Simulation and digital twin technology has a wide variety of uses that plants can leverage for faster projects and better operations. Recently, Chemical Processing magazine took a deeper dive into those uses, interviewing industry experts such as Emerson’s own Dustin Beebe.
Dustin shared some of the many ways digital twin technology can be used as a training and operations testing tool. The process is actually quite intuitive. Before project work begins, engineers create a digital twin—an exact digital replica—of the plant environment.
That replica serves a number of purposes across the lifecycle of the plant. First, it can be used to engineer, tune, and refine processes and equipment, helping both to reduce testing time and eliminate costly late-stage changes in capital projects.
More thorough, faster learning
Project design is only the beginning of the value of a digital twin. One of the most exciting things about digital twins is they can also be used as a training tool to bring operators up to speed in parallel with project implementation. When a project team employs fit-for-purpose digital twin tools—like Emerson’s Mimic™ simulation software—they can create a training environment that perfectly replicates what operators will see in their day to day tasks. And what’s more, that training can begin before equipment even starts arriving on site. Dustin shared an example of a chemical manufacturer,
“The company relied heavily on training to bring personnel up to speed so they could run at peak performance from the moment the plant started up.”
Geeta Pherwani of AspenTech cited another chemical manufacturing project that used dynamic simulation technology to more effectively train operators. At that site, the project team used digital twins to ensure both new and experienced operators would be ready to handle abnormal conditions, such as startup and shutdown, as well as processes to reduce flaring and improve safety.
And the benefits add up. Dustin estimates that early implementation of simulation software translates to savings of up to six weeks of project time.
To learn more about how technologies like Emerson’s Mimic simulation software can drive value across the lifecycle of plant operations, read the article in its entirety over at Chemical Processing. And while you’re here, I’d love to hear how you use simulation in your own environment. Please feel free to comment below and share your story!