Industry 4.0 relates to the fourth industrial revolution where automation and machine learning supplement the human workforce. With Industry 4.0 comes many opportunities for technology and humans to comingle, one of them being the digital twin.
What’s a Digital Twin?
Put simply: A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical object. This virtual replica receives input from IoT sensors that provide data on both elements of the object and the dynamics of its performance in real-time. This data can be examined for a variety of things, such as:
- Problem prevention
- Quicker fixes
- Efficiency improvements
- Next-gen model building
Remember the Disney Channel Original movie Smart House? It’s a lot like that, though the digital twin is often not located in the same place as its physical counterpart.
These virtual replicas do not replace their objects but provide insights into functions that enhance performance. They can learn, reason, recalibrate, and alert when problems arise or are likely to occur using elements of machine learning and AI.
As it relates to construction, there are two types: the Geometric Twin and the Digital Data Twin.
Geometric Digital Twin: Created during design and construction, this twin shows physical locations of all systems and equipment within a 3D model of the building.
Data Digital Twin: Related to spaces, this twin leverages sensor data to provide holistic insights and reports on building status.
How does the construction industry leverage these twins?
Uses of Digital Twins in Construction
We’ve talked a lot about the many ways to reduce the time it takes to complete a project, whether that’s through automation, fleet tracking, mixed reality or other emerging digitization efforts. Digital twins use elements of all of these improvements to:
- Reduce time required to find data to back up investments in improvements
- Reduce time spent sifting through information to manually discover problem areas
- Prevent gaps in information
- Use real-time data that constantly predicting problems, making construction crews more agile than before
- Monitor workflow progress in real-time while storing and reporting data for future project streamlining usage
Like all other technological enhancements for construction, these tools are only as good as their connection, and when you’re in remote areas, it’s crucial to have a team who knows how to get you the connection you need.
Digital Twins and the Need for Connectivity:
With all the use applications digital twins can provide, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re well connected in the field. Your IoT sensors need to be able to provide data feedback in real-time. Your project managers will need to have the data as it changes in order to prevent costly mistakes. Your digital twin will need connectivity to get the data from its physical counterpart, process it, and show where problems may arise, which is especially important on complex projects like data centers.
Your digital tools require that connectivity be at the top of the priority list. Waiting until the last second may stick you with an ISP who can’t effectively meet your needs. Your connection needs to be quick, easy, and reliable. It’s important to source the right provider and ensure that everyone on your team understands why your digital twins will die without proper connections.
Your digital twins need to thrive for you to see the benefits. Are you connected with the right team to get your tech connected?