2 Examples of Harnessing the Power of Digital Twins: Transportation & Energy

28 December 2023Construction, Digital Transformation, Infrastructuredata analytics, digital twin, efficiency, energy conservation, innovation, Integration, Maintenance, Performance, predictive, simulation, Sustainability, Time

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The expansion of digital twin technology is offering impressive improvements to the transportation and energy sectors, with a plethora of benefits that extend beyond mere model replication.

A recent case in point is a Canadian rail operator’s innovative use of digital twin technology to scan its entire rail network, creating an exact replica that has helped bring about significant improvements in performance.

power of digital twins, infrastructure job on railway

Precision Through Data Capture Devices

Digital twin technology takes advantage of data captured by sophisticated devices like LiDAR, ultrasonic sensors, and other tools for as-built, real-time information. The resulting digital twin is not simply a visual 3D replica. It becomes a repository of detailed information about each asset, including component parts, specifications, tolerances, maintenance details, and operational relevance. This wealth of accurate up-to-date information empowers decision makers to make correct decisions promptly.

Efficiency and Less Down Time

Streamed real-time data from key assets enables digital twin technology to substantially improve efficiency. In fact, the technology has the potential to reduce downtime on rail networks worldwide.

By determining what constitutes “normal” operations, transportation engineers can schedule maintenance when deviations from the norm are detected. The long-term plan for the Canadian railway involves integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor operating parameters and make maintenance decisions proactively, significantly improving the speed and effectiveness of anomaly detection and correction.


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Cost Savings through Predictive Maintenance

In addition to reducing downtime, digital twin technology promises significant operational cost reductions. Predictive maintenance, driven by data-driven predictions rather than emergency responses, ensures that maintenance activities are carefully timed based on actual needs. The use of AI for analysis enhances the speed and effectiveness of identifying abnormal readings, making it a more efficient approach than traditional methods.

overhead power lines lit with amber color strung on transmission towers, digital twins for energy

Energy Efficiency in Construction

The benefits of digital twin technology extend beyond transportation into the energy sector, particularly in construction. Real-time simulation and predictive analysis capabilities help optimize energy management and consumption. By replicating real-world scenarios, digital twins enable the monitoring of indoor environmental conditions and the evaluation of building energy efficiency.

Proactive Maintenance

Similar to the railway example, a digital twin in the construction sector can provide a real-time connection between the physical structure and its virtual counterpart. After construction is finished, this connection allows for comprehensive data collection on the performance of each building component, from energy consumption patterns to structural integrity. Proactive maintenance based on digital twin insights can identify areas for improvement and repairs before urgent problems arise, ultimately reducing unforeseen expenses.

person using hot/cold controls for HVAC system on building roof, digital twins in energy

Enhancing Living and Working Environments

Digital twins don’t just impact construction; they can benefit the ultimate building occupants. The technology provides a way for users to understand the impact of their actions on energy usage, facilitating informed decisions for sustainability. The real-time connectivity between the physical entity and the digital twin optimizes building workflows, leading to more efficient processes that save both time and resources.

 

The advantages of digital twin technology in the transportation and construction energy sectors are impressive. From reducing down time and operational costs to enhancing energy efficiency and maintenance processes, the seamless integration of physical and digital realms through digital twins is setting new standards for efficiency and sustainability. As companies navigate potential challenges, the transformative power of digital twins promises a future where precision, efficiency and sustainability will go hand in hand.


Whether you are in transportation, construction or manufacturing, contact Graitec Group today to learn how digital twins can play a pivotal role in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your processes.


 

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