How Royal HaskoningDHV brings digital twins into action

08 July 2024 3 min. read

Digital twin technology can offer huge potential to asset-heavy sectors by improving efficiency and unlocking an abundance of useful data. It can also help boost planning and execution, according to experts from professional services firm Royal HaskoningDHV.

A digital twin is a virtual model of a physical object or system that replicates its behavior and characteristics, using real-time data and simulations for analysis and optimization. This can be an immensely powerful and useful tool in large and mechanically complex engineering, manufacturing, and design projects.

“Along the lifecycle of an asset, process, or system, there are many ways in which digital twins can provide value or even where they are crucial to succeed,” said Hans Tönissen, an executive consultant with Royal HaskoningDHV.

How Royal HaskoningDHV brings digital twins into action

“The added value of digital twins can begin during the design, engineering, and construction phases and accumulate during the operational stage to enable optimization via decision support and advanced control.”

In helping to produce digital twins for clients, Royal HaskoningDHV works with stakeholders to define the project possibilities and deliver a sustainable roadmap, which can then be used to deliver a useful end product. Overall, the firm works to demystify the technology, which has become difficult to navigate following increasing hype in the market.

“For digital twin solutions, we use enterprise architecture (based on a proven architecture framework), OT-IT integration (based on international standards), and maturity models that guide drafting a digital twin implementation roadmap. If you get this right, technology is the easy bit,” said Ilco Slikker, senior consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV.

Royal HaskoningDHV – in tandem with its consulting subsidiary Novius – has collaborated in a number of important digital twin projects with clients that needed virtual simulation tools for large and complex industrial and engineering projects.

How Royal HaskoningDHV brings digital twins into action

The digital twin framework from Royal HaskoningDHV and Novius

For example, the firm worked with NS, the Dutch national passenger railway operator, to build a digital twin-based platform that uses powerful processing to help the company run its railway operations more smoothly. The outcome was a system where data is more efficiently collected and the company has better access to real-time information.

In another project, Royal HaskoningDHV worked with Hayward Tyler, a supplier of equipment for energy industry infrastructure. The collaboration worked towards creating a digital twin of a new factory being built, which allowed the company to optimize performance and operational processes thanks to an unprecedented overview.

Further reading: Consultants help create digital twin of water utility infrastructure.

“We have developed a comprehensive definition for digital twins and use that as a starting point for our vision, which we apply at any engagement we kick off,” noted Tönissen and Slikker.

“Additionally, we have an experience-based understanding of the underlying concepts and required information landscape that enables digital twins. Standards play an essential role in using and sharing this understanding, which also applies to how digital twins can be characterized based on their application,” they continued.