There is a (purportedly true) story about twins who were put up for adoption and separated at birth in the 1940s. When they met for the first time at the age of thirty-nine, it turned out that both men had married twice – first to women named Linda, and then to women named Betty. Both had identically named childhood dogs. Their sons’ names were James Allen and James Alan. Both worked as sheriff’s deputies and had the same preferences for various products, right down to the car they drove.
That is how harmonized twins can be, down to the basic DNA level – true of human beings themselves and of their creation – digital twins. Asset systems, their constituent assets and components within assets are always evolving – changes driven by how the system and asset constituents react and respond to various triggers, whether age or operating condition related. Such changes have a direct bearing on process effectivity, and, therefore, an impact on overall operational and commercial performance of plants.
Many of these changes happen in a black box – invisible to plant owners and operatives, who continue to act on intuition or use traditional methods for asset maintenance and manufacturing operations management. Digital twins help demystify this black box by providing an essential replica of the physical asset, system or process in digital form
, enabling interventions by people at the plant before problem occurs. Digital twins help understand and assess impact of any intervention in digital form first, before making that intervention in the physical world; thus helping run process plants most optimally and achieve overall performance objectives