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Digitally Modelling Operational Assets

A Digital Twin gives invaluable insights into your system, plant, real world asset or entity. Giving you a complete picture of what it was designed for, what has happened historically, is happening in real time and what might happen or is going to happen in the future.

The Digital Asset or Living Twin, represents the real-time attributes, collects the history of and provides the basis for predicting the future operation of the asset. It is fundamental to the operational element of the digital twin.

By digitally modelling your operational assets with Wonderware System Platform 2017, you can gain insight beyond traditional SCADA visualisation. It brings all the aspects of your asset together in one consolidated view across the areas of:

  • Monitoring and control
  • Asset performance and maintenance
  • Operations process management, performance and optimisation
  • Information analytics (from historical, through to predictive and prescriptive)

Deon van Aardt, one of our Systems Architects, recently took attendees of our Digitalisation Roadshow through an in-depth look at how to digitally model operational assets. Discussing the benefits to be gained by doing so.

Here we speak to Deon to learn more:


What does digitalisation mean to you?

Using digital technologies to be innovative in the way that we run a business. Using the technologies, we can change traditional business models and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities.

This leads to digital transformation within an organisation, bringing about new and better ways to enhance workforce productivity.


How would you advise someone to begin their digitalisation journey? What’s the best place to start?

Digitalisation should be approached in a staged manner, but with a clear strategy, goal and roadmap. Key to this is to select the correct platform to use on this journey.

You’ve got to start with the right foundation and build gradually on top of this. To do this the platform you select should provide you with the ability to start small and scale as large as is required to facilitate an enterprise wide solution.

It must have the ability to facilitate the convergence of OT and IT systems. It must be able to bring together all the information about your assets, from all relevant systems, and give them real context so that you can clearly understand current performance and predicting future behaviour.

Users should have an intuitive experience (UX) with the system so that minimal training is required when introducing the new technology.

All mobile platforms and browsers must be supported by the system to make information universally available.


What are the drivers for modelling your assets?

The goal of digital transformation and creating a digital model of our assets is to enhance the Asset and Operational Life Cycles.

We need to maximise the return on asset investments by ensuring a safe and reliable environment for the workforce. Whilst improving operational efficiency to maximise profitability.

Ultimately digital transformation can only be successful if it has a real business impact.


What is the main principal behind digital asset modelling? How does it work?

We use a standardised approach, by creating templates for the different type of assets that we have so that we can describe our assets in a generic way and us them across the organisation.

This will reduce the cost of implementation and provide a consistent way to view the model of our asset.

Fundamental to the model of an asset, is the ability to gather information from different systems but represent them in a unified framework.


What is the business benefit of digitally modelling your operational assets?

One of the biggest benefits we can get from this is that our workforce can identify value leaks in the organisation very rapidly so that they can be fixed. This is done by giving them the ability to make decisions that are data driven rather than opinion based.

By having a glimpse of the future, our workforce has the ability to pro-actively manage assets.

By providing one version of the truth it provides a framework for collaboration between people and departments. It enhances tribal knowledge and the ability to solve problems as a team.


A demonstration by Deon of digitally modelling your operational assets in Wonderware System Platform 2017 can be downloaded here.