An introduction to Haptiq System Simulator™  

 

Predictive operations and maintenance through system simulation 

Introduction

Today, stronger and smarter sensors are able to collect and transmit detailed live data to the clouds almost limitless processing power. In addition, mobile computing and transmission power with 4G and soon 5G or satellite allow this data transmission from almost anywhere on the globe. This creates possibilities we could only dream of a few years ago and enables an industrial IoT where predictive and remote maintenance through system simulation will become the new standard. 

A physical system connected up to a System Simulator existing of a 3D digital twin in virtual or augmented reality (VR/AR) provides continuous surveillance of its condition and operation in a visual and interactive interface. Data from the physical system’s operational software, sensor data and relevant open source data is fed into the System Simulator to duplicate its condition and simulate its performance. 

Haptiq System Simulators are adoptive and evolving systems driven by machine learning algorithms. This enables the virtual twin to adapt to changes in the condition and configuration of its physical twin. In an industrial context, System Simulators are used to improve service and maintenance, improve product design, monitoring to identify potential problems, simulate production operations and more. This creates a predictive service and maintenance solution where the System Simulator can warn about potential problems in advance of production interference or accidents and guide remote technicians through service and maintenance procedures using a digital twin of the physical system. This is a big win for mission critical industries in a continuous battle against down-time.

Features & Benefits 

  • Reducing down-time for mission critical systems 

  • Reducing maintenance costs and the ability to calculate maintenance related KPIs by combining historical data, risk factors, system configuration and operating scenarios. 

  • Avoid future accidents by forecasting the systems condition and performance under different circumstances by running simulations though the virtual model using variable such as runtime, volume and exposing it to extreme operating conditions 

  • Training on demand on different maintenance scenarios through the System Simulator’s training module. Personnel can run through these scenarios before or during performing the maintenance tasks as training or a guide, with or without an off-site expert joining in. 

  • Operational support, continuous guidance and system updates for operators tasked with decision making towards production and maintenance. 

  • Operational improvements and cost savings over time 

  • Test new ideas. The digital twin component of the System Simulator can be duplicated and used to test out new design and product ideas using live or historical data for simulations to test the new ideas.

Scale and graphics quality 

A System Simulator involves the creation of a virtual representation or digital twin of a physical system, such as industrial machinery, a production line or a whole ship. This process starts with the creation of an exact 3D model in real-time graphics with all moving and removable parts animated to perform as in the real world. The virtual model should be created scalable so the user can zoom out for overview and in to get a closer look. The 1:1 scale in AR or VR enables the user to enter the virtual system as if it was real and is great for training and remote service scenarios. 

Engineering drawings are often complex and every moving part of the real-time animation demands processing power so the graphics quality and level of detail will be adjusted for optimal performance based on the processing power available or specified for the system. The higher quality and closer to real life the graphics are the better the System Simulator will work for complex remote service and visual communication of operations.

How it works 

The 3D model comes alive by importing IoT-data through the System Simulator’s APIs. The data can come from many sources, but most commonly a combination of data from the physical system’s operation system and sensor-data from sensors attached to the physical system. This data contains information on the physical systems performance, condition and environment such as temperature, power, volume, pressure, etc. 

The application that runs the virtual System Simulator will interpret the live data based on historical performance and maintenance data, engineers calculations on margins of error and the systems tolerances along with the specifications and other information on the system parts it monitors. This enables the system to predict performance and maintenance schedules. Over-time, however, the virtual System Simulator will learn from its physical twin and rely more on the data it receives from the specific system rather than historical data from other systems. 

Maintenance and collaboration 

When a task needs to be performed on the physical system, both the on-site and the remote crew will be notified by their respective System Simulator interfaces. If this is an unfamiliar task to the onsite-site crew they can schedule remote assistance by an off-site expert. A remote expert can enter into the remote location through an avatar in multiplayer mode, a term borrowed from the gaming world. The onboard technician and the remote expert avatar can communicate both visually and verbally and the System Simulator has collaboration tools such as markers and a visual library of tools and parts to improve communication when language is an issue. 

In VR mode the on-site technician and the off-site expert can do a virtual run-through of the procedure to get familiar with and practice on the upcoming tasks. The on-site crew can then shift to augmented reality at the physical location where the procedure is to be performed. Using the spatial scanning and object recognition features of the AR HMD the system will produce an interactive overlay over the area where the task is to be performed. The off-site expert will with control of the augmented graphics and information guide the on-site crew through the procedure. 

Build and Deployment 

The team needed to build the System Simulator’s digital twin and deploy the Haptiq System Simulator is composed of 3D artists and game and AI programmers working with our customer and their partners’ mechanical, electrical and process engineers to give the virtual system all the same properties and functions the real system it emulates has. When you roll out your System Simulator it is important that the team that was involved in developing the system are part of the quality assurance team during the upstart period. Since the System Simulator’s role is to mirror a physical system’s performance input is needed from the operations team, process engineering, electro engineering, suppliers of vital system components and other partners. As data pours into the virtual System Simulator the team of experts need to monitor both sides to make sure mirroring occurs. This process might stress the organizations resources for a period of time, but when the system’s workings are verified your company can start to reap the benefits of predictive operations and maintenance through system simulation. 

Licensing 

Our System Simulators are available as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) licensing model composed of an annual use and service fee and a one-time cost for tailoring and deployment. 

Since almost all complex systems are unique the virtual model or the digital twin of the physical system will be custom while our admin, collaboration, maintenance and training modules are standard parts of the Haptiq Simulation System application.