Digital Twins and VR Synergy is Transforming the Industrial Metaverse, says AVEVA’s Head of Research Simon Bennett
Simon Bennett, Head of Research at AVEVA shared insights on how the synergy between digital twins and VR is bolstering industrial operations.
At the convergence of digital technology and industrial operations, the synergy between digital twins and virtual reality (VR) is emerging as a transformative force within the burgeoning industrial metaverse.
Digital Twins, virtual replicas of physical entities or systems, have long played a role in industrial settings, offering insights into real-world processes for enhanced efficiency and predictive maintenance. Concurrently, VR has evolved beyond gaming and entertainment, finding applications in diverse sectors, including healthcare, education, and now, industry.
Rather than relying on conventional methods for visualization and analysis, industries are increasingly adopting immersive experiences facilitated by VR-enhanced Digital Twins.
In a conversation with Metaverse Post — Simon Bennett, AVEVA’s head of research and innovation, shed light on the role of digital twins and VR in the industrial metaverse, emphasizing their transformative impact on businesses.
Bennett, often called “Mr. Metaverse,” also shared intricate insights on his role in navigating the tension between disruptive ideas and established manufacturing processes at AVEVA. With a team of 2600 research and development professionals, Bennett fosters a culture of innovation, organizing hackathons and collaborating with universities to stay ahead of technological curves.
Digital Twins and VR Ease Collaboration in Industrial Settings
As per Bennett, integrating digital twins and virtual reality in the industrial metaverse enhances discussions and problem-solving in areas where collaboration and data analysis are crucial. Specifically, it improves the efficiency of reviewing designs for new industrial assets by offering a multiplayer 3D experience for better stakeholder collaboration.
He added that it streamlines the resolution of operational issues on-site by allowing experts from different locations to visit the site virtually and access data from digital twins, thereby aiding in daily work tasks.
However, it is more challenging than it seems.
Challenges lie in integrating industrial AI with expansive digital twins and upskilling the labor force to leverage this technology effectively. Additionally, utilizing digital twins and AI to fuel the industrial Metaverse not only visually represents a data-centric ideology but also represents it with context.
“There are opportunities for organizations operating in data-rich business environments dependent on sensor data and up-to-date information. These include factory operations, supply chain management, construction simulations during design, safety assessments, operations optimization and any collaborative scenario addressing design, construction, or operations issues,” Bennett told Metaverse Post.
He added that generative AI with digital twins allows operators and engineers in industrial settings to derive insights from vast amounts of high-quality data efficiently, enabling informed decision-making and asset optimization. Generative AI’s ability to answer complex questions simplifies analytical work, aiding asset maintenance and optimization.
Digital Twins’ Industrial Acceptance
AVEVA’s approach to integrating digital twins and VR technologies adds a collaborative environment that facilitates immersive experiences, connecting employees worldwide in real-time problem-solving and decision-making scenarios.
“Digital twins have proven effective across various industries, from power grids to pharmaceuticals. Case studies demonstrate significant improvements in operational efficiency, time to market, and cost reduction through adopting digital twin technology,” said AVEVA’s Bennett.
- Lifecycle management in asset operations.
- Efficient design processes in carbon capture facilities.
- Enhanced operational standards in manufacturing plants.
Additionally, Bennett believes integrating AI avatars in metaverse meetings is not a distant future. The reality is that it’s not a fundamental technology that needs to be created; all of the building blocks already exist.
“The convergence of digital twins, generative AI, speech-to-text, multiplayer infrastructure, and AI avatars promises enhanced information experiences and efficient collaboration,” he added.
Talking about the convergence of AR, VR, and data science, Bennett believes that it has broader implications for the tech industry as “it promises to empower the workforce and transform how people work. With advancements like Apple’s Apple Vision Pro, the line between home and workplace blurs, creating virtual environments for collaboration and data analysis.”
However, challenges such as legal frameworks for AI use and data protection need addressing. Yet, this trajectory promises more involving and exciting working experiences driven by scalable gaming technology.
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