The rise of Industry 4.0 is revolutionising how we interact with technology, machines and the world around us
Digital twins are set to usher in a new, exciting and almost prescient digital era. However, the question stands: how do businesses position themselves to actually derive value from a digital twin?
Asite’s latest report examines the foundations required to build and implement a valuable digital twin, focusing on the idea of the golden thread of information and discussing the requirements necessary for its maintenance.
The golden thread
To derive value from a digital twin, businesses need to examine how they collect, manage and deploy their data and digital information because, without this, digital twins are useless.
The “golden thread” is a concept that came out of the Hackitt Report, published in 2018 in the aftermath of the Grenfell disaster, and is a catalyst for discussions surrounding how we manage essential project information.
While the golden thread of information is used in construction to refer to an accurate and up-to-date record of the data needed to maintain and operate an asset, this definition is still useful when discussing digital twins in general.
The golden thread introduces formal processes to maintaining digital information, assures accuracy, and ensures accessibility and security.
Figuring out how to achieve this golden thread of information is imperative for businesses looking to derive value from their data and a foundational step in the deployment of a digital twin. In a nutshell, it should act as a live repository linking all asset data.
How do we facilitate the golden thread?
Simply put, organizations and industries as a whole need to adapt their current processes to make room for collaboration and interoperability.
We need physical assets, solutions, and software to “talk” to each other and have these conversations logged to create the necessary golden thread of information.
Overcoming data fragmentation and embracing openness
Digital twins work best when there is a seamless flow of data from the beginning of the project throughout its lifecycle and beyond.
However, fragmentation, seen across industries, has resulted in siloed engagement with data and prevents us from reaping the full benefits of the data we collect. For digital twins to excel, industries need to establish new forms of collaboration and introduce measures that encourage collaborative behaviors, including new procurement and contracting practices.
As discussed in a previous Asite report, a global digital framework could facilitate this by establishing how data is used, maintained and shared. It would allow us to set global open standards for software interoperability and extract actionable insights from data that can then be used across organisations.
Ultimately, the ability to freely share and interpret data and insights will create an accurate record of a project, providing the optimal conditions for digital twins to thrive.
Asite: Maintaining the golden thread
Digital twins have the potential to transform processes across traditional industries.
City planners are using virtual models to gain a competitive edge and retailers are using digital twins to create customer personas to enhance services and improve product offerings. In housing, they enable smarter and more sustainable decisions to deliver better quality homes.
Additionally, in healthcare, surgeons and health professionals can create digital replicas of a patients to practice procedures in a simulated environment.
However, the technology holds the most compelling promise in the manufacturing sector, where it is set to impact the way products are designed, manufactured, and maintained.
At Asite, we have been at the forefront of digital innovation for many years now, helping connect the physical, digital and human. As we continue to evolve and innovate, we have recognised the need for a collaborative platform to help organisations transform.
Our cloud platform ensures that, as an industry, we can send and receive, capture, share and collaborate on all the data we are collecting to derive actionable insights that help predict events and identify abnormalities to solve global issues. Digital twins are the apex of this journey.
Read more about Asite’s work as a facilitator and connector of solutions, and our report, here.
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