- Industry Trends
”Digital information twin” (DIT) is a buzzword that plant and machinery manufacturers would do well to remember – after all, the future of maintenance, aftersales, and service belongs to it. But what does it actually mean? And what makes the DIT different to a digital twin?
The DIT is a central platform where technical information and service information about a product, machine, or plant is stored. The data in the DIT are bundled and synchronous, resulting in an integrated information management system that fulfills different functions.
The digital information twin is not to be confused with the digital twin or digital engineering twin. Although both twins represent a virtual model of a real object, they differ in terms of the benefits they offer.
In contrast with the digital engineering twin, the DIT does not simulate any product properties or functions. Instead, it contains comprehensive (service) information. This includes user manuals, service instructions, and spare parts lists. The information is product-specific and stored individually. It reflects the actual configuration of a product or machine.
The intention of a DIT is to provide users with a comprehensive, digital understanding of products, machines, and plant with the help of saved product documents. This makes it a must-have for aftersales & service departments by providing valuable information for targeted and efficient maintenance and service tasks.
The engineering twin enables the real-time exchange of digital information between machines via the IoT. In contrast to this, an information twin provides valuable and varied data for people. This results in a detailed image of a machine, which service technicians and aftersales managers, for instance, can use as a basis to make well-informed decisions.
Those who stand to benefit most from a DIT are manufacturers and operators of machines and plant that have to prepare and supply complex and extensive information about their products. This is because they are currently facing significant challenges:
Service engineers, service technicians, aftersales managers, maintenance staff, and other DIT users no longer have to tediously look for spare parts information and maintenance manuals. Instead, the DIT platform provides an intuitive user interface that makes all the information for their maintenance tasks quickly accessible in digital form.
With a digital information twin, machinery manufacturers generate an intelligent data model of their machines and plant. Not only are data displayed virtually, but they are also prepared and integrated in such a way that creates real added value for the user.
The digital information twin serves as a service information system, which keeps field service engineers informed of changes to work processes. With the help of manuals, it also makes it possible to estimate how long the maintenance work and machine downtime will last.
A digital information twin makes companies fit for the future
The linking of a DIT with artificial intelligence (AI) creates potential for additional benefits in the future:
Efficient data management: If documentation needs to be adjusted, this can be updated as a package and downloaded automatically to all machine locations.
Efficient fleet management: For companies that offer services for vehicle fleets, central data access at fleet level reduces the effort involved in manual data capture, in turn boosting mobility and enabling automated reporting.
Lower maintenance costs: Remote maintenance and predictive maintenance enable forward planning of service capacities and reduce travel costs for service personnel.
Higher reliability: The more forward-looking and precise planning of maintenance and servicing can be, the faster machines and plant can be put into operation again, reducing non-scheduled downtime.
Fewer repairs: 24/7 remote maintenance reduces the number of essential repairs and gives service experts more time to offer their customers first-class service and help them to achieve better results.
Prerequisites for using a DIT include one platform as a “core infrastructure”, in other words as a single source of truth, for all service data and connected applications. These so-called capabilities comprise tools that can be used to create, manage, and exploit data and connections. For plant and machinery manufacturers, these include documentation systems, spare parts catalog generators, online stores, and customer platforms.
With the right software, companies can secure high Digital Twin performance. They can lay the foundations for this today by digitalizing their processes and aggregating service-relevant information into a central system.
Quanos Service Solutions offers all the necessary tools to implement a digital information twin. Professional software solutions unlock the potential of technical information and give plant and machinery manufacturers complete control over their content.
Not only does the digital information twin save companies time and money, but it also optimizes their service processes. It is also the solution for the biggest trends in aftersales & service:
Plant and machinery manufacturers are prepared for all these developments and more with Quanos – and at every stage of digitalization at that. Quanos offers modular functions which, when used as a bundle, create a 360° solution for all the challenges of a modern service setup. By contrast, individual features take a targeted approach to resolve acute problems in the early stages of the transformation.
It does not matter whether you already use a digital information twin or whether you want to start by digitalizing individual areas of your aftersales operation. Either way, you will receive a future-proof single source of truth that is flexible and upward compatible.
Here is a summary of the benefits offered by Quanos: