Meme of the month!

The old ‘digital twin’ product lifecycle management concept gets new lease of life in big data/AI offerings from GE, IBM, Grundfos, Ansys, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Seeq, Amec, ABB, Emerson.

The term ‘digital twin’ (aka a ‘model’) originated in the product lifecycle management community over a decade ago before falling out of favor. The arrival of big data/AI/Internet of Things, has given the DT a new lease of life (see Google Trends.) We already covered the recently announced GE/Maana DT last month. Now, the DT has become a huge marketing meme.

For IBM, this means mashing up its Watson artificial intelligence solution and internet of things into a shiny new DT as described by Chris O’Connor in a video from IBM’s recent ‘Genius of Things Summit’ in the new Watson IoT headquarters in Munich. O’Connor mentioned en passant, an oil pump as a candidate for a digital twin solution that will roll in Watson IoT, machine-to-machine communications, natural language processing and more.

Speaking of pumps Grundfos, a pump manufacturer, is to use Ansys’ simulation software to ‘harness the power’ of the Internet of Things and to create ‘complete digital twins.’ DTs will ‘improve product quality and performance, enhance productivity and maintenance and reduced unplanned downtime.’

Siemens also popped up with a DT recently with the announcement of DT functionality in its STAR-CCM+ software now in release 12.02. STAR-CCM’s new photo-realistic renderings are said to help engineers ‘promote understanding and inspire confidence’ in full physics models.

Schneider Electric and partner Seeq have announced ‘Profit Advisor,’ that also proposes a DT solution for big data/analytics that evaluates the financial performance of operations in real time. Seeq rolled out V17 of its IIoT/visual data analytics toolset at the 2017 OSIsoft Users Conference this month, citing Devon Energy as oil country poster child.

Amec likewise has rebaptized its Asset information hub as a DT offering as presented at a recent Cfihos meet chez BP from which we will be reporting in our next issue.

While not a DT per se, ABB’s announcement of the ‘commercial launch’ of ABB Ability fits the new meme. Ability, unveiled at the ABB Customer World in Houston this month, includes ‘Smart Sensor,’ a DT-style solution that mirrors real time sensor data to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Shell Oil is a user.

Emerson’s ‘iOps,’ integrated operations and augmented reality, to roll-out at the 2017 Cera Week, likewise mirrors the DT concept.

More on GE’s interesting take on the DT in our report from the 2017 GE Oil & Gas Annual Meeting in Florence below.

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