‘Testing the water' - How can the use of Digital Twins improve our future?

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The concept of a digital twin is that we use a live and dynamic digital representation the real world to enable us to do things better. Our starting point is that this is likely to be in three main areas:

  • Improved customer / employee experience – this could be around H&S, incident response, training, optimised field services / work management;
  • improved productivity / reduced whole life cost – this could be include efficient investment delivery, extended asset life, reduced energy / chemical use; and
  • facilitated innovation – the idea that the digital twin could be a safe environment in which to test and experiment, without risking real-world consequences.

There are organisations already building and using versions of digital twins, so we thought we’d start by understanding what others have done and how it might benefit our business. We are planning three stands of work, working together initially to explore the art of the possible but separating to work on:

  • developing a roadmap that will enable us and our partners to plan development and investment needed in this area over the next 3-5 years;
  • develop business cases for how we might use the technology in the short term, along with proposals for what we would need to do to make it happen; and
  • a recreation of an operational incident, to show what benefits accrue from being able to visualise and plan on the fly, as an incident evolves.