Some of the most exciting advancements in automation software and analytics are happening in simulation. As Monil Malhotra recently shared in an interview with Jim Montague at Control magazine, data analytics are everywhere, and the information we pull from that data is driving incredible technology advancements that are changing the way plants operate.
Perhaps one of the most exciting advancements is the predictive capabilities now available with digital twin simulations. As Monil explains,
“Highly-contextualized information can be used in analytics tools like digital twin simulations to predict future performance, production, emissions and other parameters, so users can take action sooner.”
In short, plants can run parallel digital twins. One that is kept as close as possible to the current plant and process conditions to be used for training and testing of new control strategies. The other, runs “in the future.” This forward-looking digital twin runs at 10-50 times normal speed, using the current plant conditions as a model.
From a predictive maintenance perspective, the results are staggering. The forward-looking digital twin can predict what conditions will be like hours into the future. Operations and maintenance teams can use that data to make more informed decisions, more easily keeping processes on-spec, and dramatically reducing outages and trips.
This future view is particularly valuable for plants delivering contracted amounts of product to customers. Knowing how an equipment outage or process change will cascade across operations helps these organizations adjust operations for changes in demand and to maintain regulatory compliance.
The future-focused digital twin also helps operators to push their performance to the highest levels. As Monil explains, if a team wants to push the boundaries of its operations,
“Pre-configured conditional alerts will inform operators how many hours it will take before problems occur, such as losing a compressor, compressor plant or injection plant, or other conditions that could cause a network imbalance.”
Predictive digital twin technology is perfectly positioned to help today’s process manufacturers meet their most difficult challenges, including increased sustainability, safer and more efficient operations, and more flexible manufacturing.
A leader in simulation technology, Emerson’s Ovation™ power control software and DeltaV™ distributed control system both offer comprehensive software packages for advanced digital twin simulation. In addition, capabilities of Emerson’s majority-owned AspenTech business are likely to be integrated with these and other Emerson software packages in the near future, enhancing the value of simulation from FEED across the lifecycle of operation.
To learn more about the benefits of simulation, including real-world examples of predictive simulation in use, you can read the article in its entirety at Control.