Generally speaking, a digital twin is a virtual representation of a real-world object. There are several definitions of twins depending on context and use case: a 3D model of the object including its systems, representation of a process, etc. In Syroco EfficientShip, the twin is a digital representation of the ship’s performance in response to design, operating and environment parameters. For this purpose, a ship is described as a set of models.
From data to models: creating digital representations of physical phenomena
A model is a function that describes a physical phenomenon in response to a set of parameters, that can be either design, operating or environment parameters.
Models enable to accurately link design, operating and environment parameters to the physics applying to the ship. By describing each component of the ship through models, designers and operating crew can use the digital twin to explore design configurations or operating choices and make informed decisions on how to maximise the operating efficiency of the actual ship.
There are three complementary methods to create a model: parametrically, with simulation data, or with operational data. Depending on the maturity of the ship project (in pre-project phase, in design or already operating), models can be created by mixing the 3 methods.
In any case, a model is not etched in stone. Models can be enriched and overhauled throughout the lifecycle of the project and the lifecycle of the ship.
Twins: building digital representations of ship performance by assembling models
Going from models to twins is simple: assemble models into twins.
A ship is composed of a hydro element (a hull), an aero element (the superstructure, the bridge, the payload), one or several thrusters, a rudder, steam generators, stabilisers, etc. Choose the models which represent each of these systems to build the digital twin of the ship. And by the way let’s not forget that models also interact with each other, the same ways systems interact with each other.
Depending on the maturity of the project, there are different ways the digital twin can be used, but it will always be with the same goal: maximising operational efficiency and performance.
Making design choices driven by performance:
- During pre-projects or design phases, digital twins are like playdough. With the design optimisation module of Syroco EfficientShip, users explore and optimise designs of future ships.
- Designs can be challenged by running digital twins on user-defined scenarios. Users can run the digital twin on pre-defined maritime routes, or explore new routes. In the end, they get predictive performance reports and decision making data regarding the design.
Making operating choices driven by operational efficiency:
- Cargo ships losing cargo?
- Unexplained performance issues?
- Struggling with timetables?
- The digital twin, by being a virtual replica of ship performance, enables to explore and optimise her operational efficiency, both from the fleet centre and from the bridge.
Data reporting: ships generate a lot of data, digital twins do, too. To better leverage it, Syroco EfficientShip provides an integrated data reporting solution. The best way to make the right design or operating choices is by having the right data.
Continuous model enhancement: models are alive! Whether they were created during the design phase of a ship project or during its operational life, they can always be enriched with incoming data.