Navy leaders say this notion of a “Digital Twin” is not just an interesting idea, it’s an urgent imperative.
“The Digital Twin concept is critical. To pace the threat, we must have an agile testing methodology, which allows for the complexities presented by new automation and technologies. We need to understand how we test in the future with artificial intelligence.”
Military planners and technology leaders on the industry side agree that with the rise of big data, and the ready availability of massive compute power, Digital Twins could dramatically improve maintenance regimens and lead to more efficient introduction of new and emerging systems.
As the name suggests, a Digital Twin is a computer-based model of a mechanical or electrical system. “You take a machine and make a computerized replica of that machine. For the Navy it solves a lot of critical issues.”
Those issues primarily have to do with maintenance and, by extension, readiness. Digital twins could help by paring back routine maintenance in favor of as-needed repairs.
“Rather than saying a ship must come in at six months, you can maybe keep that ship out there longer, because you are working with known data as opposed to just guessing. That gives us greater mission readiness and it gives us cost reduction. The less often you pull in a ship for maintenance, the less it costs.”
Digital twins also could help the Navy to rapidly prototype new systems, and to ensure those systems align with real-world needs. “The idea is to take the lessons learned from working with digital models and use that information to improve designs of the future fleet.
For this vision to come to fruition, however, industry and military leadership will need to lean heavily on big data processing techniques and emerging artificial intelligence capabilities.
“It’s the organization, structuring, contextualization and analysis of data to produce actionable information and to help us make decisions. Right now, we are at a point where the generation of data is so easy and so cheap that it would be an oversight of us not to take advantage of it.”
While engineers can deliver detailed digital models of complex systems, it’s the artificial intelligence that brings those models to life, allowing them to mimic the operation of real-world counterparts. “It needs the ability to think like a human, to know when something is not working right.”
Digital Twins are already deployed in the network world, where virtual computing allows engineers to easily replicate entire computer networks. If a system is compromised, they need only access the master copy to replace the corrupt version with a pristine iteration.
For the military to implement a mechanical version of this – to model in exact detail a jet engine, for instance, and then make maintenance decisions based on that model – a new approach may be required.
“The technical framework is there for it. Now we need to expand people’s imagination and expand their comfort zone. “If we’re talking about key pieces of aircraft structure, people are going to have some reservations about that. Right now, it’s about gaining trust in the technology.”
“Tool provides an assignment board where you can evaluate depot maintenance technicians skills by using an auto network function”
Once maintenance depots have production lines running at full capacity, hundreds to thousands of products can be created during the workday. Yet those long production runs can come to a screeching halt due to malfunctioning machinery.
This problem leaves supervisors in a bind as they are scrambling to organize paper work orders to get a technician out on the facility floor. Who is the right worker for the maintenance service job, and are they available for this shift?
Tool provides manufacturers, distributors and other asset-intensive service enterprises with the network application they need to translate maintenance data into field service.
Maintenance and repair services are inevitable tasks that every field unit has to deal with. However, scheduling those tasks, getting in contact with the qualified technician who can do the specific job, and providing techs with the required spare parts can take up precious time and effort that your depot doesn’t have in large supply. Maintenance service departments are still relying on paper documents to be filled out by hand and faxed to their offices.
Tool changes the maintenance service field by automating all these services with their mobile solutions. Tool is a manufacturing service and repair software designed for depots and distributors so they can turn their maintenance technicians into a mobile workforce. A workforce who can schedule maintenance tasks, update spare parts inventory, obtain instant maintenance change orders, perform inspections and do other tasks whether they are in the office or out in the field.
Technicians are carrying parts, tools and everything else they need to complete the job. Carrying around paper documents becomes aggravating as the paperwork gets shuffled about on office desks or vehicle dashboards if technicians have to travel to the job. Work order management software allows the technician to pull up the service repair information right on their mobile smartphone, laptop or tablet device. They can read the location, order number and work type that must be performed.
The technicians can update the order information to detail the work they provided, parts that were used, and any follow-up repair details. Then they can instantly send this information to the office so that the supervisor can review service performance. The software allows real-time data sharing that can be used to improve repair and maintenance services provided by the technicians as well as monitor inventory levels of spare parts so you can order more when supplies run low.
Every technician has a particular skillset that makes them an expert regarding certain types of machinery and tools. Once you find the right technician to complete the job, you can then drag and drop work orders into each technician’s specific work board. An automated alert is sent immediately to the technician’s mobile device to tell them about the pending work order that needs completed.
Visually Track Technicians to Assign Work Based on Location
You may already have a technician in a specific part of the depot facility when another mechanical emergency arises. The visual schedule display has GPS tracking software integrated into the system as you know where technicians are by viewing the available map.
With this visual schedule display, you can:
Check technician’s work status at the specified location to see how much time they will spend at the worksite.
Pull up maintenance order statuses on the same screen as you can better decide which worker should do the tasks based on location.
Know where workers are instantly when they are moving to their next work location
Arrange work orders into specific categories based on the technician’s availability.
In addition, knowing where workers are can allow the supervisor to increase the level of service that his technicians offer based on how long the worker is at a particular jobsite. They can determine if the work is taking the technician too long to complete on their own, as they can see if there are any additional technicians nearby that could provide additional assistance.
Scheduling and Visual Tracking at Your Fingertips
Tool makes maintenance tasks easier for supervisors so that they can efficiently move their technician workforce to the right locations and send only those employees who are best for the job. Yet this is way more to this integrated software than just maintenance scheduling and creating digital work orders that can be used on mobile devices.
