owner-operators and OEMs can create analogous profiles of their critical equipment. Those composite equipment profiles are what industry is starting to refer to as Digital Twins (Read about Gartner’s Approach).
The potential for using these Digital Twins to create information products that leverage the collective expertise of the industrial ecosystem to drive sustainable industrial operations is why I joined Element.
I’ve worked in and around the industrial ecosystem for more than two decades. I believe that the ability to quickly and efficiently create Digital Twins from pools of disparate industrial information can improve operations in ways we can’t imagine today. If we can harness our data, we have a real chance of improving efficiency, profitability, worker safety and more. This is the future and I’m excited to be part of it.