A digital twin has four key elements: simulation and visualisation, networked communications, embedded software, and control & automation. Each of the four elements requires careful design and specification in order to ensure the Client’s mission and goals are fully met. The process of building a Digital Twin can start at any stage of a product, or project lifecycle, however, there are two general cases: first a twin built for an existing asset, and second a twin built for a new product or system. The greatest value is realised by an early start, ideally during conceptual design, the model ‘fidelity’ can then be matched to the life-cycle phase.
Berkeley & Imperial has built twins ranging from small hydraulic power units used downhole for drilling to large in the case of a deepwater drillship mud circulation system.