Welcome to our last editorial of 2022!
An update from Ryan Goodman, Connected Digital Twin (DT Hub) Team Lead
What are some of the highlights from the last couple of months?
It’s been rewarding to see the DT Hub membership continue to grow month to month. We now have more than 3000 active members from a wide variety of sectors and disciplines. We’ve also seen greater engagement from the community in their willingness to share learnings and best practice when applying digital twin technology. We’re regularly seeing more than a hundred people on our Gemini Calls each week, with interesting discussions about relevant opportunities also being mentioned online. One opportunity to highlight is the recently announced funding call from EPSRC looking at leading a digital twinning research hub for decarbonising transport. There is more about this here.
We hosted our latest Strategic Board meeting on the 24 November 2022. This was an opportunity for board members to discuss the four main areas our Working Groups will focus on in the coming months:
- Business case and demonstrating value
- Open standards and interoperability
- Digital skills and capacity building
- Governance models and trust: legal agreement, contract, commercial and procurement clauses.
Each of these groups will be led by experts in their field, who will feed back to the board. We’re excited to see where this process takes us: the groups will drive the conversation to help grow the Hub’s membership into new and emerging sectors, beyond the built environment.
The DT Hub also launched its newly formed Advisory Group at an inaugural meeting in early December. The group has been created to help guide the focus of the Working Groups, and spans more than 25 stakeholders, ranging from sustainability managers to legal representatives and technologists. Again, there has been an emphasis on ensuring we have a wide variety of backgrounds to allow us to serve the community in the best possible way. The Advisory Group will be called on to bring external expertise to all aspects of the DT Hub. It will be a crucial knowledge pool as we move forward.
Acting as a convener and drawing these diverse stakeholders from different disciplines to the table is where the CPC can really add value to the DT Hub and is a personal highlight for me.
Any dates for the diary as we approach the New Year?
I don’t think it’s too early to flag up two key events the DT Hub is working towards:
- 9 March 2023 FutureBuild panel. This session will comprise several DT Hub community members driving discussions around the future adoption of Digital Twins.
- 22 June 2023 – Connected Digital Twin Showcase event. Save the date, as we will announce more details about this soon.
What exciting digital twin story have you come across recently?
There are two! The first involves a station that is creating a digital twin, so that the mechanical control panels used by the operators can be replaced with a modern computerised traffic management system. Automating that whole approach through the use of a digital twin would constitute a huge step forward. It’s an exciting case study for us at CPC as we explore rail-related uses for CPC's programme .
The second story comes from the defence sector where Babcock International is building a naval digital twin of a 4.5” gun. They have installed sensors on a frigate’s chilled water equipment – monitoring heat, pressures, fluid flow, ambient data and so on. This takes information directly from a frigate’s machinery control system – around 300 lines of data – to provide a system-level view. The data is then processed to enable scenario testing and failure prediction, thereby informing the appropriate maintenance interventions. It has the potential to vastly improve reliability and performance targets.
A final word?
As we approach the end of the year, I want to thank our community members for their enthusiasm and support for the programme, their willingness to collaborate with one another and the many who give freely and generously of their time. I would also like to extend my thanks to everyone at CPC for their hard work and dedication. We have achieved some important milestones – 3130 members! – and we have the building blocks in place to keep that momentum going.