Building the Industrial Metaverse on Open Digital Twins

Author photo: Peter Reynolds
By Peter Reynolds


At the recent ARC Advisory Group Industry Forum for the Americas, leading global process manufacturers shared a vision to decouple data from the software with open software that would take shape as a new class of mature software products - open-asset digital twins consumed via the Industrial Metaverse. This vision promotes innovation and value creation, readily integrates twins, affords access to leading-edge twin capability and performance, and improves the sustainability of twins after project handover and across the entire lifecycle of assets.

This capability accommodates various applications and business processes in the largely underserved operate and maintain phase of an asset lifecycle. The implications for this new initiative are far-reaching into process manufacturers' operating and business systems and their technology suppliers, service providers, and standards organizations.

This report summarizes how leading asset owners view the future of digital twins and the following key themes:

  • Innovation and value creation will be promoted through various applications and business processes in the underserved operate and maintain phase.
  • A linkage will be created between digital twin software and corporate sustainability/ESG goals.
  • There will be the capability to seamlessly “snap in” fully interoperable twins and access leading-edge twin capability and performance.

Moving Toward Sustainable Asset Digital Twins

At the recent ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Michael Hotaling, Global Operations Digital Excellence Manager from ExxonMobil and Manoj Dharwadkar, Senior Operations IT Architecture Manager from Dow showed what open digital twins will be in the future. Michael shared the ExxonMobil journey to a sustainable asset digital twin and defined the fully mature digital twin, the current and future state of 3D and data, and current challenges. The Exxon presentation can be found here. Manoj discussed the digital framework connecting digital twins, the necessary standardizing and automation to reduce technical and data debt with the three pillars of a sustainable digital thread. The Dow presentation can be found here.

The leaders agreed there is a great diversity of disparate data sources that must be federated and unified, and there are too many different modalities of 3D asset visualization. Numerous use cases are single-use cases only and need a broader scope, and there are no standards for spatial coordinates used by E&C, asset owners and vendors.

Michael and Manoj articulated the future state definition of digital twins. The vision for fully mature twins would be “Open Asset Digital Twins,” - built on a federated, open and interoperable data model to unite process simulation, 3D visualization and technologies with enriched engineering data and equipment attributes.

Industrial Metaverse


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Keywords: Digital Twins, Industrial Metaverse, Interoperable, Data standards, ARC Advisory Group.


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