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  1. The pandemic has highlighted the need to make better, data-driven decisions that are focused on creating better outcomes. It has shown how digital technologies and the data that drives them are key to putting the right information in the right hands at the right time to ensure that we make the right decision to achieve the right outcomes. Connected ecosystems of digital twins, part of the cyber physical fabric, will allow us to share data across sectors, in a secure and resilient fashion, to ensure that we can make those important decisions for the outcomes that we need. They provide us with a transformative tool to tackle the major issues of our time, such as climate change, global healthcare and food inequality. We must use digital twins for the public good, as set out in “Data for the Public Good”, and we must also use those digital twins to create a better future for people and the planet. The recent publication of the Vision for the Built Environment sets out a pioneering vision for the built environment, and we want to see that vision expanded further, to include other sectors, such as health, education, manufacturing and agriculture. As the UK considers what a national digital twin might look like, we draw on the experience of the past three years to add to the discussion. A UK national digital twin must have a purpose-built delivery vehicle that works through coordination, alignment and collaboration. It needs to bring together those working in the field, across sectors, across industries, and across government departments. It must balance the need for research, both within academic institutions and industry, with the industry implementation and adoption that is already underway. And it must ensure that the programme is socio-technical in nature; if we concentrate solely on the technical factors, while failing to address the equally important social considerations, we risk creating a solution that cannot or will not be adopted – a beautiful, shiny, perfect piece of ‘tech’ that sits on a shelf gathering dust. There are many in the UK doing fantastic work in the digital twin space, and the wider cyber-physical fabric of which connected digital twins are a part. We know from experience that we get much better outcomes when we work together as a diverse team, rather than in siloes which lead to fragmentation. Industry is already creating digital twins and connecting them to form ecosystems. If we are to avoid divergence, we have to act now. To start the discussion and allow the sharing of thoughts and experience, the Royal Academy of Engineering has convened an open summit, hosted by the DT Hub on the 19th July from 10:00 – 16:00. The day will start with an introduction laying out the opportunities and challenges we face as a nation and as a planet. This will be followed by four expert-led panels, each with a Q&A session. The first is chaired by Paul Clarke CBE on the cyber physical fabric; followed by a panel on data and technical interoperability chaired by Professor Dame Wendy Hall; after lunch, Professor David Lane CBE will chair a panel on research; followed by a panel on adoption chaired by Mark Enzer OBE. The four panel chairs will convene a final plenary session. I do hope you will join us, to hear the experiences of others and to add your own expertise and knowledge to the conversation. To register for the Summit, click here.
  2. Dave Murray

    Test Engineering and DTs

    I am considering starting a network for topics related to Lifecycle V&V (Validation and Verification) centred on Evaluation and Testing, and this message is to poll the level of potential interest. I imagine the network would offer the following: · A place for Test Engineers from different market sectors to share experiences and gain knowledge · Support for those areas where DT activity is low but growing, the Defence Sector is an example, to benefit from the experiences of other sectors Test Engineers have a mix of technical and customer skills that are central to successful project implementation. The DT concept provides a lifecycle project-thread that provides Test Engineers with an unprecedented opportunity to exercise their skills. Maybe finding a way to maximise this opportunity might also attract more people to the career, and be a way to improve recruitment into the world of Engineering? If we launch this Network, would you consider joining it? Dave Murray
  3. Welcome! This discussion thread is for exploring opportunities to make better decisions about the interfaces between the built and natural environments of the UK by integrating models from these sectors. This conversation kicked off at an interdisciplinary workshop on 21 and 29 January, 2021. Participants have been invited to continue the conversation here, and to invite others who might want to join in. Questions to discuss include (but are not limited to): What new questions would a national digital twin (comprised of integrated models from built and natural sectors) be able to answer? Who are the stakeholders and how would they interact with integrated models and resulting decisions? What new opportunities and benefits would this integration enable? Where would the biggest impacts be? What are the research and development priorities based on these opportunities? How might this impact the development of the Information Management Framework (IMF) for a national digital twin? Finally, a report will come out by the end of March summarising the insights from the workshop, and that will be posted here for your reference.
