The Global Proliferation of Digital Twin Technology

Advances in digital twin technology and global investment trends are driving manufacturing transformation. Large-scale investments in the US and UK are enabling operational efficiency, innovation, risk reduction, and sustainability across a range of industries.

The evolution of digital twin technology and the global investment trend in it heralds a significant and positive change in many ways. A digital twin is a technology that creates a digital replica of an actual physical object or system to enable a variety of simulations and analytics. Digital twins were first pioneered by NASA in 2010 to simulate physical models of spacecraft, but they were not immediately adapted across a wide range of industries. Their use has since spread slowly, with General Electric applying them to manufacturing, and with advances in technologies such as IoT, AI, big data, and telecommunications, many companies are adopting digital twins as a tool to increase operational efficiency. Digital twins have the potential to drive innovation, especially in highly precise and complex industries such as semiconductor manufacturing, and many developed countries are actively investing in digital twin technology to enhance their manufacturing capabilities.


U.S invests $285 million to advance digital twins for semiconductor manufacturing

The U.S. government announced that it has applied for $285 million in Semiconductor Act funding for a lab to develop digital twins to enhance semiconductor manufacturing capabilities. The funding will be used to establish a lab specializing in semiconductor manufacturing, advanced packaging, assembly, and testing processes, and will also be used to support facilities and train the next generation of U.S. workers and researchers to use digital twins to advance R&D and chip production. 

The U.S. government's investment is aimed at optimizing and improving the efficiency of semiconductor manufacturing processes, which will help increase the nation's technological competitiveness and strengthen supply chain reliability. "Digital twin-based research can accelerate the design of U.S. chip development and manufacturing concepts by leveraging new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), and significantly reduce costs by improving capacity planning, production optimization, facility upgrades, and real-time process coordination," according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Semiconductors are the backbone of modern technology, and innovations in their manufacturing processes can have a positive impact on a wide range of industries.

Belfast, UK to host £37.6 million digital twin center

The UK government has announced the establishment of a £37.6 million national digital twin center in the Belfast area. The center aims to accelerate industry adoption of digital twins by providing access to cutting-edge technology, reducing the cost of creating digital twins, and developing workforce skills. The UK government hopes that hosting the digital center will foster collaboration and innovation across industry, academia, and the public sector.

The investment will be used to fund core technology research and digital capability building, which is expected to help boost productivity through digital transformation and support the achievement of zero carbon emissions targets. In addition, the establishment of the Digital Twin Center is expected to create 230 new jobs in the manufacturing sector across the UK. The UK Digital Twin Center is scheduled to open later this year and will help companies across the UK access the expertise, technology, and resources they need to reduce design and manufacturing costs, achieve their zero-carbon goals, and gain a competitive advantage globally.

Benefits of Digital Twin Technology

The growing interest in digital twin technology across the globe is due to the following key advantages.

  • Improved efficiency: Digital twins can analyze operational data from physical systems in real time to proactively predict problems and enable optimized operations, which can lead to cost savings and increased productivity.

  • Fostering innovation: The ability to test new ideas and designs through a variety of simulations allows for shorter product development cycles and faster innovation.

  • Reduce risk: By validating different scenarios in a digital environment before real-world operations, you can reduce the risk of physical systems and increase safety.

  • Sustainability: Reduce environmental impact by optimizing resource use and energy consumption.


Beamo, The Fast and Easy Solution for Creating Digital Twins

Beamo is a digital twin solution that brings the real world into a virtual 3D space to help you monitor and manage facilities or assets from a distance. With a single platform to manage many surveys, grant access by user and team, and more, it's ideal for organizations that manage many assets with a variety of stakeholders.

Beamo quickly and easily creates a digital twin of the site, which helps solve the problem when large distances or a large number of facilities make site visits costly and time-consuming. Beamo's indoor positioning technology with V-Slam enables mapping indoors where GPS is not available, which is why it is being used not only on construction sites, but also in a variety of industries, including facility management companies, data centers, and smart factories.


Key features of Beamo

  • Simple to set up: A 360-degree camera, an iPhone, and a tripod are all you need to capture a scene and turn it into a digital twin, even for non-experts.

  • Fast post-processing: Once you've uploaded your data, you'll see your digital twin results in a matter of minutes - stitching 100 images into a digital twin takes about 5-10 minutes.

  • Collaboration: Instantly share the latest information about what's happening in the field with your team using a variety of collaboration features, including Tag, Comment, 1:1 video calls, timeline reports, and more.

Beamo Usage Scenarios

  • Project management: In construction projects, construction sites are often located in remote locations. By utilizing Beamo for construction projects, you can remotely view the changing conditions of the site from day to day and week to week without having to physically visit the site. The digital twins created can also be stored in a database as a time series, allowing for time comparisons, timeline reports, and more.

  • Facility management and inspection: For facilities that require periodic inspections, or for facility and building management companies, IoT integrations within the Beamo platform enable real-time monitoring of facility data. In addition, manuals and documents related to facility operations and inspections can be attached to the 3D space through the Tag function so that inspectors can check them anytime, anywhere and utilize them in their inspection work.

  • Remote training: For industrial sites such as factories with a large number of equipment or facilities or extreme environments such as high temperatures, it can be difficult to train employees on-site. This is where Beamo can help you deliver immersive, spatially informed employee training remotely. After building a digital twin of your physical site, you can attach training videos or documents on how to use the equipment through the Tag feature, and employees can access Beamo to view the latest training materials at any time for self-training. 

Beamo Use Case

Beamo customer SeAH Changwon Special Steel (SeAH CSS) is a leader in the specialty steel industry, producing advanced industrial steel and high-value specialty alloys, and has long been driving digital transformation across its organization. To monitor and maintain its facilities more safely and efficiently, the company wanted to bring situations and conditions from the physical world into the virtual world. To digitally twin the interior of its factory facilities and small rolling stock (RSB) machines, the company turned to Beamo. Using 360-degree cameras and the Beamo app, the company captured a 360-degree view of the large factory interior and connected IoT sensors to create a real-time monitoring system.

Engineers can now check the sensor status of rolling machines from the office without having to visit the site. If a problem occurs in a specific area or equipment, they can immediately locate the problem within the digital twin and take action. In addition, the customer can attach safety tips, training materials, equipment manuals, etc. to the digital twin built with 360 view through the Tag function to facilitate safety training for employees. 
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The Global Proliferation and Transformative Impact of Digital Twin Technology

Digital twin technology is seeing increased global investment and interest as it enables operational efficiency, innovation, risk reduction, and sustainability across a wide range of industries. Large-scale investments in the U.S. and U.K. are heralding a major shift in manufacturing industry innovation, and solutions like Beamo are being utilized in a variety of industries by making it easy and fast to create digital twins.

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