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  1. The idea of a Digital Twin [DT] needs to advance in a standardized and formal manner. As @DRossiter87 pointed out, this is necessary to "support the consistent adoption of, and interoperability between, digital twins for the built environment within the UK" To aid in this endeavour, it is useful to delineate the difference between the following terms: “DT General Use Case” [GUC]: a very short sentence, possibly consisting of two or three words – ideally a verb followed by a noun – ultimately concerned with the brief and blunt statement of the central business aim that is motivating t
  2. As part of my last post Consolidating Concepts: Scope, I discussed a potential structure that a concepts and principles standard related to digital twin could adopt. In this post, I’ll consider how this structure aligns to the Gemini Principles. I’d greatly appreciate your views as to whether I’ve gotten this right! Using ISO/DIS 23247-1 (Digital Twin framework for manufacturing. Part 1. Overview and general principles) as a basis, I presented the following structure, now modified to include standard clause numbering: Scope Normative References Terms
  3. During December, the Digital Twin Hub and BSI hosted a Digital Twin Standards Landscape Workshop based on the recently published Draft Standards Landscape Report (final version to follow). The workshop highlighted the need to prioritize the development of a standard outlining the concepts and principles related to digital twins for the built environment. This post explores, at high level, what such a standard might cover and asks you, the reader, to consider the questions posed to inform how it is potentially developed. Please comment under this post with any answers you may have or
  4. I'd like to share with everyone a recent report by the AMRC set out to Untangle the Requirements of a Digital Twin defining and justifying a digital twin to be A live digital coupling of the state of a physical asset or process to a virtual representation with a functional output. This is an accumulation of the research AMRC has been doing in this space over several years working both with multiple sectors of industry and academic institutions so I'm keen to hear your thoughts on the approach taken to breakdown the requirements of having a digital twin defined in this way. Does it match y
  5. Casey Rutland

    Is it? Or is it not?

    Is it? Or is it not? For a few years now, parts of our sector and indeed other sectors, have been researching, defining and promoting digital twins. If we observe anything, it’s that chatter (including within the DT Hub) has been rife with the ‘what is/isn’t a digital twin...’ I’m no expert, and don’t yet claim to offer a resolution to clarify the topic, but I do think a discussion hosted within the DT Hub would be of use. This discussion is something that will provide greater clarity and implementation for those less involved in this definition process and yet vitally important t
  6. I recently posed a question in this forum to clarify thoughts on the need for a digital twin ‘test’... a way of determining if a proposed digital twin is actually what everyone can agree upon and that matches expectations. A test will serve as an invaluable tool for educating and up-skilling, avoidingconfusion and set a direction for implementation. This is something particularly close to my heart as we’re currently (still) experiencing this in global BIM discussions. Whilst on the topic of BIM, the test could be a great way of identifying what a typical BIM process deliverable is and h
  7. Predicting the future is something intrinsic to the human condition. Whether we are thinking about lunch, retirement, or developing a world-shaking invention like the iPhone. What if the biggest barrier to realising the potential of innovation is not technology, but belief? Predictions of the future from the 1950s included people flying around in their own helicopters to do their daily chores. Ignoring the acceptability of helicopters powering up and blowing the contents of everyone’s gardens everywhere, this future could have happened. There is no technological boundary to everyone havin
  8. UK infrastructure, like many industries, is going through a period of significant transformation with digital technologies underpinning much of this change. The current COVID19 situation will perhaps catalyse the pace of change as we consider a new normal. ‘Digital Twin’ in particular is emerging as a core capability that will underpin UK infrastructure as digital transformation continues to evolve. Being a relatively new concept in the infrastructure sectors, the most common question I get asked is ‘what is a digital twin?’ Indeed, the more people I speak to, the greater my belief t
  9. I'm thinking of promoting our HE Ontology in the hopes of a) being able to explain to normal people what we're doing (and why) and b) hopefully securing some interest and feedback from the wider community and ideally other road operators. It's also been a useful opportunity to condense and reiterate to myself what on earth I've been doing with my life. Anyway, before I fire this into the ether, I thought it might be useful to get some feedback. The draft article is here should you be interested... https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/draft/AgGQLPmRvH_kkgAAAXMLChJcc3Cpv-7oz99HbLpUZI7xX7d0XAb4vwR