  4. Hi all, I received this Digital Construction Week article today about some Procore research and thought it included some interesting conclusions.
  5. TechUK’s Digital Twins Working Group (DTWG) published a landmark report- ‘Unlocking Value Across the UK’s Digital Twin Ecosystem’- on Thursday 25th February. The purpose of this report is to drive consensus around terminology, highlight key prizes associated with digital twinning across the UK, and to set out strategic recommendations for industry and Government as to how the UK’s digital twin ecosystem can progress and evolve long-term. The report also sets out a handful of recommendations, including that there should be a cross-cutting, interdisciplinary co-ordinating body to promote their use. It would identify common information requirements and capability gaps, provide guidance on codes of conduct in the use of digital twins, and develop incentives such as tax credits or innovation funding. This would come with a 10-year public investment of £150-200 million to support innovation, adoption and diffusion, and strong roles for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). A further boost could be provided by an online procurement portal – the cost of which is estimated at up to £1.5 million – that would make digital twin offerings on the market more visible and less complex, and lead to improvements in their quality and affordability. Other recommendations are for a series of strategic demonstrator projects to show the value and identify barriers to the adoption of digital twins; to identify the skills needed to support their use; and for UKRI to run a demonstrator project on how the concept can support the aim for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  6. Webinar: Building Tomorrow’s Resilience: Why Digital Twins Are Shaping the Water Utility Status Quo Just how effective are digital twins in helping to identify critical points in your water and wastewater infrastructure—like a growing leak or an unexpected closed valve? Bentley product manager Ari Opdahl delves into the possibilities of predictive operational intelligence in this special WEF eShowcase. https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/6892911365133001731
  7. Join us for the next video in our series on Tuesday. Tom Henderson and the CDBB team will host a live chat session at 10.30. Bring your questions.
  8. One might argue that the foundation for any Digital twin is understanding what information is required for the business to exist and deliver on its strategy and client needs. Without this, how do we know what information to include in our Digital Twin and how our assets are performing in carrying out this objective? I'm delivering a 3 hours free webinar on the 12th August to show a simple method for extracting OIRs from an executive document and specifying what is critical to understanding the business benefits to owning a Digital Twin. be great if you can join me!https://lnkd.in/dxF6BEN
  9. DRossiter87

    Connected Pathways

    Following input from DT Hub members into a community-driven document, we have proceeded to reduce the number of use cases identified during the Pathway to Value Workshop from 28 down to 12: Open Sharing of Data Asset Registration Scenario Simulation Occupant/User Management Environmental Management Traffic Management Process Optimization Asset Management Carbon Management Resource Management Resilience Planning Risk Management Using these use cases, we can begin to explore how the National Digital Twin (NDT) programme can support members of the DT Hub in realizing their value. One way of doing so is by identifying what parts of these use cases need to be developed via the Commons Stream as part of the Information Management Framework (IMF). The reasoning being these 12 use cases are: Horizontal. Meaning that they can be applied within several sectors and their respective industries; and High-value. Meaning that they can achieve a return on investment. Positively, these use cases have a strong synergy with a similar schedule presented by Bart Brink of Royal HaskoningDHV on a recent buildingSMART webinar on digital twins. By identifying DT Hub member horizontal, high-value, use cases we hope that their associated tasks, key performance indicators and federation requirements can be recommended for prioritization as part of the development of the Information Management Framework (IMF). At the beginning of June, CDBB released The Pathway Towards an Information Management Framework: A Commons for a Digital Built Britain, a report setting out the technical approach that will lead to the development of the National Digital Twin. Within the report it focuses on three key facets that will enable secure, resilient data sharing across the built environment: Reference Data Library. A taxonomy describing a common set of classes to describe the built environment; Foundation Data Model. An ontology outlining the relation between these classes or properties of these classes; and Integration Architecture. Exchange protocols to facilitate sharing of information, using these defined classes and relations between digital twins. As opposed to being released as a complete resource, we will likely see these facets developed organically as the NDT programme continues to follow its mantra of: As such, the key question isn’t “what should these facets include?” but “what should be included first?”