In a usual plant, information is often spread over multiple, dedicated computer systems. Very often, each of the systems brings its own asset structure with proprietary keys and own user management.
Especially for plants, that have been in operation for more than 10 years, documentation is often available only in paper form.
Furthermore, systems are often spread over different work places or assigned to specific user groups that use them from a dedicated work place rather than having everything at hand right besides the equipment and in digital form.
A digital twin of the plant or plant section – in terms of a data twin – can already be a powerful booster for information management, e.g. for predictive maintenance but not limited to that. With access to not only all kinds of engineering documents, such as drawings, manuals or P&IDs but also to data from maintenance systems (CMMS), condition monitoring system, process automation (e.g. via SMS DataFactory), planning systems (MES), quality systems etc., all information that supports deeper insights on the actual equipment status and wear, on already conducted maintenance activities, the equipment load (e.g. amount of production) help to better plan maintenance and learn about the equipment’s performance capabilities.
The preferred way to access all the distributed systems for the required data is via a web application that caters for the secure connections to the distributed systems and fetches the information right from there without the need of another database with duplicated data. By means of a 3D navigation model, usually created from the design models during engineering, the user can quickly find the equipment without the need to know about the equipment numbers or to map different keys prior to getting to the data.
Every minute that can be saved through the direct access to information via the digital twin can be invested in valuable other activities.
The modular concept of the digital (maintenance) twin allows for later extensions that for instance include modelling and simulation capabilities.