When it comes to digital twins, however, we are talking about a perfect virtual model of a physical production plan and its processes. We are well on our way to achieving that goal in different industries,” says Kari Manner of Cadmatic.
“In digital twins, Cadmatic sees the ability to combine all information from a production plant’s operating systems to allow an overall analysis through a single tool. We have given this a lot of attention, with a special focus on life-cycle management,” says Manner.
According to him, the division into two main types based on different uses, i.e. during construction and conversion projects and during the production phase digital twin, is important. The first consists of a combination of data-rich 3D models generated by engineering systems and systems used in construction projects. These include purchasing, project management, cost monitoring, resource management, change management, and occupational safety systems. Cadmatic’s ultimate aim is to keep the project within the agreed budget and schedule. At the end of the project, the digital twin used in the project is handed over with the plant, and its purpose changes to a tool to support the plant’s operation. The data models aligned with the built facility are connected to the maintenance, process automation, HSE and other systems used.
“Operators and plant owners have begun seeing the value of a digital twin as a tool to support the plant’s utilisation. One example of this is the elimination of thousands of drawings used during construction that become obsolete.,” Manner points out.
Agile development driven by customer needs
The people at Cadmatic note that investment projects are becoming very challenging, with almost unrealistic schedules and budgets. The main reason for this trend has been unpredictable volatility in the market for end products. In turn, the pre-planning and decision-making process for investment projects is short and involves risks.
“Whereas before it was possible to focus on good pre-planning, nowadays we have no choice but to base our conclusions about many matters on the assumptions of experts. In practice, this often leads to a situation where foundation excavations are already underway at the construction site while the detail engineering is in many respects incomplete. The risk of errors grows, and the schedule doesn’t even need to be off by much for the whole project to be become chaotic. The cure for this is change management. Passing the information on any required changes from the construction site to engineering is one of the most essential skills,” states Manner.
Cadmatic focusses on software in its area of expertise to enable the engineering, construction and operation of anything from wood-processing bioproduct plants to cruise ships. Agile software is developed to integrate with other software companies within the same chain of events, so that the customer can choose the best tools based on their needs.
Text Leif Lindberg