. We hope to answer this question using these horizontal, high-value, use cases. EXAMPLE: “Environmental management”. At the beginning of 2020, news reports focused on air pollution and its link with infrastructure. In addition, many building assets may wish to monitor air quality due to its known impact on occupant performance. As a use case that is associated to regulatory compliance, productivity, and applicable to a breadth of assets Environmental Management may be a horizontal, high-value, use case. To support such a use case, the: Reference Data Library. May need to include classes such as: Temperature, Wind speed, Humidity, CO2, and PM2.5 as well as their associated units to enable the consistent recording of this information. Foundation Data Model. May need an ontology describing acceptable ranges and the relationship of air quality concepts to other classes such as Health and Productivity depending on the function being monitored; and Integration Architecture. May need to facilitate the sharing of information from sources such as other digital twins, as well as datasets from the Met Office and local governments. Simply put, by identifying these horizontal, high-priority, use cases, we may be able to begin accelerating the realization of their value by having the taxonomies, ontologies and protocols needed to facilitate them available at an earlier stage of the overall IMF development. And there we have it. As DT Hub members begin to consider how the information management framework may support their digital twin development as well as the national digital twin, which use cases do you think are the most horizontal and high-value? How do you think these facets might support your ability to undertake these use cases? Please feel free to add your thoughts below, or, alternatively, comment directly on the draft community-driven document which is, and will continue to be, progressively developed as member views are shared.
  10. Please let us know what you think are the most valuable use cases for digital twins, either by replying to this post or by "Starting a new topic" in the Pathway to value forum.
  11. Why This Theme? DT Hub activities focus on a set of thematic areas (themes) that are based on shared opportunities and challenges for members. These themes are areas where collaboration can help members to gain greater understanding and make more progress towards realising the potential benefits of digital twins. This short introductory piece outlines the scope and approach for the third theme “Pathway to value”: Why is this theme important? Each of the members we spoke to raised concerns that their development of digital twins may be hindered without a clear ability to demonstrate value to others, including senior management and stakeholders. While most member organizations have top-level support for digital twins it is still difficult for them to progress from pilots towards larger scale investments. Sharing examples of the value that is already being generated by digital twins, from other members and more widely, can increase support and accelerate adoption. In addition, there is a desire to consider and share thinking on steps along the roadmap towards greater value at greater scale. Scope This theme will facilitate discussions between members and other stakeholders on: Shared or common use cases, outcomes from existing digital twins and opportunities for future collaboration Costs and blockers Strategic approach and roadmaps for digital twins The goal is to build on work being done through the NDT programme and generate ideas and recommendations based on real-world experience from members and from the wider market. This may influence the development of future tools to quantify value as well as overall thinking on the roadmap towards a federated national digital twin. Engaging with this theme can help digital twin users and stakeholders start to address questions like: What use cases offer the greatest potential value? How can I measure the value from digital twins, encompassing economic (profit), social (people) and environmental (planet) benefits? How will my organisation benefit from the implementation of digital twins? What are the blockers to realising value and how can we address these? What are some of the steps on the roadmap towards greater value at greater scale? What can I learn from other industries that are implementing digital twins at scale? Objectives The main objectives for this theme are then to: Map use cases within a pre-existing framework, and consider measures of value (we have started by mapping to people, planet, profit) Identify potential blockers and possible approaches to address these Assess strategies/roadmaps from members and the wider market Generate insights for members and feedback