Data Driven Advantage: Digital Transformation 001


​Howden Vlog 001

Digital Solutions: Maria Wilson

For our first Data Driven Advantage (DDA) vlog, I thought of talking to you about a unique element of innovation at the heart of Uptime, our digital solution for performance optimization: the Howden Digital Twin model.

Sure, anybody that works or follows the Internet of Things (IoT) wave, will have heard digital twins mentioned numerous times, but what does it actually mean and how is our approach different?

Digital Twin defined

Industry and academia define a digital twin in several different ways, but in defining our approach, we decided to focus on two critical KPIs: 1) the value it enables to our customers and 2) the value it enables in our own operations.

I talked about this very topic last month at LiveWorx, world’s leading tradeshow for digital transformation and Industrial Internet of Things technologies, during the MIT Sloan Executive Symposium.

Our Digital Twin builds on our core experience: over 160 years of designing and manufacturing rotating equipment that serves pretty much every air and gas handling application. This core experience is captured in the design data from our manuals, data books, selection software, drawings and models to create what we call a theoretical performance map. This theoretical data set is then compared with operational data from the sensors deployed in the field at the equipment level.

The difference between the two sets, theoretical and operational, shows how far from its best efficiency the equipment is being operated at and fully enables the performance optimisation capabilities in Uptime.

Howden Data Driven Advantage
The Digital Twin

Digital Twin value

From our customer's perspective, the value that is enabled by our digital twins deals with very complex issues:

  • Challenging markets are seeing investments in new plants decline with more pressure to extend the life of existing plants
  • We are also dealing with very tight environmental constraints that pressurize the equipment performance to achieve energy savings
  • and finally, our equipment typically operates as process critical and any unplanned downtime is very costly and operating away from BEP is detrimental to achieving any energy savings

For us, in Howden, the Digital Twins of our installed base are changing the way we engineer our future products. With this technology we now have real process data that feeds back into our design process and allows us to remove approximations and optimize our designs based on real time application data.