In May Innosuisse awarded ZHAW the principle researcher and HSLU as the project management lead in a Smart Twins project (full name is “Digital Twin-based Services in industrial product-service system environments”). Dr Shaun West, Lucerne University, gives us an overview of the project...
The promise of the Digital Twin in an industrial product service systemThe concept is that in an industrial project service system, there are many digital twins and that they are able to collaborate together over the whole of the asset life cycle. The twins are also able to communicate between the business and technical layers. Digital Twins operate in the complex world of people, processes and things.
The purpose of the Digital Twin is to provide situation-specific advice to different actors in the complex ecosystem in which they operate. They are able to support the decision making by providing advice to these actors in a form that allows an action to be taken.
The Digital Twin follows the principles of the service-dominant logic and is able to operate in complex product-service system ecosystem, to support the delivery of service platforms, and to assist with value co-creation. The Digital Twin will never have all available data but rather have to support the ambiguity of the real-world problem and the wicked problems the actors are faced with.
The challenge we faceThe digitalization of manufacturing business processes has been ongoing for decades, and stakeholders in value chains already have pyramids of layered information systems. The existence of those systems does not mean that value networks operate in seamless, transparent, sustainable and effective way. The following challenges remain:
• The silo effect has not actually relieved and interfaces are only partially developed.
• Too many overlapping standards and vendor specific platforms make interconnections laborious.
• Lack of secure exchange of data and clear data ownership.
• No reliable life cycle analysis tools and data sources.
• Poor use and exploitation of IoT-generated streaming data.
• Missing customer involvement in circular-empowered benefits (need of new “use” models).
• The industry needs good examples, which are not available.
Expected outcomes for the industry• Consultancy support and review for the design of Digital Twins
› Book of use cases, benchmarking of concepts and business models
› Innovation processes lessons for the design of digital services
• Prototypes for selected application companies in different environments and layers as well as lifecycle phases
› Sharing of experiences
› Integration of new innovation processes (e.g., hackathon-like environments)
• Best practices showing how to design and build Digital Twin based Smart Services from different industrial segments
› Lab-based production test facility to test generic concepts
› Different use cases from different segments
› New technologies that jump between application layers
› Common lessons from the other industrial partners
DetailsThe project is partially funded by Innosuisse.
Industrial partners are: Siemens, SBB, Shiptec, Prosim, Veragouth and Mebag Academic partners are: ZHAW, HSLU, SUPSI and EPFL
The project started on the 1 May 2019 and will end on 30 October 2020