learnings to the wider NDT programme including potential needs for any tools or frameworks Get involved You can already start to get involved, including by: Commenting on the posts in the dedicated space for this theme Starting your own topic where you have ideas to share We want this theme to be driven by member’s views and priorities, so it would also be great if you would like to comment on this post including on: Where you are seeing initiatives that could benefit articulating the digital twin value proposition Use cases and in-house examples that might help inform this work Specific value pathway activities you may be working on related to use cases or value models Any views that you have on what digital twin value pathways look like (DT Hub facilitation Team)
  12. DRossiter87

    Useful Use Cases

    As the National Digital Twin (NDT) programme develops its thinking around the Commons, several resources to support the implementation of digital twins within the built environment will be developed. The first of which, the Glossary, is readily available for members to engage with. Further resources will likely include ontologies, schema and other key data infrastructure elements required to enable the NDT. To ensure that these resources are fit-for-purpose, they need to align to the needs of the DT Hub members; supporting use cases. As such, this article uses the output of the Theme 3 webinar to explore and begin to identify horizontal, high-value, use cases for prioritization. The outcome of this work will be a community-driven document (draft under development here) to inform the Commons on which use cases should be considered a priority when developing resources. During the Theme 3 webinar, a total of 28 use cases were identified by members. Open Sharing of Data Data-sharing Hub Health and Safety Social Distancing Customer Satisfaction Behavioural Change National Security Traffic Management Incident Management Efficiency Monitoring Condition Monitoring Scenario Simulations Rapid Prototyping Asset Optimization Investment Optimization Preventative Maintenance Carbon Management Service Recovery Decision Support National Efficiency ‘Live’ in-use Information Logistic / Transit Tracing Natural Environment Registration Pollution Monitoring Air Quality Monitoring Resilience Planning Resource Optimization Service Electrification This initial schedule demonstrates the breadth of value that a digital twin can facilitate. However this list can be refined as some of these use cases: Overlap and can be consolidated through the use of more careful terminology. For example both Pollution Monitoring and Air Quality Monitoring were identified. However it is likely that the system, sequence of actions, as well as any associated key performance indicators will be shared between these use cases. Therefore they could be consolidated under a single use case Environmental Monitoring. May be specific to some members or some sectors. For example, Customer Satisfaction Monitoring is a vital use case for DT Hub members who directly engage with a user-base within a supplier market (for example, utility companies and universities). However, many organizations manage assets and systems whose actors do not include a customer (for example, floor defence systems, and natural assets). Likewise, Service Electrification is a use case that is only applicable for assets and systems which rely on fossil fuels (for roads and railways). As such, while Customer Satisfaction Monitoring and Service Electrification are vital use cases which must remain within scope of the overall programme, they may not be appropriate for prioritization. Are aspects as opposed to a stand-alone use case. For example, ‘Live’ In-use Information may be a requirement of several use cases such as Traffic Management and National Security but does not in itself constitute a sequence of actions within a system. By identifying the use cases that are most common to DT Hub members as well as eliminating duplicates, it is hoped that a refined schedule can be produced; limited to high-value, horizontal use cases. Such a schedule will be valuable to: The NDT programme to understand what use cases the IMF Pathway will need to support; Asset owner/operators to identify and articulate the value-case for implementing digital twins; and Suppliers to demonstrate the validity of their software in realizing these values. Furthermore, once a streamlined schedule has been developed, further research can be undertaken to identify the typical key performance indicators used to measure and monitor systems that support these use cases. And there we have it, useful use cases. Of the 28 use cases identified which do you think are the most horizontal? Which do you think are high-value (priority) use cases? Which do you think could be aggregated together? Please feel free to add your thoughts below, or, alternatively, comment directly on the draft community-driven document which will be progressively developed as member views are shared. Feel free to comment on the content included and suggest how to refine the schedule.
