Costain and Microsoft to develop infrastructure digital twin

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infrastructure digital twin

Costain and Microsoft have joined forces to develop an enterprise-ready digital twin to optimise the way UK infrastructure is designed, delivered and operated

Microsoft is already supporting Costain on the Anglian Water Strategic Pipeline Alliance (SPA), alongside other partners Jacobs, Mott MacDonald Bentley and Farrans, to develop an enterprise-ready digital twin for the new strategic pipeline.

The series of up to 500km of interconnecting pipelines and associated infrastructure will move water from areas of surplus in Lincolnshire to the drier south and east of the region.

The digital twin will optimise delivery and management of the water network throughout the lifecycle of the pipeline delivering benefits to Anglian Water in CAPEX during project delivery and OPEX in the future operation of the pipeline.

Costain is leveraging Microsoft’s cloud-based software, Azure, to integrate systems and business functions for improved enterprise data management, helping to enable artificial intelligence and automate processes that will aid better decision making as well as drive continuous improvement and innovation.

Enabling ‘safer, better, faster, greener and more efficient infrastructure’

Nathan Marsh, Costain’s chief digital officer, said: “This strategic partnership will help clients provide better value services to their customers by deploying digital twin approaches that enable safer, better, faster, greener and more efficient infrastructure.

“The digital versions of project delivery schedules and the physical assets Costain creates with Microsoft are optimised with high-quality data insight and foresight that will improve delivery and operational productivity.

“Clients are able to do things such as virtually and remotely test designs, weather scenarios, incident response, carbon reduction schemes, maintenance and upgrade programmes with enhanced speed and accuracy.

“This helps ensure right first time delivery, improved return on investment and minimises disruption to customers.”

Matthew Higham, chief digital officer at Microsoft UK, added: “By working together, we can democratise the power of data and digital skills to help transform not just the built environment and the construction industry, but the other industries they serve.

“As we move to a more sustainable future, being able to measure and effect intelligent digitally empowered transformation at pace, is pivotal to success – one which this partnership can bring to life.”

The development of a digital twin is part of Anglian Water’s wider digital transformation plans and showcases the potential of this technology to the sector.

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