What is a Digital Twin?
A digitalÂ twinÂ is aÂ virtualÂ replica of an entityÂ that already exists.Â Digital twins integrateÂ artificial intelligence,Â machine learningÂ andÂ software analyticsÂ withÂ spatial networkÂ graphsÂ to createÂ aÂ digitalÂ model. A digital twin integrates historical data and updates itself from multiple sources to represent near real-time status.Â Often confused withÂ simulations,Â digital twinsÂ differ in that theyÂ are used for the entire design-execute-change-decommission lifecycle.
How is a digital twin created?
With a digital twin, you now can review and manipulate your asset digitally without the potential problems involved with changing the physical asset. The level of detail in the Sitemark Fuse platform is what makes it so valuable. We incorporate various different forms of aerial data such as visual and thermal orthomosaics, surface modals, point clouds and 3D models. You can further extend this data with overlays, such as string maps for solar sites. We also generate insights using artificial intelligence, for example with anomalies detected on solar panels, or elements that are built during the construction phase. Additionally, we have more structured data, even to the level of PV panel serial numbers. Connecting all this data delivers many benefits, from enabling predictive maintenance to improving the performance of your site and supporting you in warranty claims if an asset breaks down.
Which industries benefit from using a digital twin?
ConstructionÂ companiesÂ in particular benefit greatly by havingÂ a digital twin, theÂ digital representation ofÂ aÂ siteÂ orÂ project through which all useful information is linked. Digital twinsÂ can be used to conduct tests or record events without impacting the built object.Â The digital twin can be used toÂ visualizeÂ how the construction process willÂ evolve,Â allowingÂ project managers to ensure the success of the project, double check for mistakes and determine what objectives must be metÂ forÂ successfulÂ execution.Â Another benefitÂ is the ability toÂ incorporate raw data andÂ performÂ digital simulations thatÂ areÂ capable of developing blueprints construction companiesÂ canÂ follow toÂ maximize accuracy and efficiency.
The safety, practicality, and sustainability of new building designs wouldÂ alsoÂ get tested in aÂ digital twin withÂ feedback just as accurate as if the test was executed in real life.Â For instance, a virtual twin of newly installed scaffolding would monitor every single piece of metal, measure their most important stress points and show developers whichÂ locationsÂ are under stress. ThisÂ outcomeÂ is capable of saving lives in the real world by utilizing a virtual one.
Mining:Â Virtual simulations prove to be extremely useful when planning schedules and operations. By simulating the work environment,Â minersÂ are able to create long-term and short-term schedules and create accurate estimates for drilling, crushing and extraction work andÂ determineÂ what the end product results will be.Â By simulating the equipment, machinery, and the entire work process, on-site workersÂ areÂ able to test new methodologies on their most crucial work processes in a very cost-effective manner because no capitalÂ isÂ required to accurately find out what works â€“ every test will be executed inÂ the digital twin, using the same exact machinery and equipment.Â The twin enables you toÂ perform stockpile and volumetric measurements, line measurements and grade checksÂ â€“ all safely and accurately.
Solar:Â While using a digital twin is a staple for those tech-savvy construction and mining companies, it is a relatively new tool for solar stakeholders.Â IfÂ solar siteÂ developers would have the ability to test out their ideas in reality-based simulations that would involve all the necessary real-world factorsÂ (e.g.Â panel angle, weather,Â spacing,Â etc.), the total timeframe during which they couldÂ plan their siteÂ and get them approved would be cutÂ exponentially.Â Think about resolving issues, markingÂ panel replacements, linking in-the-field measurements, correlating thermal inspection data with insights coming from your monitoring systems, all without being on the site in-person or changing a real-world asset.Â You donâ€™t need to send a human into the field to take measurements, improving overall safety as well as optimizing efficiency.Â In the future, we plan to integrate even more data into the digital twin, such as data derived from monitoring systems and also allow you to use that data in other applications.
TheÂ Sitemark FuseÂ platformÂ generates a 3D digital twin of your entireÂ solar or constructionÂ site, giving you a complete digital replica that can be measured, analyzed and tracked for all your future operational requirements.Â We also believe in an open system and integrate with other tools through APIâ€™s. Giving you aÂ sneak peekÂ regarding an upcoming feature that further helps build the digital twin is BYOD â€“ the ability toÂ bring your own dataÂ for input on the Fuse platform. This means you can useÂ data that’s not related to drones; youÂ could upload Lidar point clouds, scanner point clouds and satellite data for example. Keep an eye on our website for upcoming availability!
At Sitemark, our goal is to fuse together the digital and the physical worldsÂ delivering valuableÂ insights. Our vision is to build out the digital twin for the solar, construction and quarryingÂ industriesÂ to gather all information in a single place.Â The possibilities are endless, and weÂ look forwardÂ to exploringÂ them with you.