  13. Nicholas

    Theme 3 webinar slides

    We ran a webinar on third theme for the DT Hub, "Pathway to value" on 30th April 2020. During the session, we discussed where and how digital twins can deliver economic, social and environmental benefits, as well as considering some of the blockers to overcome. We also began to look at proposed activities for the theme and related priorities for members. Many thanks to those of you who were able to join us – you generated lots of great ideas and perspectives in a short space of time and several members kindly agreed to share more of their thinking on areas of value as well as on specific projects. If you joined and would like a refresher or couldn’t make and would like to find out more, you can see the slides from the webinar here. This includes information we captured from you on some of the most attractive use cases for digital twins. We also invite you to add some brief information on at least one of your digital twin projects to the DT Register. The more you share, the more that we can learn from each other – and identify more areas where digital twins can deliver value. As ever, if you need any help, or would like to talk this through, please use “Contact Us” at the bottom of each page, or email us at enquiries@digitaltwinhub.co.uk
  14. A new Construction Innovation Hub research programme explores procurement strategies to incentivise collaborative delivery and optimise whole-life outcomes. Lead author of the review, Professor David Mosey from King’s College London Centre of Construction Law, considers the current procurement landscape and the benefits of... View the full article
  15. Digital Twins are being discussed in many industries. In this article IBM considers them from an automotive perspective. https://www.ibm.com/blogs/internet-of-things/iot-digital-twin-enablers/
  16. A lot of the early thinking on digital twins has been led by manufacturers. So, what do digital twins mean to them and what insights could this provide for the built environment? This blog is the second in series that looks at what we can learn from the development of digital twins in other sectors. It draws on key findings from a report by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. This includes industry perspectives on: The definition of digital twins Key components of digital twins Types of twin and related high-level applications and value The report “Feasibility of an immersive digital twin: The definition of a digital twin and discussions around the benefit of immersion” looks partly at the potential for the use of immersive environments. But, in the main, it asks a range of questions about digital twins that should be of interest to this community. The findings in the report were based on an industry workshop and an online survey with around 150 respondents. We’ve already seen that there are many views on what does or does not constitute a digital twin. Several options were given in the survey, and the most popular definition, resonating with 90% of respondents was: A virtual replica of the physical asset which can be used to monitor and evaluate its performance When it comes to key components of digital twins, the report suggests that these should include: A model of the physical object or system, which provides context Connectivity between digital and physical assets, which transmits data in at least one direction The ability to monitor the physical system in real time. By contrast, in the built environment, digital twins may not always need to be “real-time”. However, looking at the overall document, the position appears to be more nuanced and dependent on the type of application. In which case, “real-time” could be interpreted as “right-time” or “timely”. In addition, analytics, control and simulation are seen as optional or value-added components. Interestingly, 3D representations are seen by many as “nice to have” – though this will vary according to the type of application. In a similar fashion to some of our discussions with DT Hub members, the report looks at several types of digital twin (it is difficult to think of all twins as being the same!). The types relate to the level of interactivity, control and prediction: Supervisory or observational twins that have a monitoring role, receiving and analysing data but that may not have direct feedback to the physical asset or system Interactive digital twins that provide a degree of control over the physical things themselves Predictive digital twins that use simulations along with data from the physical objects or systems, as well as wider contextual data, to predict performance and optimise operations (e.g. to increase output from a wind farm by optimising the pitch of the blades). These types of twin are presented as representing increasing levels of richness or complexity: interactive twins include all the elements of supervisory twins; and predictive twins incorporate the capabilities of all three types. Not surprisingly, the range of feasible applications relates to the type of twin. Supervisory twins can be used to monitor processes and inform non-automated decisions. Interactive twins enable control, which can be remote from the shop-floor or facility. Whereas, predictive twins support predictive maintenance approaches, and can help reduce down-time and improve productivity. More sophisticated twins – and potentially combining data across twins – can provide insight into rapid introduction (and I could imagine customisation) of products or supply chains. Another way of looking at this is to think about which existing processes or business systems could be replaced or complemented by digital twins. This has also come up in some of our discussions with DT Hub members and other built environment stakeholders – in the sense that investments in digital twins should either improve a specific business process/system or mean that that it is no longer needed (otherwise DT investments could just mean extra costs). From the survey: Over 80% of respondents felt that digital twins could complement or replace systems for monitoring or prediction (either simple models or discrete event simulation) Around two-thirds felt the same for aspects related to analysis and control (trend analysis, remote interaction and prescriptive maintenance) with over half seeing a similar opportunity for next generation product design While remote monitoring and quality were seen as the areas with greatest potential value. Cost reduction in operations and New Product Development (NPD) also feature as areas of value generation, as well as costs related to warranty and servicing. The latter reflects increasing servitisation in manufacturing. This could also become more important in the built environment, with growing interest in gain-share type arrangements through asset lifecycles as well as increasing use of components that have been manufactured off-site. It would be great if you would like to share your views on any of the points raised above. For example, do you think built environment twins need the same or different components to those described above? And can digital twins for applications like remote monitoring and quality management also deliver significant value in the built environment?
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