  10. When asked by a relatively senior member of staff here what the Digital Twin is all about, and why they should care, I pulled together some SmartArt (pictured) to try to explain the component parts of an infrastructure organisation's twin. Keen to get the wider community's thoughts on this approach. Digital Twins are having a bit of moment here at Highways England, to the extent that our principle risk is not a lack of twins, but a surfeit of incompatible twins. I'm beginning to think that the ‘Digital Twin’ of a complex organisation such as HE will actually need to function as a hierarch
  11. In my first article, I explored the basic concept of digital twins. Fundamentally, they are a digital replica of a physical thing - a ‘twin’. But depending on maturity, this replica can range from a simple representation of a local component, all the way to a fully integrated and highly accurate model of an entire asset, facility or even a country, with each component dynamically linked to engineering, construction, and operational data. This broad range of what a digital twin can be has made defining and understanding them extremely difficult, with disagreement on what level of maturity
  12. As everyone who works within the built environment sector knows, the essential starting point for any successful construction project is the establishment of a solid foundation. With that in mind the Digital Twin Hub is thrilled to announce the publication of its first ever digital twin foundation guide: Digital Twins for the Built Environment. The Purpose The purpose of this guide is not to be exhaustive but to document, at a high level, knowledge and examples of Digital Twin use cases that have been shared through the development of the DT Hub and engagement
  13. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published over 22,000 formal standards supporting the dissemination of good practice to a range of sectors from agriculture to retail. Due to the breadth of topics covered it is difficult to conceive of a domain which hasn’t been at least partially standardized. In fact, as of 2019, ISO had four standards published which referenced digital twins: ISO 14033 (Quantitative Environmental Information) ISO 15704 (Requirements for enterprise-referencing architectures) ISO 18101-1 (Oil and Gas interoperability) ISO
  14. 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
  15. Context 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 progress towards realising the potential benefits of digital twins. The first theme is called “Testing digital twin concepts”. The focus is on: Helping DT Hub members increase common understanding of digital twin definitions and concepts, then test and refine this thinking in specific use cases and projects where there is potential to deliver signifi
  16. Digital technologies are no longer considered tools to satisfy a need for efficiency, they are active agents in value creation and new value propositions [1]. The term “digital twin” has entered the regular vocabulary across a myriad of sectors. It’s consistently used as an example of industry revolution and is considered fundamental to transformation, but the broad scope of the concept makes a common definition difficult. Yet it’s only once we understand and demystify the idea - and can see a path to making it reality - that we will start to realise the benefits. Heavy promotion b
  17. If you weren't allowed to use the terms "digital" and "twin" how would you describe what a digital twin is (in less than 20 words) to someone not in the know?
  18. This blog was first produced following discussions with digital twin owners about the importance of learning more from other industries. It also relates to the first “theme” that we identified as a priority for the DT Hub, which looks at digital twin definitions and concepts. We hope you enjoy reading this piece and welcome your comments as well as your thoughts on other topics where you would like to hear more from us. The idea of digital twins in space may seem like science fiction – or at least a long way removed from the day-to-day challenges of the built environment. But, in fact, th
  19. Context: 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 progress towards realising the potential benefits of digital twins. The first theme is called “Testing digital twin concepts”. The focus is on: Helping DT Hub members increase common understanding of digital twin definitions and concepts, then test and refine this thinking in specific use cases and projects where there is potential to deliver signif
  20. The first theme that we are addressing in the Hub is “Testing digital twin concepts”. This was identified as a key foundational element by the DT Hub members – to help increase understanding and inform the development of strategies and projects. It will build on the Gemini Principles and generate recommendations to feed into the National Digital Twin (NDT) “Commons” stream. The theme is summarised as “helping DT Hub members to increase common understanding related to digital twin definitions and concepts, and then to test and refine this thinking within specific use cases and project
  21. Aerospace was one of the first industries to develop digital twins. This academic paper helps to identify the initial research papers around the concept, and the scope of Digital Twins within several sectors as they emerged https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351978917304067
  22. This article includes an interesting short video from SAPPHIRE NOW 2017, providing a Digital Twin Demo involving wind farms https://www.challenge.org/insights/what-is-digital-twin/
  23. Siemens has outlined three types of digital twin: Product, Production and Performance. How well do these relate to built environment use cases? https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/global/en/our-story/glossary/digital-twin/24465
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