Digital twins

The digital twin concept refers to a situation where a system is connected to a digital copy. The digital version offers a complete and up to date representation of the actual system, based on a.o. sensor readings. Operators can use it to analyse problems and find solutions without having to go and shut down the real system. Through simulation with the digital twin, operators can predict how the system will react when changes are made to the settings.

A digital twin consists of three elements: a computer model, data from sensors and algorithms for analysis and optimization. VORtech provides services for each of these aspects.

Developing and improving a computer model

A digital twin that must follow the behavior of a system will incorporate a dynamic model of the system. VORtech is specialized in developing such models. Different approaches are possible:

VORtech is particularly adept in making models faster, more robust and more reliable. Those are essential aspects. A digital twin will not be useful if the model is too slow or unreliable.

 

A computer model of a data centre, coupled to a limited number of sensor readings, shows where temperatures are higher than expected.

Keeping the model close to the real system

A digital twin is only useful if it accurately reflects the status of the actual system. Hence, the model should be kept close to the real thing. VORtech is one of the lead developers of the open source package that does just that: OpenDA.  It offers a variety of methods to calibrate a model and to correct it based on incoming data. To use OpenDA, access to the model’s source code is not essential: it can also be used with commercial simulation packages.

Control and optimization with a digital twin

Often, the task of the digital twin is to control or optimize a system. This is ultimately a mathematical question. VORtech knows the algorithms that are available to solve it. We can implement them or, if you want to implement them yourself, we can give you directions.

Coupling the digital twin to the actual system

A digital twin has functionality for the automated collection of data. It can present the data and model results to the user in a clear way. VORtech knows how to develop these aspects.

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