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Double vision: Howden enhances digital twin

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Double vision: Howden enhances digital twin


Upgraded product uses model- and data-driven analytics. By DJ Slater

First published in the June 2020 edition of Compressor Tech2

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology has grown rapidly the past few years with many companies in the gas compression space offering monitoring and analysis products for industrial equipment.

Howden has been a part of that mix early on and now has an update to one of its flagship IIoT offerings – the digital twin, part of Howden Uptime. The company’s latest digital twin features upgraded analytics designed to provide a clearer and complete picture of an operator’s machinery continuously and instantaneously.

“The most recent iteration has the specificity to integrate more actual operating data relative to the compressor’s environment and the duty it is supposed to perform,” said Mirko Melisie, Howden’s lead data-driven advantage associate. “We have added riderband wear trending and valve leakage trending into the portal.”

The new digital twin can obtain more information than past iterations due to its upgraded model-driven and data-driven analytics. The model-driven analytics are based on physics and simulation-based data models and the data-driven variation uses enhanced algorithms to identify and predict problems.

A digital twin serves as a virtual copy of a piece of equipment, such as a compressor. An operator can view this digital copy on a computer or mobile device and receive information on its performance and potential problems in real time. From there, an operator can make adjustments to reduce downtime, extend outage intervals and optimize the performance of the equipment, which aids in energy savings and minimizes environmental impact, Melisie said.

Hardware-software pairing

Howden’s digital twin technology, which can be used on all types of compressors, consists of a combination of hardware and software. On the hardware side, the digital twin system includes accelerometers, pressure transducers, a rod drop probe, a keyphasor and two modules (data capture and transmitter).

The data capture module features a high-frequency 64 kHz sampling of inputs synchronized to the crank-angle position. It also includes six accelerometer inputs, four cylinder-pressure inputs, two rod-drop inputs, two angle-encoder inputs and one configurable digital output for a local alarm.

The transmitter module, designed for low-bandwidth networks, features a built-in uninterruptable power supply, 16 GB local data storage, a GPS for synchronizing a real-time clock, and edge-processing capabilities.

The software portion of the digital twin consists of Howden's digital platform – Howden Uptime. The platform features an open architecture that allows users to customize their dashboard with relevant metrics while also upgrading it to incorporate evolving IIoT technology. Howden partnered with Microsoft, PTC and Imbu to create Uptime, which also uses Microsoft Azure for its cloud-based architecture.

Howden entered into the digital twin world in 2017 after collaborating with Imbu. At the time, IIoT became more widespread in the industrial markets and Howden recognized the need to embrace the technology, especially given the benefits of having immediate access to an abundance of machine data, Melisie said.

"We are focusing on servitization through the use of connected technology," he said. "Delivering product-centric services is a way to help customers optimize their equipment potential and deploy a predictive maintenance approach."

Article Date

Tuesday, 30 June 2020



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