Beyond If Beyond If

How Digital Twin and Analytics Improve Operations, Minimize Costs

What if we showed you how a Jacobs-designed simulation platform is driving savings in the industrial water space using digital twin analytics to minimize resource usage?

Green process equipment

What’s the common thread between Minnesota’s professional baseball team, Vin Diesel and Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap? They’re all twins.

About one in every 32 children is born a twin, accounting for roughly three percent of the population and ironically, both Jacobs Global Digital Solutions Director Raja Kadiyala and one of the Replica developers Matt Deavenport, fathered twins. The twinning rate has doubled over the last two decades but spotting a set of twins at the supermarket or on your TV screen is still a fun, somewhat remarkable occurrence. In today’s technological world however, digital representations of physical assets, processes and systems – or digital twins – are rapidly becoming a preferred practice across markets from buildings and railway lines to wastewater treatment and manufacturing plants.

By 2020, IDC expects that 30% of Forbes Global 2000 companies will use data from digital twins of Internet of Things (IoT) -connected products and assets to improve product innovation success rates and organization productivity.

But what if we showed you how a Jacobs-designed simulation platform and digital analytics are rapidly developing digital twin models – right now – for water and industrial water-related processes, helping a customer improve operation performance, while minimizing energy and chemical usage?

  • 33 %

    reduction in energy consumption using control logic operational improvements [confidential private sector client]

  • 2022

    when Gartner predicted digital twins would reach peak productivity 

“We surveyed 30 of our water and wastewater utility partners about big data management in 2017. Resoundingly, respondents noted that the Internet of Things and big data analytics could not only optimize their operations, but also predict system failures before catastrophic results. Digital replicas of actual systems, processes and assets can be used for synthetic data generation, prediction, optimization and scenario analysis, helping utilities unleash the power of data to drive unprecedented savings.”

Raja Kadiyala

Jacobs Global Digital Solutions Director

Engineering on the digital edge

New digital technologies are delivering more sophisticated and interconnected infrastructure solutions than ever before. At the same time, these technologies are increasing both the volume and the quality of data at our fingertips. IoT-connected devices generate around 2.5 quintillion bytes worth of data each day, which can be used to drive better project, asset management and business outcomes.

With sensor prices declining by an expected 50% in the last decade, implementing new technology like digital twins is more affordable than ever before. Digital twins are underpinned by a rich pool of data, made up of information from various sources or “modules”’ brought together in a single digital space or Common Data Environment (CDE). The modules vary depending on individual project and client requirements and can be adjusted over the project lifecycle to reflect the data requirements at each stage of construction.

Energizing results – Replica in practice

When one of our clients faced poor performance from their industrial water distribution system that fed key production processes, they turned to Jacobs to drive savings and limit process interruptions and downtime through digital twin analytics.

We developed the Replica digital twin software platform to quickly produce simulations of the client’s water and industrial water processes. Using these hi-fidelity dynamic simulation models, Replica Hydraulics™ and Replica Controls™ accurately portrayed intricate process dynamics and allowed what-if scenarios to be carried out in the digital domain. Replica also allows teams to validate the optimized solutions within the physical process control system (SCADA) hardware to bridge the divide between the digital simulation and the physical hardware.

This pivotal tool allowed our client to improve their operation performance, while lessening the amount of energy they used. Through the development of a digital twin, we could understand system dynamics at a much deeper level, leading to the identification of process improvements. We then validated improvements under a wide set of operating conditions and can perform further validation by linking the digital twin with the revised control logic on the physical process control system. This bridge between the simulated environment with the digital twin to the physical environment allows us to vet the end solution prior to final implementation – and for this client, these identified process improvements helped reduce energy consumption by 33%.

Interested in learning more about how Jacobs transforms intangible ideas into intelligent solutions for a more connected, sustainable world?

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