Unlocking the value of a digital twin
The ability to access design, maintenance, and performance data for every part of a production system is valuable. Digital twins deliver the ability, but a digital twin alone doesn’t provide access.
Individual applications often deliver access for specific needs: an A/R application for maintenance, or a V/R environment for operator training. There are two problems with this approach.
The most obvious problem is expense. Time expense and budget expense. Every application is individually spec’d, sourced, and implemented – from the ground up. Every time.
The second problem is the limitations inherent in individual applications. Production processes are complex processes. The processes are closely linked and contain many interdependencies. Individual applications which are designed for specific tasks, even if very valuable, have strict limits. Synchronizing results from one task to the rest of the system can be complicated while at the same time, it is essential.
If you could bring the entire factory digital twin to life, how would you do it?
The future of production work will be joining the factory with its digital twin
Build a data-centric system
The value of a digital twin is accessing 100% of the data for your production facility. Naturally we use specific applications for specific data – CAD design, production performance, quality metrics, etc. What if you could have a single system, a platform, that could deliver data from any system to any user with the most appropriate user interface?
That is what Omniverse looks like to many companies. BMW, Daimler, and other manufacturing companies are using Omniverse to bring their factories and, by definition, their production processes, to life.
Why use Omniverse?
This problem is not about Omniverse itself. The problem is to create a platform to access a wide range of data and to control a wide range of processes. And if teams can digitally access any data and control any process, then your digital twin has been born.
To be clear, Omniverse doesn’t do this by itself. Also, developing on such a platform inside any company must proceed step-by-step. However, the beauty of Omniverse becomes clear when you recognize that Omniverse is not a VR environment with lots of extra features, rather that Omniverse is a platform for applications which can include virtual reality, simulation, physics simulation, training environments, and so much more.
In fact, an Omniverse system can be developed to a level at which it becomes the work environment for many teams – individually as well as collaboratively.
And what does that mean?
Omniverse is not a silver bullet. Rather Omniverse is a strong foundation. Your company’s expertise in the wide range of departments contributing to the creation of your digital twin is essential to making that twin come to life.
Automation companies like Siemens use Omniverse as the platform for integrating diverse sources of digital twin data for their clients (Xcelerator). Siemens customers like BMW are well down the path of breathing life into BMW’s factory digital twins. And the company expects big gains siting a target of 30% improvements and cost savings for their production facilities.
The good news for you is that Omniverse is available for download for workstations. If you are investigating, just starting a project, or have modest initial goals, you can start risk-free. At the point that your requirements expand, Omniverse will scale with your projects.
A Final Perspective
If you haven’t brought your digital twins to life, then you are not gaining the full benefit of your digital twin investment. So many individual tools are available today to extract that value, but none come close to providing a platform for applications in the way Omniverse can.
Going down this path requires commitment and additional investment. Yet the payoff of realizing a real, live digital twin can be enormous. And with a risk-free path to investigate and start projects, isn’t it worth it?
Below: The CEOs of Siemens, NVIDIA, and BMW discuss bring digital twins to life at BMW production facilities.