Digital Twins Accelerate Project Delivery

Author photo: Sharada Prahladrao
By Sharada Prahladrao
Technology Trends

On the second day of this year’s ARC Industry Forum Asia, Andrew Burt, Systems Architect at Hatch Digital, discussed how digital twins accelerate project delivery using solutions and technologies from vendors, including Bentley Systems and Microsoft. When the supplier speaks, the audience listens, but when the end user speaks, the audience is convinced. Hatch operates in three main sectors – metals, energy, and infrastructure. The company has over six decades of experience, projects in 150 countries, 9,000 professionals globally, and $50 billion invested in projects.

Hatch has realized the digital opportunity for the industrial asset lifecycle and the potential benefits for their clients, including:

  • Reduced engineering hours.
  • Lower procurement costs.
  • Improved “wrench time.”
  • Digital twin enablement.
  • Improved margins in operations.

This blog post captures the key points of Mr. Burt’s presentation. His presentation video (Day 2, Session 3) will be available at the  vFairs platform for the next three months. The documents and video link are also available at Bentley Systems’ virtual booth.

Hatch’s View on Digital Twins

Mr. Burt said that digital twins are developed from the three I’s – Integration, Intelligence, and Interaction.

  • Integration (data connectivity): Establish a cloud-based “single version of the truth” through real time data exchange with the physical asset.
  • Intelligence (knowledge connectivity): Create insights and intelligence based on Hatch’s engineering expertise and predict the future.
  • Interaction (value connectivity): Add value to the client through various digital twin services.

Hatch’s vision for digital transformation leverages disruptive technologies to transform and connect projects across boundaries and reinvents the way information is shared. The focus is on collaboration, innovation, flexibility, and efficiency. Information is a core component of their digital transformation, and information management is vital, Mr. Burt said. He stressed the need to have the right information at the right time to take actionable decisions. The graphic below shows the continuous flow of reliable and accessible information.

Next, Mr. Burt spoke about building a digital asset from FEED, engineering, work packaging, and so on, laying the foundation for the digital twin and the connected plant. Digital transformation is all about the transition from the delivery phase to the operations phase and sharing the information across the workflow. A digital twin, Mr. Burt said, is a digital representation of a physical asset in real time with intelligence generated from underlying process models that provides timely operational alarms and guidance.

twins accelerate project delivery

Hatch’s Approach

Hatch has deployed a “cloud-first” approach and technologies in its partnerships. Mr. Burt discussed how Hatch’s digital platform architecture uses the Bentley iTwin Platform and Microsoft’s Azure cloud services to connect and collaborate. Bentley's iTwin Services is a cloud subscription program for managing infrastructure digital twins. Using Bentley’s intelligent digital twin software, Hatch delivered a new sulfuric acid manufacturing plant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in under two years, from feasibility to start up. The digital twin of the plant also helped manage and share data in an open, connected data environment, streamlining digital workflows to cut three months from the delivery schedule. Digital delivery workflows helped optimize engineering quality and industrialize project delivery, setting new industry benchmarks.


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