Achieving Success With Digital Twins

Presenter: Tom Walski, Ph.D., P.E., Senior Product Manager, Water Infrastructure, Bentley Systems

Digital twins can help improve system operations and drive intelligent asset management decisions. But, as with any technology, there are hurdles to overcome to take full advantage of the capabilities. Water system operation is not easy and digital twins are not trivial but implementing a digital twin will pay back the investment. However, it is best to go into this type of project aware of the potential challenges and associated solutions.

This presentation will help attendees navigate the pitfalls of digital twin building, including:

  • Digital twins involve multiple technologies such as SCADA, GIS, modeling, water auditing, metering and other components working together. They can minimize problems in sharing data vs. ad-hoc data sharing.

  • Power usage is an important input to determining pump efficiency, but what if power isn't normally monitored?

  • Digital twin models need flexible controls, especially when system pumps are manually controlled.

  • A model used as part of the digital twin may be considered "calibrated" by some users for some cases but may be inadequate to the purpose of a digital twin.

  • Not everyone in the water utility may think that a digital twin is going to make their lives better.

  • Building a home-made digital twin looks tempting at first but maintenance can be a headache.

  • Security concerns cannot be ignored, and a solid digital twin platform can greatly reduce any risks.

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