Dr. Leo Rodríguez
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Helgen Technologies
Dr. Aldo Arriaga
Chief Science Officer, Helgen Technologies
Creating digital twins of real-world operating processes and sites is helping companies sharpen working practices and design new models of practice.
Virtual reality scenarios can enable organisations to rehearse procedures, including worst-case events but without disruption, damage or cost to manufacturing procedures and operational flows. Digital twins are also scalable, from the smallest areas through to airports, factories or even whole cities.
Industry expert Dr Leo Rodriguez explains that digital twins can replicate real-life scenarios on a computer. The difference to a standard simulation is that a digital twin has a closed loop with the real-life system and receives and provides real-time information, accurately reflecting the current state and behaviour of the system.
Rodriguez, who is CEO and founder of Helgen Technologies, says: “The main benefit is that you can carry out tests that would typically require a lot of time and effort — but in a simplified manner, in a virtual world and as an alternative to traditional piloting and testing. The possibilities from digital twins are endless.”
We are creating a solution that essentially gives superpowers to companies.Dr Aldo Arriaga
A digital twin can be used to perform safety-critical tests. “That gives manufacturing companies a more in-depth understanding of the impacts of something going terribly wrong within their business,” he says.
As companies embark on digital transformation projects and realise the benefits of digital twin technology, Kerry-based Helgen Technologies has been able to replicate the entirety of a container port, a logistics centre and an agricultural site for customers, as well as making complex evaluations of machinery and redefining workflows.
Digital twins mean the process is contained and less time-consuming. The company’s Chief Science Officer, Dr Aldo Arriaga, says: “We are creating a solution that essentially gives superpowers to companies. We’re giving them the power to travel through time and predict the future, all thanks to a virtual world where it’s possible to test new technologies, simulate different scenarios and gather key data on the process.”
There are also cost benefits in using a digital twin for startup companies that want to stage tests with a major organisation, as well as enabling OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to run pilots with ports, logistics centres or manufacturing sites at a fraction of the cost for both parties.
Helgen Technologies — which creates digital twins based on measurements and site blueprints — helped reduce the rollout of a complex automation project for one firm with impressive results. The rollout time was cut from six to three-and-a-half years, leading to a reduction in both cost and deployment time.