In a reversal of the infrastructure sector’s initial general hesitance to switch from two-dimensional drawings to BIM, the last couple of years have seen a growing client appetite for taking BIM to the next level through data – and analytics-driven digital twins, according to Cory Dippold, a vice president in Mott MacDonald’s New York office who heads the company’s new Digital Twin solutions group in North America. “We’re pushing against an open door”, he says.
What is a Digital Twin?
Digital twins are data-animated 3D model of real-world assets. They generate value over the lifecycle of the asset, from design and construction through operations and maintenance, by generating insights that inform decisions to improve outcomes in the physical world.
What distinguishes a digital twin from any other model is its near-live link to its real-world twin. The digital entity is continually updated with data federated from a variety of sources – sensors, SCADA systems, customer billings, images, drone or laser surveys, GPS, manufacturers’ data and others – so that it always offers a realistic representation of the asset (or process or system) as it evolves through time.