Whatever the facility, it is essential to have up-to-date and accurate information on energy costs.
The term digital twin refers to digital, virtual copies of physical objects that offer a wealth of support and convenience to each individual user.
In effect, it combines the accuracy of 3D models with the visual richness of high-resolution panoramic images to give a completely accurate picture of every tiny detail.
Thanks to this 3D visualisation technology, all changes during a construction project can be tracked and traced back to the individual processes even after the building has been handed over.
Digital twins of buildings, tools and technical equipment not only support day-to-day operations, but also bring significant benefits in terms of design and documentation.
The strength of the digital twin is that you do not have to be there live to get all the details and data.
With the digital twin, you can find out everything you need to know about a location from anywhere with just one click. Of course, this is only really effective if the twin is constantly updated, as it is the constant input of new data that allows you to get a truly ‘live’ picture.
Of course, this also requires the right technology. If you have it, you can create a digital twin by taking regular photos, which you can then view in any browser.
How is this supposed to work?
Every detail of the works in progress will be photographed, digitised and data captured. This is then uploaded into a customised system and a user CAFM interface is created. CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management)is a facility management system that helps you keep everything under control at the same time. Suppose that as a maintenance technician you do not know where a piece of machinery you are looking for is located under the floor. If a digital twin was created when the building was started, this information can be retrieved, and the problem can be solved quickly and easily with just a few clicks.
The benefits of combining digital twin and CAFM systems range from easy-to-understand, graphical information, to ensuring the organisation’s operational conditions, to maximising cost-effectiveness.
How is the survey and data collection done?
The creation of a digital twin and its continuous updating is based on taking photos. Whether it is a modification or a system replacement, for example, it is enough to take new photos of these and upload them, and the twin will be updated automatically. However, along with the visual information, data such as a measurement or the data of a master process can also be recorded. Based on the images, accurate information points with 3-dimensional coordinates can be generated, which remain available and up to date as soon as a fresh image is received. In this way all data will be retrievable.
During the construction of a building, we take panoramic photos at every stage of the construction process so that you can retrace the most important events. When these are processed, the system then calculates where the camera was positioned at the time of capture and uses this information to find the exact location of the images in the 3D coordinate system. This allows photorealistic digital twins to be created automatically.
As a simple, off-the-shelf camera is enough to take photos, there is no need to hire an expensive external professional to take them. In some cases, users can take them themselves, and often a camera on a mobile phone will suffice.
In addition, the data can also come from elsewhere, as the application can be connected to an external system. This means you can see maintenance information, work schedules and other documents, videos and even activate control commands. If you want, you can also record comments or even take measurements directly on the image.
In what areas can digital twins be used?
It can also be a huge help in industry, healthcare facilities and monuments, as well as in the real estate sector. Thanks to digital twins, it is possible to plan the necessary changes in whatever area you are talking about, helping you to be as cost-effective as possible. All the relevant information is available at any time, whether it is maintenance, commissioning, planning, renovation or just checking how a project is progressing.
In industrial applications, this technology can deliver significant improvements in both energy consumption and sustainability, while significantly reducing both costs and carbon footprint. Of course, this can only be achieved if we work with accurate, credible and validated data.
Loading and customising BIM models into CAFM
BIM (Building Information Modelling) helps to simulate and optimise the design and construction processes of buildings using comprehensive digital models. This includes the life cycle and operation of buildings. Thanks to BIM models, detailed information on any building component can be obtained at any time.
This model is therefore the perfect basis for the design and can be loaded into the CAFM system with alphanumeric data. This makes things easier for the user, making processes smoother, faster and more efficient. It can also help to make decisions that would probably be much harder to make without it. For example, it can make it easier to see how to plan the allocation of an office.
This process can also be helpful in the case of an existing operational facility where spatial data are missing. Once the BIM building information model has been created, loading into the CAFM system will begin, which will then be customised to meet individual needs.