Stay tuned for our next installment that will talk about how Tool can help improve inventory management for maintenance departments by offering spare parts ordering management as well as providing key benefits when performing regular equipment inspections.
Tool makes it super simple and inexpensive to upgrade your existing equipment with easily attached component and electrical sensors that monitor critical systems and assets. With tool, you’ll know exactly what’s going on with today’s machines, so you’ll avoid unplanned downtime and dramatically increase productivity and profits.
Tool sensors are placed directly on your machines or components to automatically monitor condition. The sensor data transmits to an easy-to-install gateway and is then sent to servers running powerful analytics. Results are transmitted from the server to a user-friendly app, where you will view real time machine condition and maintenance advice.
Far beyond the monitoring capabilities and trending packages being touted by new entrants to the field of predictive maintenance and analytics, products ‘listen’ to key assets and components to detect changing health and operating conditions long before the machine controller issues a warning or alarm condition.
Machine control data typically only shows process data, whereas tool actually analyzes the data from vital machine components, such as gearboxes, heaters, pumps and more.
The prescriptive maintenance solution provides actionable maintenance advice and allows you to schedule maintenance at a convenient time rather than suffer a costly shut down.
Power Analyzer diagnoses everyday electrical problems including costly issues that can result in lengthy downtime such as motor burnout, control and display memory loss, and failing transformers, capacitors and more.
Power Analyzer uses edge analytics technology to capture, interpret and diagnose the data obtained from electrical components and internal power distribution.
Easy-to-understand dashboard gauges warn users of pending failure of stator windings, motor bearings and heaters as well as all common power line issues such as sag, swell, harmonics, ground faults and imbalances.
The data is presented in a manner that it is easily understood by personnel regardless of any electrical engineering experience. Every manufacturer has electrical issues. These issues can and will affect productivity, machine performance and electrical costs.
Tool is designed to help diagnose everyday electrical issues and present them in a way that can be easily understood by maintenance and management alike, regardless of experience on electrical components and related issues.
Historic data is available through equipment performance trend lines. And, a streamlined dashboard interface delivers a clear summary of the powerful analytics for all monitored equipment, neatly organized by department and location.
Tool offers easy-to-understand diagnostic and actionable maintenance advice via text or email messages and handheld or desktop dashboards, in advance of machine or component failure. No manual data analysis is required.
The Pump Analyzer monitors operating condition and trend health of pumps and blowers in various industrial applications. The Pump Analyzer sensors easily attach to the pump exterior and constantly measure vibration plus ambient temperature and pressure. A plug-in connection reliably powers the sensor, unlike competitive units that rely on batteries for power.
Pump Analyzer proprietary analytics algorithm tracks and compares the collected data against a baseline to determine overall pump condition. Filter status, oil status, pump utilization or pressure level trends are all constantly monitored. Visualization of valuable operating metrics is delivered through easy-to-understand mobile and desktop dashboards
The easy-to-install Component Analyzer constantly tracks the operating conditions trends of rotating components in industrial machinery. Easy-to-understand icons direct users to view component health trends displaying months of operating history.
Customizable threshold values allow users to identify preferred maintenance conditions, unhealthy operating conditions, or deteriorated component condition.
Time Domain data sampling methods enable continuous trend monitoring to spot anomalies and repeatable events that occur under changing process or operating conditions, allowing early detection of developing component conditions issues, and the operating trends that may be causing them.
Traditional Frequency-Domain data and analytics add enhanced diagnosis capabilities for bearing and gearbox faults initially, with other device libraries being added each month. Visualization of key operating and analytic results are conveniently delivered 24/7 via web browser or mobile app in easy-to-understand dashboard gauges, and via email/text alerts. No advanced training or expertise is needed.
In the manufacturing world, improving the utilization of assets and increased productivity are among the most important goals. Reliable assets reduce downtime, improve production quality and get product out the door faster.
The most effective approach is to use a predictive maintenance solution that readily installs to your existing equipment and has a powerful analytics software package that will collect data from your monitored equipment in real time, compare the data with established baselines, assess the condition of the equipment and use analytics to effectively manage maintenance activities.
With tool, you’ll know exactly what’s going on with your machines so that you can avoid unplanned downtime and dramatically increase productivity and profits. Ask us how we can help implement a predictive Digital Twin maintenance program for you today!
1. Routine maintenance includes cleaning, installing updates, etc.
2. Repairs to equipment that has stopped performing its assigned function or is performing its function inadequately.
3. Companies lack awareness of when equipment is due for maintenance, upgrade or replacement
4. Downtime is due to machinery failure/malfunction
5. Poorly maintained equipment results in lost production time and lost profits. Unscheduled repairs are costly
6. Installing predictive maintenance equipment helps to determine the condition of your process to provide actionable intelligence to warn of impending failure if reported issues are not addressed.
7. The ideal predictive maintenance system will allow for scheduling of maintenance prior to equipment failure, which will help to eliminate unplanned downtime, reduce repair costs and equipment failures and slow asset deterioration.
8. Predictive maintenance program far less expensive than a reactive program
9. Wearable-solutions all non-invasively upgrade today’s equipment today.
10. Simple and inexpensive to upgrade your existing equipment with easy-to- attach component and electrical sensors to monitor critical systems and assets.